Client communication: It’s one of the most important facets of your freelance writing career.
It can be what impresses your customers and keeps them coming back for more, or it can be what leaves them stiffing you for payment even after you deliver your content.
You’d think, as writers, good communication would come naturally to us.
But while, sure, we might have a knack for the written word, we aren’t always the best at conveying our messages to our colleagues, clients and bosses – and that can come back to bite us in the end.
Fortunately, I’ve been at this a long time, and I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t when communicating with freelance writing clients.
Do you want to impress your customers and keep them coming back time and time again? Just keep these three things in mind:
1. Communicating With Freelance Writing Clients Reflects on Your Skills
If you’re selling yourself as a professional writer, your written communique better be professional, too.
If you send off a haphazard email full of grammatical errors and typos, customers will think that’s what your copy looks like. Sure, it may not be true (in fact, it’s probably not!), but remember, first impressions are everything. And yours should be A-plus!
If you want clients to think you’re a good writer, show off top-tier writing skills from the very beginning.
That means your initial application or pitch should be perfect, and that all communication from there on should be spotless as well. You want customers to finish reading your writing – whether it’s a full ebook or just a simple Gchat message – and think “Gee, he/she is really good at this.”
Keep this in mind with every word you write, and really focus on the quality of your writing, no matter what the venue may be. Clients will notice the attention to detail (or lack thereof) … I promise!
2. The More you Communicate, the Better
Now I know constantly sending emails and status updates isn’t fun – in fact, it’s probably this kind of “rigmarole” that left you hating your last 9-to-5 gig – but I can’t stress enough how important regular, consistent communication is.
Thankfully, since most of our work is done online, this doesn’t take more than a few minutes. Just type up an email, send a Gchat message, or log on to whatever project management platform you use, and send your clients an update.
Do it daily. Or, at the very least, do it every time you complete or make progress on a milestone.
Clients want to know that their money is working for them, so even if it’s not time to turn a project in, keep the lines of communication open.
Don’t let it go days or week without talking to a client – even if you ARE hard at work on their assignments. They need reassurance, and they’ll appreciate not having to hunt you down to get it. Be proactive, and keep them in the loop at every turn. Clients will remember that next time they need a writer.
3. You Need the Right Tools – and be Willing to Use Them
Most clients use freelance writers for their convenience.
They don’t have to interview or hire a permanent employee, they don’t have to deal with taxes or benefits, and they can just send off assignments and get them back within days or even hours. It’s a much simpler and easier arrangement than most professional situations, and it’s this convenience that makes clients more amenable to paying top-dollar rates.
With this in mind, it’s important to make your relationship convenient for them, too.
Don’t make them jump through hoops, calling you and playing phone tag, just to get you started on a new project. Have tools in place that can speed
up the process. Download Skype and sign up for an account. It’s a great way to communicate with clients from across the country or even the world.
Implement a few messaging apps, too. Gchat is a great one, as it allows clients to connect with you instantaneously, using just your Gmail address.
If you use a project management platform, these usually have built-in messaging systems you can use. If you have a client you’re really comfortable with, or you just want to be able to respond quickly to their needs, you may even want to encourage texting. It can be an efficient way to communicate and move things through the pipeline, even when you’re on the go.
Find out which communication methods your client prefers, and go with those. You want them to feel comfortable, and you want the working relationship to be as smooth and easy as possible. (Yes, sometimes that means talking on the phone – even though most of us hate it!)
Nail Your Client Communication
Communicating with freelance clients in an efficient and professional way to both boosting your reputation and your success as a writer.
Communicate as error-free as possible, and be flexible with your client’s needs. Download any tools you need to stay in touch, and keep them in the loop constantly as you work on their assignments. Prove to them their money is hard at work – even when there’s nothing to show for it yet!
Want more tips on communicating with freelance writing clients? Check out some of these past posts:
- 5 Proposal Must-haves
- Insider Strategies to Approaching Clients and Landing Freelance Writing Jobs
- 7 Tips to Communicate with Clients like a Six-figure Writer
- Warning: Don’t Contact Any Freelance Writing Clients without Reading This
- 7 Ways to Keep Your Freelance Writing Clients Coming Back for More
- 5 Mistakes Killing Your Chances of Getting Freelance Writing Clients
Be sure to come back here often for more helpful tips and advice. I’m here to help.