Thinking about handling all the important project responsibilities can feel stressful even for many experienced project managers. To put it briefly, managing several projects is not for the faint-hearted. It requires strong focus, multitasking skills and the capacity to adapt to unexpected changes at the very last minute. Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of a client meeting knows the amount of effort that goes into taking a brief and turning it into a finished product.
Whether you are a freelance marketer, web designer, or copywriter, you’ll need to master the art of client management as the number of your projects grows. Time management skills, the right web tools, and careful planning are essential for efficient project management. You can train yourself to develop all of these abilities needed to manage client projects in a successful way.
In today’s article, we will discuss successful techniques to keep calm while managing multiple client projects.
5 challenges of managing multiple client projects
It can be difficult to juggle several projects at once. Keeping track of the typical roadblocks will help you figure out what needs to be done to keep things running smoothly throughout the project.
1. Scope creep
In an ideal scenario, a freelance designer can successfully plan ahead and forecast the work required to reach the project’s milestones. But even if the designer has years of professional experience, the working environment tends to be always open to change. Client-driven change is the norm rather than the exception when it comes to projects. The requested scope of work changes significantly from the original project plan. And it can lower your productivity and delay the project’s completion.
In order to manage these types of situations, you’ll need to be adaptable and proactive from the get-go. Given how regular scope creep is, it’s reasonable to factor in some extra time for balancing potential effects on deliverables, task dependencies, cost and resources.
2. Unrealistic client expectations
Freelancers who handle multiple projects at once need a thorough understanding of customer expectations and contractual responsibilities on both sides. That way, anytime a client makes an unreasonable request, they can be up-forward about the associated costs. Transparency and data-driven decisions are key when engaging with customers. Make sure you have the data you need to negotiate with clients and explain how their requirements can change the scope of the project.
3. Poor communication
Managing multiple projects at once can be disruptive to project dynamics. In order to prevent issues, designers must have a crystal-clear mental picture of how things are progressing. With the development of remote work, it is more crucial than ever to have an effective method of communicating with clients to maintain a productive cooperation strategy.
Problems with productivity can arise from ineffective communication in a number of ways. And all these issues can be easily solved with Lynxi. Lynxi was created to solve any kind of communication gap and help you gather the content you need and move your projects forward. As a freelance professional, this is a unique opportunity for you to gather, create and manage your clients’ content – all in one place, resulting in a successful collaboration.
4. Task prioritization
Prioritizing your work allows you to take a more proactive approach instead of a reactive one. It’s not uncommon to have several urgent requests at once, while also watching your to-do list expand. The order in which you complete your tasks will depend on factors such as their importance, urgency, duration, and cost.
When planning your day, give first consideration to the activities that will have the greatest impact and are directly related to your ultimate goals. That is, focus on the most important and time-sensitive jobs first before moving on to the less urgent ones. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, break down the task at hand into smaller, more manageable subtasks. Additionally, you should complete difficult tasks first thing in the morning.
Working as a freelancer on numerous projects at once can be very stressful. They have to manage time, resources and costs in addition to responding to customers and maintaining a smooth workflow throughout the project.
It may become too much to handle, and if that happens, you risk burnout. The stress of always having to complete work on time might be difficult. An efficient solution to these issues is to start keeping track of time. With time tracking you can create an efficient tasks management process in a quick and easy way.
How to manage multiple client projects?
Taking on too many projects at once might cause stress and lower the quality of your job. Keeping track of numerous projects at once requires mental strength, multitasking skills and the flexibility to adapt to unexpected changes.
Before you can concentrate on getting better clients and building a substantial revenue flow, you’ll need to understand how to manage several clients at once as your portfolio grows. However, with the help of the following 7 guidelines, you will serve your customers in a successful and efficient way.
1. Start using calendar
Make a schedule for yourself so that you can plan your time effectively. Make sure everything is in sync on all of your gadgets so you can view this data anywhere. Good for you if you’re the kind to check your schedule first thing in the morning. If you need some help shifting gears, set alarms to go off 15 minutes before each meeting. It’s also a good practice to examine your past meeting notes before each appointment with a client. That way, you may go into the following meeting with a clear idea of what you want to cover and achieve.
2. Set realistic expectations
Right from the start of the project (preferably before you sign a client contract), it is always a good idea to communicate with clients about how you plan to accommodate them — and provide as detailed information as possible. Communicate the time frame – when you will be available to communicate about the project issues and details and what time of the day is the best for them to call.
