Everyone wants to be “in the loop”, and everyone wants to know whether or not they’ve done a good job. This is understandable – it’s human nature. Especially in the world of freelancing, our reputations as honest, hardworking providers are at stake. We all want to do a good job, and we want other people to know just when we do those good jobs.
However, there comes a point when you cross the line between just being inquisitive, and being downright annoying.
Working from home in your pajamas can sometimes, even unexpectedly, put you into “casual mode” 24/7. Casual communication can be healthy for the buyer/provider relationship, but do remain professional.
Remember to send your buyer progress updates, show them relevant snippets of what you are working on, let them know if you hit a snag (this is especially important, don’t wait for the last minute on this). The more “in the loop” you keep the buyer, the healthier the relationship will be. The healthier the relationship, the more likely you are to 1) receive more work from them, and 2) receive great feedback and recommendations.
If you are waiting for information from your buyer before you can proceed, remind the buyer that you cannot proceed until you receive said information…but do not spam them with requests for it. This will only annoy them, and they’ll end up ending your assignment and hiring someone else less annoying (I’ve picked up a couple of jobs this way).
One of the worst things you can do is ignore your buyer. Sometimes, we may not have an answer for everything…but there’s nothing wrong with a timely, “I don’t know, but let me research it” response.
When you ignore your buyer, you are keeping them out of the loop. When they are paying for a service, they need to know what’s going on. When they ask how things are coming along, be honest about it. If thing’s aren’t coming along, tell them. They may not be happy that things are delayed, but they’ll be angrier if you say nothing, and three weeks later, you still have nothing to show for it.
Of course, sometimes, it’s impossible to keep the buyer informed…but unless it’s hospital admission or death, there’s no reason to not send the buyer a quick email letting them know what’s going on.
When starting out on Upwork, feedback rating is critical – it’s only natural for buyers to want to hire someone who has a proven track record of getting the job done. Sending an email thrice-daily is not the way to obtain stellar feedback ratings. In fact, it’s likely to do just the opposite.
If you have completed your assignment (especially if it’s an hourly assignment and there’s no need for the buyer to remit payment manually), send them a polite email stating that the job has been completed and you would appreciate if they left feedback for you. If you feel it necessary, politely explain the importance of feedback when you’re new to a community such as Upwork.
If you’re still in the interview/proposal part of your communications with the buyer, it’s critical for you to be patient. You haven’t sealed the deal yet – do not push them away by being annoying. This is quite possibly the most important stage of your buyer/provider relationship, because at this point, there is no relationship. You have to build it, and you certainly won’t do that if you harass the buyer.