Why Overcommunicating is Better

You know one of the biggest problems for people who outsource?

It’s the tendency for freelancers to fall off the face of the earth in the middle of the project where one day, without notice, they just stop replying to messages.

While there are legitimate reasons behind this, the one thing we’ve learned both as a team that hires online workers and does online work ourselves is that it’s always best to overcommunicate.

By overcommunicate, we mean that you give a regular status update on what you are doing, ask smart questions when needed and generally be “online” for your clients, or in the case of 199Jobs, your buyers.

If you think about it, the alternative hurts less actually.

If you talk to your client less often, they don’t know what’s happening with their project which makes them think badly about you even if they shouldn’t. If you send too many messages, they can just skip over it or skim it, no harm no foul.

Also, overcommunicating has a few fringe benefits:

1. You get status updates from buyers. They tell you about how their own side of the project is going, so you’re less likely to be surprised when something new interrupts your work like a change in priorities.

2. You come off as easy to work with. The easier you are to reach, the easier it is for buyers to create a connection with you.

3. You’re the top of mind when new projects come up. Think about it, who would you rather hire: the guy who is amazing but never replies to emails or the guy who is good but always can make time for you?

4. Your name gets passed around. We always refer sellers here who are easy to talk to when buyers ask us about who to hire. We want to make a good impression so we only send them to sellers who we know will reply to them.

We hope we convinced you that sending more messages is less an issue than sending few or worse, none at all. The extra time on the keyboard is worth it, trust us.

PS: Of course, be smart and only message if it’s needed or you’ll be branded as a big nag. There’s overcommunicating and there’s over-overcommunicating.

Photo credit: rinux

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