Both professionally and personally, you want to portray yourself the best way you can. You want others to know that you will always come through for them when needed. You want to be trusted and respected and both of these traits must be earned.
• Make sure you always dress for work. Use your best outfits for meetings and make sure you are demonstrating that you care enough about your physical appearance to take care of it.
• Before the meeting, you must organize your materials as well as your thoughts.
• Always be on time. You must show the client that you value their time and commitment to meet with you.
• Demonstrate that you are on the same page with the client and be sure to demonstrate your knowledge of the topic. If you do not know an answer, be as honest as possible that even though you may not know something, you will take every effort to find an answer.
• Keep in regular contact with the client during the project so they are aware of where you are with the project. This shows you have jumped right into the project while your thoughts are fresh and are not waiting until deadline.
• Speaking of deadlines, always try to finish before the deadline as much as possible. This shows that you are committed and a keep your word. That said, if for any reason you cannot meet your deadline, you must bring this information to your client as soon as you know and give them a new deadline. Since you have been in constant contact during the project, the client knows you are doing your best and will most likely give you more time.
• Be a person of your word. If you tell someone you will meet them or do something, then do it. This makes you dependable.
• If you are told something in private, keep it private. Others need to know you can be trusted with sensitive information.
• If you hear information about someone, do not gossip. Gossip is idle talk, not productive, and puts down others. Others need to know you will not talk about them behind their back.
• Show others the respect they deserve and you will be respected. Do not roll your eyes or get snarky when they are talking to you. Always look at how they see things and understand where they are coming from. You do not have to agree with them, but be respectful of differences.
If you act the same way both professionally and personally, then everyone will see you for who you are and you will always have positive character references. Especially while trying to expand your business by networking. You want your friends to be able to portray you as a professional person of character. If you put your best character forward always, then you will get more freelance business and positive reviews. Your business can only get better from that point forward.