Open for Business

by Laura Kalbag

13 Reader Comments

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  1. I agree with every single line you wrote. As a freelancer working from home myself, I’ve always felt that being honest to yourself and your clients is the way to go. And I feel that we have the amazing privilege of being able to do so, unlike many employees who need to pretend just to make their boss happy. Thanks for writting this. Hope the tendency spreads!
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  2. As someone who values honesty, transparency, and communication in the work I do and the client relationships I build, I say right on, Laura. There’s a tendency for some to try to appear superhuman, but our humanity is what makes us better designers and business people. In the end, we’re not merely building websites; we’re building relationships with our clients. That’s where the strength of our work resides.
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  3. I love you right now!! haha. This is exactly how I feel. I want clients to hire me and who I am. If they don’t or if we put on this business persona something wont click right down the road. They say the best way to not get caught in a lie is to always tell the truth.  Thank you for sharing!
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  4. I really appreciate your honesty Laura.
    The “open-door policy” helps us to attract the right clients and sends signal that you expect the same in return.
    Designers as most of artists have their high highs and low lows. Knowing that we’re not alone in the Universe is really important. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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  5. Thank you Laura, this is such a lovely reminder that being honest and personal is a good way to go.
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  6. A very touching post for me and every freelance workers in the world. :) I believe that my good relationship with clients is the most important thing to have, aside from my technical capability. While employed workers rely on teamworking, there is no tight relationship with clients. And this is what makes freelancing wonderful, the ability to connect with new and interesting people on the globe. :)
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  7. Spot on, Laura!  After 15 years of building and running websites the most important tool in my kit is the ability to play well with others…and I can only do that with clients with whom I share a mutual trust.  I often say that it is I who hires the client… they only bring a set of needs and money, I am trading my intellectual capital (my “knowing what to do”) and will do so only if they pass a couple of tests. The most important test is if they can respond to emails!!!! and do so responsively to the point of the email. The second screening test is if they “get me” (and my wry wit) in our initial conversations (face to face, via email, or even on the “phone”).  If you don’t like your client, you’re heading for a “death march’. Just don’t take ‘em on!! If they pass your screening tests, and you do commit to their project,... and they appreciate what it is that makes you YOURSELF…it is a golden and rewarding experiences that sure beats the hell out of punching a clock in cubical land.
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  8. Thanks for sharing and starting a discussion about what ‘looking professional’ online (and off) means for us freelancers. It’s an issue that’s often on my mind. I’m looking forward to see what other readers think.
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  9. Hi Laura! loved this article. Open mindedness, is a must! being open and honest also essential as long as things are worded with respect and care in mind of course. :) and Yes it’s worth it! woo woo!!
    http://en.teamtissa.com/zbMY
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  10. Hi Laura, thanks for sharing, it is refreshing and definitely provides people with insight to your personality, great article!
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  11. Loved the article and the comments. Just like most of you I, too, am a web designer working from home and am used to being honest and frank about who I am online. Recently, it’s been a struggle to decide how many of my opinions to spout off on my various social media streams as I discover that some of my clients and colleagues have radically different political views than mine. I’ve decided to share my own experiences not just opinions. DLminton, I appreciate your ‘client test’ regarding use of emails. I have a few clients who answer project emails with phone calls, which drives me nuts. I’m thinking that could be a good filter for me, too. Thanks to everyone for a great conversation!
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  12. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint, Laura. I find myself wrestling with finding the balance between putting my best foot forward and telling the truth of my backstory. I’ve always had the courage to say the truth online, but in the last 6 months I’ve really found myself unable to keep quiet about my business journey, my struggles, and the hard reality of being self employed in an emerging business. For me, it comes down to honesty and vulnerability. Then I have to figure out the line between what’s personal and what’s just part of me wherever I show up. Thanks for giving this important conversation the digital ink that it deserves. And kudos to everyone who read it, shares, and and takes away the idea to talk about in private.
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  13. Great article Laura and I completely agree. As a freelancer you are very much your own brand and to hide behind a standardized persona of a freelancer will not only weigh you down but make the world a very rigid place to live in.
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