Keep Your Mouth Shut: 4 Types of Info Freelancers Should Stop Sharing With Clients
I think we’ve all met people who didn’t know when to shut their mouth.
You know the type. They’re always giving too much information, and sometimes it gets them into trouble.
While outsiders are shaking their head, people who give too much info normally can’t see the problem with their behavior.
And although you may not be that way in general, you could have similar bad habits when it comes to dealing with freelance clients.
A lot of freelancers share unnecessary details about themselves. And although they do it hoping to connect with new or prospective clients, sometimes it has the opposite effect.
Below are four examples.
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A company on last week’s jobs list is looking for people who have chronic illness.
Some mommy publications say they’re interested in working with expecting mothers.
In cases like these, disclosing your medical condition is a good idea. But in general, you should keep the status of your health to yourself.
You may want to forewarn new or prospective clients that there are times you’re not going to be available. And you may expect people to value that honesty.
But just like there are things you don’t say on a first date, there are things you don’t say when you’re trying to kick off a new professional relationship.
As a freelancer, your goal is sealing the deal. The client’s goal is to find the best option for getting their job done. By issuing warnings about your availability, you’re dimming the prospects on both sides.
Age/ Date of Birth
Age discrimination is fairly common. An AARP survey found that two out three people either reported seeing or experiencing it on the job. You may think it’s only older people who are treated unfairly based on their age, but it’s a problem younger folks face too.
As freelancers, age discrimination is something we we can usually avoid.
A client may want to confirm you’re over 18 and legally able to sign a contract. In certain cases, a client may even want to make sure you’re over 21. But, for the most part, freelance clients don’t need to know how old you are. And you shouldn’t be volunteering that information or dropping unnecessary hints.
Information About Other Clients
It’s out of line for existing or prospective clients to ask you for information about your other clients.
If you submit a resume, it’ll probably name the companies you’ve worked with, give an overview of your role, and it may outline the dates you did that work. Beyond that, there’s little else that needs to be said about your business relationships.
Prospective clients don’t need to know how much you get paid, how often you work for someone else, or how much time you spend on other clients projects. All they need to know is that you can do what they ask. And you should always keep conversations with them on that track.
If you want to pitch a parenting magazine, it may be helpful to note that you have both a toddler and a teenager. And, if you’re applying for a landscape photography publication or an outdoor magazine, definitely mention you’re into hiking and skiing.
But the parenting magazine doesn’t need to know about your outdoor activities, and the outdoor magazine doesn’t need to hear about you’re a full-time mother of two.
A lot of freelancers disclose personal information about kids, relationship, pets, hobbies, etc. You’re writing a query or a cover letter, not a dating profile.
Rambling on about irrelevant personal details looks inexperienced and unprofessional. It’s also a waste of time, which is an excellent way to get ignored and rejected.
When clients ask you to “share a little bit about yourself,” they mean things related to the position, things that may make you a more appealing pick than the next person. When you talk to clients about yourself, keep it relevant.