Freelancing 101: Don't Send That Email! Pick Up the Phone Instead

Introduction


Coding

Formatting Your Code
Why style matters

Universal Programmers Toolkit
Care and feeding of your code collection

Effective Proactive Debugging Techniques
It's all about the tools

Good Programming Practices
What to do (or not)

Banning Bad Bots
A short but effective script


Management

The Joy of Specs
How to (almost) guarantee a successful project

Habits of Successful Freelancers
Advice for success

How to Become a Great Programmer
One easy lesson!

Bidding on a Stranger's Project
The basics

Freelancing 101 - Don't Send That Email!
Pick up the phone instead

Ensuring Your Web Site Project Succeeds
Advice for clients


Photography

How to Take Great Photos (And Fix Lousy Ones), Part 1
Composing and shooting your photos

How to Take Great Photos (And Fix Lousy Ones), Part 2
Editing and postproduction

Freelancing 101: Don't Send That Email! Pick Up the Phone Instead

Introduction

Over the years I've seen people increasingly favor email, IM and texting over the phone and face-to-face meetings. Don't get me wrong, I think text-based communications are great, but an over-reliance on them can lead to miscommunication.

 

Here's a specific example that just happened to me:

 

A couple of months ago I met with a client to discuss changes to their web site. I never heard back from them, so last week I sent them an email. A week went by with no response. Now, I could have assumed the email simply got lost in the shuffle and just emailed them again, but instead I decided to give them a ring. It turns out the person I had been emailing was no longer with the company, something I wouldn't have ever found out if I had relied on email.

 

Here are some situations in which you might consider picking up the phone instead of sending an email:

 

 

 

 

 

 

All this applies to clients who are working with a programmer: the more important it is to ensure your programmer gets the message, the more you should be relying on voice communication.

Conclusion

Much as we might envision a frictionless society in which thoughts and ideas flow effortlessly through electronic channels, the inescapable "human factor" was, is, and always will be an important part of doing business. The less familiar a client is with you, the more important it is to either pick up the phone or meet with them in person.

 

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Last modified: Wed 09 January 2008 17:29:53