Article by Wendy McCance
I truly believe in karma. What you put out into the world is what you get back. I especially believe that karma exists when it comes to business relationships. I remember back in the beginning of my career being so anxious to get any assignment that I would shrug off the warning signs when there was interest from a prospect that just wasn’t a good fit for me. I didn’t put a lot of thought into the personality of the person I would be working with because my feeling was a job is a job and I had no business being picky. I was just grateful to be working on yet another project.
Times have changed. I have learned a lot since the early days of my career and I know what I want when it comes to the relationship I have with a client.
A big part of my ability to be choosy is related to how I present myself to the client. I handle myself in a manner in which I would like a client to treat me. I have seen how relationships will develop quickly when they are good and fade away when a client isn’t making social media or hiring a freelance writer a priority. I feel very fortunate, I have incredible clients. It’s a wonderful feeling to look forward to talking with and be able to trust the people you are working with.
Below is a list of the things I do that has made my career a successful one.
1. Communication is everything.
When I receive an email or a missed phone call, I reply right away. I have to admit I seem to always be in reach of my computer because I am a bit of a workaholic, but even so, I want my clients to get an answer as quickly as possible. My goal is to create a superior experience and a long-lasting client relationship. Achieving those goals begins with dependability and strong communication.
2. I over prepare.
When I am meeting with a client for the first time, I have already checked out their website, social media platforms, done a search on the individual I am meeting with and the company they work for. I already know know where they could use help and have notes written done with solutions.
3. I share a lot of details up front.
I know many writers who are uncomfortable sharing their prices or giving too much advice in advance. They are afraid that the client will use the info and shop around. If I was the one hiring a writer, I would want as much information as possible up front too. It’s the best way to gain trust when you don’t know someone. Honestly, it takes little time to put some ideas on paper about how I can improve web content or a social media platform. This way, the client knows what I can contribute and they know quickly if we are on the same page. As far as clients taking the info and running, I’d rather have that happen than get more involved with them. They aren’t the type of client relationships I am looking for, and good luck getting paid.
4. I value my time and respect my business.
I know there are potential clients out there who will ask for an article to be written before they consider working with you. I won’t do it. It’s like asking a cleaning company to come out and clean your home before you decide if you should hire them. I have clips of my work and can usually find an article that is similar in nature to the type of writing a company is looking for. A potential client can look over my resume, check out my website and look at my social media platforms too. There is no need to do a “test” article. The clients I retain are exactly the type of clients I want to be working for.
5. I put short deadlines on my work.
If I didn’t give myself a short deadline, I would procrastinate. When I ask a client how long before something is due, if they give me longer than a week, I shorten it. I’ll tell them that I will have an article completed and emailed to them on Friday (for example) even though it isn’t due until the following Wednesday. I mention the shorter deadline to the client just to hold myself accountable. My work is never late and unless I have an overloaded week, it’s generally a few days earlier than expected.
6. I try to answer the questions before they are asked.
I think about all angles of the work I will be doing with a client and give as much detail as possible. I want to fill in every question a client may have before it is asked. What’s nice is that I have done my job long enough that I am very familiar with what types of questions prospects will have. I want my clients to feel assured that I have thought of everything and have solutions in place.
The reason I am bringing all of this up is because there are a lot of writers just getting started who could use as much information as they can get their hands on. When I began my career, there was a lot of guessing associated with the best methods to use to handle each part of my business. I would ask myself how I wanted to present my business, how I would like other people to view the job I do and most importantly, I wanted clients to feel well taken care of. My goal is to create as little doubt, confusion and misunderstandings as possible. I want a strong client relationship where their is no doubt that I care about their business and that my goal is to make their company shine.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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