If you don’t work on weekends, say so. If you don’t plan to work after 6 p.m., tell them about your working schedule. Even when it comes to emails and messages, make sure to let them know the times you will be able to check your messages.
Additionally, picking a flexible deadline could add a few extra time to your overall project timeline. Discussing and explaining potential issues that could arise throughout the project lessens the negative impact for clients should these setbacks actually occur.
Successful freelance professionals who manage to juggle multiple projects have mastered the skill of task prioritizing. To get the most out of your time and effort, prioritize the things that matter most over the things that are most convenient. Make a daily list that comprises the top five priorities you want to achieve for all your projects on that day. Your list may include project deadlines, new tasks, ensuring timely deliverables and much more.
4. Set clear boundaries with your client
When onboarding a new client, it’s very important that your clients have a clear understanding of how you work. This includes communicating information to them such as:
- When you are available to work on the project tasks, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
- Informing your clients clearly about how they can reach you for routine workflow demands.
- It’s also important to let your clients know how they may reach you in an emergency (for instance, my clients often email jobs through, but if it’s urgent, they will always text or phone).
Learn more about setting clear boundaries with your client in our recent article here.
5. Track your progress and update clients regularly
Tracking your progress will help you streamline your processes and realign your timelines. In addition, it could inspire you to up your productivity throughout the project. Use a to-do list or an app that keeps track of your productivity levels to monitor your development.
Along with your progress tracking, try to update the clients with significant news as well, as they really hate being left in the dark. Clients always seek and expect direct communication with you and having regular contact with them will help you develop, maintain and foster a good client relationship.
Do not forget to provide all the important details like a changed project timeline and an updated budget. Let your clients know, for instance, if you’re struggling to keep up with their demands or if the circumstance prevents you from meeting your regular high standards.
6. Don’t be afraid to say no
None of us have superpowers. Not every request from every client can be fulfilled. And that’s OK!
When a customer wants something that you wouldn’t normally recommend, what do you do? Tell them you’re sticking to your advice and explain why you arranged the campaign the way you did and what they’ll miss out on as a result. When anything is asked that is outside the scope of your original plan, you can always point back to it.
Consider the following: Saying “no” and upsetting a single client is preferable to saying “yes” and upsetting multiple clients due to a significant drop in quality.
7. Expect the unexpected
Although you can always try to minimize distractions, they’re still inevitable. So get ready for them. Allow time in your schedule for the unexpected. Make room in your agenda for the unplanned. Be careful not to overbook yourself; you’ll need at least 20% of your available time for unplanned tasks.
You should think about blocking out time in your schedule every day to aid your clients with urgent issues so that they know when to reach out to you. Help them understand what needs your urgent attention and what can wait – as well as the best methods to communicate with you.
4 tools to help manage client projects better
When you have the right tools, it’s much easier to manage numerous projects simultaneously. Here are the 4 tools for managing multiple projects that we highly recommend:
1. To-do list tools
Tools like to-do lists are great for keeping everyone on the same page and setting correct priorities.
2. Workflow tools
In order to keep track of tasks as you and your team progress through various phases of many projects, workflow tools are an absolute necessity. At a glance, you can understand where things stand and what steps are next along with their associated due dates.
3. Communication tools
Earlier, we said that communication tools are more than just a way to get people on the same team talking to one another. They make it easy to share content, ideas, updates, and feedback, they improve morale and they ultimately ensure that everyone stays on the same page on multiple projects.
Lynxi is a content marketing and AI writing assistant platform that will help you manage all your client content in one place. If you’re looking for a better way to collaborate with your clients, join Lynxi and start dealing with your client communication challenges in the most efficient way.
4. Time tracking tools
It’s considerably more challenging to juggle multiple tasks or projects when we’re already behind on one. Tracking tools increase productivity and efficiency, improve transparency and show you how long and how much it costs to complete specific tasks and projects. This alone can improve the way you manage projects.
Manage multiple clients effectively
Without the proper tools, strategies, and controls in place, managing many projects can quickly devolve into chaos. If you’re ready to take on the challenge of managing multiple projects, we hope the tips above will get you started on the right foot.
Hundreds of web designers, copywriters and marketers already use Lynxi to master multi-project management and efficient client communications. It provides a single place to collect, create and manage all your clients’ content in one place.
And with powerful AI tools, Lynxi makes it easy to deliver multiple projects on time, on schedule, and on budget.
Start using Lynxi today and unleash the full potential of your career.