Freelance writers are true client peers and it’s time you recognized that.
It probably isn’t surprising there’s some real confusion when it comes to the idea that freelance writers are true client peers with their clients because so many of our clients are working corporate jobs and have titles, regular salaries, etc.
Writers often don’t realize or forget that they are effectively CEO /CFO /Owner / Manager and much more of their own business. Unlike the person who hires us for corporate writing we have to wear many hats. See what I mean? You really are on an equal footing with your clients.
And when the client is a successful, individual entrepreneur, you’re still on an equal footing because you too are a successful entrepreneur.
You’re hired because you’re an expert
The only reason you’re hired or are being considered for a writing gig is because you’re an expert. Yes, you!
First of all, you’re an expert writer. That doesn’t mean you’re the most experienced, or have a ton of clips in the client’s topic. It means you can put words together in a way that makes sense. You take complex ideas, new notions, random thoughts and turn them into readable, usable, often selling prose.
Take that in. In fact, breathe that in a couple of times or more. Anyone who gets paid to put words on paper can consider themselves an expert, period.
Writers are true client peers, not servants
There’s a whole lot of difference between being a servant or subservient to a client and being of service. Yes, you solve a problem and in that fashion serve the client, but that doesn’t mean they can treat you as if you’re a slave.
It’s up to you to set the boundaries on how you’re treated. You do this by assuming you’re equal to your client, that you’re a peer. If you don’t have the self-worth to feel that at least fake it until you do. Asking intelligent questions about the project, pushing back appropriately when you think they’re headed in a wrong direction are all part of being the true professional you are, or can be.
Fear of losing a paycheck
When you’re depending on a client for a paycheck it can sometimes seem as if they truly are in a superior position and if you’re overly dependent on that particular payment they are at least in a way. When you’ve got more than one client you have more than one paycheck. Add some savings and you’ll find clients are much easier to deal with because you’re feeling strong. When your self-worth is clear, the paycheck takes on a different significance and you’ll stand firmly in your place as a true client peer.
Do you recognize you’re truly a peer with your clients? If not, how are you going to change that?
Write well and often,