How freelancers can get feedback and improve

Written by user

How frequently do you think about what other people think? The thoughts of other people related to your professional competencies come in the form of feedback. Not everybody likes feedback on their personal life choices, but everyone loves feedback in the professional world. Whether you like others’ ideas about you or not in real life, you would appreciate positive professional feedback that helps you grow.

But the question is how freelancers can get feedback when they usually work in silos?

Feedback in the Freelance World

Every company encourages its teams to share feedback on either a quarterly or half-yearly basis. However, it is still a very new concept for the freelancing world, yet many freelancers are trying to embrace it.

If looked closely, feedback helps a freelancer grow, learn, and realign himself, just like a person working in an office. It uncovers weak areas in initiating the process for them to become stronger. Freelancers also need feedback to locate themselves on the ladder of the freelance market. This makes them understand the point they are on at in their career to decide the rates they should be charging. Moreover, they can also list skills they want to learn to realign themselves with the market.

Constructive feedback has proven to help freelancers stay motivated and learn new tools and technologies. This results in polishing a seasoned freelancer into a leader and nourishing a new batch of freelancers. The freelancing industry has many examples where proper feedback strengthens the careers of various freelancers.

How can freelancers receive feedback?

Some freelancers have started realizing the importance and power of feedback. However, sadly, not every freelancer knows the ways to get feedback. Those who are familiar with the platforms to receive feedback find it difficult to convince their customers to provide feedback. These limitations cannot beat the need for cross-checking the work and providing professional advice for freelancers.

Almost all freelancing platforms allow freelancers to receive reviews from their clients. But such feedbacks usually are reviews on service quality, not constructive feedback for the freelancers to learn and grow if there are gaps.

Here are a few steps that freelancers can follow to compensate for performance appraisals in the corporate world.

Design a process

It all starts with establishing a process. In the case of a company, HR designs and enforces the culture of sharing feedback. Since a freelancer is a one-man army, he must design and implement a process independently. You need to start thinking about various points where you would like to receive feedback during the lifetime of a project. A good number of freelancers love to receive feedback only at the end, but you can define a process that works for you.

Remember that not every client is the same, so you should develop a way to ensure that you receive feedback. You can share that you would love to receive feedback at the beginning of the project. Secondly, you can remind the client about feedback when submitting the project. Most of the clients provide feedback at this stage. However, if clients do not, send them a reminder after a week.

Decide on a platform

A freelancer has many platforms to choose from for communication. Some of the famous ones include Zoom, Google Hangouts, Slack, etc. Choose a platform that you find convenient to use. This platform can be used to share the project with the client and ask for feedback as well. Many freelancers focus only on the growth side of their career and like to receive feedback over a call so they can understand it in depth.

You can decide on a platform based on your preferences or needs. One thing you must ensure is that the chosen platform is not new to the market with limited features. Signing up for such a platform will make it difficult for your clients to find and use.

Nouscard has a freelancer-specific feature to get feedback from clients, irrespective of which freelancing platform they are from.

Draft a questionnaire

The third important step is to make a list of questions you would like to ask your client. These questions should include open-ended and close-ended questions. Close-ended questions would help you understand the overall experience of a client, whereas open-ended questions will expose the deep thoughts and suggestions your clients have related to your work.

There are no hard and fast rules for these questions as they will change from domain to domain. Moreover, these questions depend on the areas a freelancer wants to learn about or the domains he is working on and wants to receive feedback on.

Prepare yourself for feedback

Feedback is only helpful if the freelancer wants to accept it with an open mind. Great feedback falling on deaf ears becomes useless, while the same feedback can take an attentive freelancer to new heights in his career. Prepare yourself to get all sorts of feedback, not just positive ones. Set your mind to distinguish between positive and negative feedback so you can use them to their best.

Another important thing to note is that not every negative feedback is constructive. Many freelancers learn the difference between constructive and destructive feedback over time. Once you can differentiate between both, you can use feedback to polish yourself further and set yourself on the path of success.

Feedback from colleagues and industry experts
A huge challenge most freelancers face is that the majority of clients don’t possess technical expertise. This makes it difficult for freelancers to get great feedback that would help develop skill sets or acquire new skills. So, in addition to client feedback, it is valuable for freelancers to receive feedback from fellow freelancers and industry experts also. The feedback provided by them comes from expertise and experience capable of giving valuable insights.

To sum up, the trend of receiving feedback in the freelancing world is spreading rapidly. Feedback helps freelancers realize the areas they can improve in, evolve with the changing market, and learn new skills. This also helps them locate themselves in the freelancing world to have a better idea of charging different clients for various projects. However, receiving feedback is not very easy for a freelancer. To start with it, they can establish a process, update their clients with the process, draft questions they want to ask, and prepare for receiving feedback.

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