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Why You Need to Educate Your Freelance Writing Client

Educate Your Freelance Writing ClientPart of your job is to educate your freelance writing client. It goes with the territory for several reasons, including:

  • Most people have no real idea of how we writers get words on the page.
  • It’s amazing how few of them have any real understanding of how to make the internet work for them and their business.
  • Sometimes they don’t understand what they want to accomplish by hiring a writer.

Let’s look at these issues one-by-one.

Educate your freelance writing client about how you work

One truth about the way writers work is that it varies tremendously. Some write quickly, some slowly. Some are morning people, others work best after the sun goes down. Some like to outline a project while others are content with simple lists. There are even some who like to hand write their drafts.

Whatever your method one way to understand it is you’re being creative on demand. Knowing what works best for you will help you set the stage with your client so they get what they need and you get to perform in the way that suits you best.

I tell my clients quickly that my most creative time is early morning… as early as 5 or 6 am. One result is I don’t want phone calls before 11 unless by appointment. I also explain I won’t do much, if any writing after 4 pm. If they expect me to work weekends as a regular thing, I turn them down.

I find the clearer I am on how I work, the more likely the client will go along – but how would they know unless I told them?

Educate your freelance writing client about the ‘net

Those of us who spend a lot of time on the internet, and most writers do, tend to forget it’s still a new phenomena. Many of our clients have little or no understanding of Search Engine Optimization or the customs and law about email blasts. Blogging and how it works, from software to finding readers, is still a mystery to many. The same thing is true of social media.

Since you will often be asked to write in these arenas it’s likely you’ll have to do some informal teaching to help them come up to speed, particularly about expectations.  While it makes sense to ask them what they expect from a particular piece of writing you’re doing for them, it also makes sense for you to explain that what they are proposing is, or should be, part of a marketing plan. Don’t hold back what you know – be willing to share it with your clients. The corollary is don’t pretend to understand something you don’t. Be up front – you can always research it for them and for yourself.

Help your writing client understand why each piece of writing needs a goal

It may seem obvious to us, but more than a few people who hire writers have no clear idea of what the writing they want done should accomplish. They are vague on what they want to happen.

You can help them by asking good, direct questions about their goals in hiring you. If they don’t know, help them figure it out. You’ll probably end up with a client for life and find the writing goes more quickly and easily.

What do you think? Does this make sense to you?


{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Thanks for the unique and informative post share to me. Here many things I have learned and enjoyed reading it too

  • Ken

    A very interesting post. I am usually the client not the writer and I see things from the other side of the equation as we hire writers on a very regular basis.

    We would love to develop a relationship with a writer and have them stay with us long term but most writers we have dealt with over the years aren’t interested in writing on one topic or niche long term. They want variety.

    What ends up happening is that the writer only has a superficial understanding of the niche and is not interested in becoming more educated in that area since they “won’t be writing on this topic regularly”.

    Frustrating on both sides of the equation.
    Ken recently posted..DIY SEO Courses ReviewMy Profile

    • Ken, not all writers want variety… I’ve been happy to write several years on a topic… could it be your approach and maybe pay is off a bit? I like consistent work, and I know I’m not alone.

  • Mark

    Hi Anne,

    First, sorry for my long absence. I have had some ongoing health issues. I am very sick and have been diagnosed with a number of mental disorders, namely anxiety disorder and depression (both of which run in my family), along with bipolr disorder and Parkinson’s Disease.This list is not exclusive. I read as my time and health allow.

    As for this article, very well done. I have had to explain conditions to many clients as well, with some mixed responses. many appreciate the clarifications and are willing to go along. However, some turn away. These latter clients point out that, since they are paying, they call the shots and turn away because I charge too much. Apparently, business clients assume they should get something for nothing and that they shouldn’t have to pay alot for content, regardless of whether or not I have expenses of my own; they have no concern over than that. If they cannot save money they do not wish to pay, they go elsewhere. How do you handle this latter group, if there IS a way to handle them without losing their business? I don’t want to relinquish control, but I don’t want to lose clients, either.

    Thanks, dear, and keep up the great work.

    • Mark, if someone refuses to work with you for whatever reason, let them go. Move on to the next client. And remember to ask for referrals from the clients that are willing to work with you and your circumstances. Make sense? Sending you well being beams as it were.

  • You are absolutely right on. Everything you shared in this blog is what I have experienced with my freelance writing clients. I appreciated having this confirmation!

  • Very nice post. A big thank for posting this article on this website and keep posting in future also.

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