If you don’t apply for the gig exactly the way your freelance writing client wants it you won’t get the job.
If you don’t produce the assignment the way your freelance writing client expects it they won’t hire you again and you may not get paid.
In fact, if you do anything unexpected it probably won’t work.
Here’s what I mean:
A-typical file types will get you ignored
Sending a .pdf when a client is expecting a Word doc or docx will get you ignored in the application process and if you’re hired will infuriate the client because they don’t know how to edit it.
Assuming the client knows how Google Docs or Google Sheets is likely to get you into trouble if they aren’t comfortable with it, and most aren’t yet. Insisting they pay you via PayPal when they want to do a wire transfer will almost certainly delay your pay, and may not get you hired again.
This was brought to my attention when a writing coaching client send me her resume and I couldn’t open it. She explained she was using Linux on her computer rather than Widows, and an Open Office rather than Word. Which is no problem as long as the document can be saved as a .doc or .docx file.
Another reader argued with me that client’s should be willing to use Google docs and Google sheets because it’s possible to allow the client to edit on screen. While I like Google docs mostly, and I have suggested it to clients, I would never insist. It’s not up to the client to use the software I prefer, it’s up to me to use what they prefer.
Focus on the freelance writing client
I’ve said it before – demonstrate you can solve the freelance writing client’s problem and you’ll have a client for life. When answering an ad, they don’t care about you EXCEPT in relationship to their problem. As a freelance writer working with clients you’re in the service business.
A simple example: Imagine an ad that asks for an experienced copy writer. Initial sentence do you think is most likely to grab their attention:
I’ve been writing content for over 10 years.
Successful copywriting has been a specialty of mine for more than a decade.
Yeah, it’s obvious when you see them compared this way. The trick, of course, is to remember this sort of approach when you’re answering an ad.
In fact, the real goal of responding to the ad is to get the interview. We’ll talk more about interviews soon.
Write well and often,