Being Friendly, Not Being Friends

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Hey there — It’s Temidayo.

I think one of the most important dynamics we have to navigate as freelancers is how we build relationships with clients.

And I’m here to remind you today – there’s a crucial difference between being friendly and actually being friends.

Let me explain…

✱ – Being Friendly, Not Being Friends

Too many times, I see freelancers blur this line in ways that can bring them bad business and prevent them from commanding the premium rates they deserve.

Don’t get me wrong, being a likable person who clients enjoy working with is really good for any freelancer.

You want to build a friendly rapport that makes clients feel comfortable opening up and trusting you with their shit?

No problem!

The problems start when you take clients liking you as an opportunity to become friends with them.

When you start treating your business relationships like they’re just casual hangouts with your friends, that’s when you open yourself up to:

  • Not being taken seriously as a professional
  • Feeling hesitant to have tough conversations (like your raising rates)
  • Letting crossed boundaries slide
  • Struggling to dump a “friend” who becomes a problematic client

At the end of the day, you come to realize that your clients aren’t your friends – they’re the ones paying you in exchange for premium service.

There has to be a layer of formality and separation there, even if you vibe really well personally.

I’m not saying you can’t have fun conversations while working together. But there’s a line you should be conscious of never crossing into full-blown friendship mode.

Once you’re able to start and maintain that clear boundary, you position yourself as a true professional worthy of premium prices.

You’ll still be likable, sure. But more importantly, you’ll be able to manage your client relationships and expectations.

Alright, that’s my two cents this week!


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