Last Updated on August 19, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
There is the right way and the wrong way to win over clients as a freelance ghostwriter. I have seen many potential word-smiths fail simply because they are unable to provide what a paying customer wants. In reality, it’s not all that difficult to provide a superior service. How you walk onto the battlefield will dictate whether or not you will win the day.
Becoming a Warrior of Success on the Battlefield of Life
Because freelance work of all kinds is incredibly popular today, you can safely assume there is a vast number of competitors in your field. Luckily, not everyone practices the same professionalism. Being an expert and approaching jobs with the right attitude is an enormous advantage.
However, it’s still not a guarantee you’ll stand out among the crowd. What tools should you use to win the day and secure your financial future?
Perform as Your Client Intends
Give your client exactly what he or she is looking for. Even if you don’t think what the client wants is logical, he or she is still paying you for a specific task. Besides, the client may want something done a certain way for specific reasons…reasons you’re probably not aware of.
On the battlefield, your client is essentially the general – the man or woman in charge. While good leaders will always listen to opinions if they are presented well, it’s still the leader’s decision that must be followed. If you cannot, the client will surely find someone else who can.
Follow Your Orders, but Still Offer Opinions
Listen to your client, but offer your opinions about how to optimize the project. If you approach the client respectfully with your suggestions, he or she may go with your input. Or they may not. Either way, you must follow instructions if you want to make money as a freelance writer.
I find clients are more receptive to suggestions if I approach the subject with respect while explaining why my idea is better. List the pros and cons of doing it a specific way and let the client decide. Don’t just do it a certain way and hope for the best.
Show Respect and Honor to Other Writers as Well as Clients
Being respectful to everyone, including the competition, is one of my biggest strengths. It’s one of the primary reasons why clients like using me. I don’t berate other writers or try to make myself look superior to other project members. My strength is apparent in my work ethic.
The thing to take from this is most clients are looking for team players, even if the game is only for two. If there is a weak link in the project, figure out a way to help an individual instead of belittling him or her. Even for a freelancer, leadership skills are an incredible trait to have.
Don’t Try to Trap a Client
One thing that upsets me to no end is the writers who try to trap clients for good reviews or additional money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about getting paid for a job well done. But don’t try to force a client’s hand to get more out of the contract.
You’ll never work for that client again…and it hurts your reputation should the client inform his or her colleagues about your questionable practices. You don’t need to be an extortionist to be successful. If you ever say to a client, “I’ll give you this if you give me a five-star review of my work,” then you’ve already failed.
Treat Every Project As If It Were Ultimately Important
Another reason why clients come to me more often than not is because I treat every job as if it were vastly important. Even 200 word product descriptions get the same quality as a 2000 word blog post. I try to give the highest quality possible regardless of the topic material.
On the freelancer battlefield, demonstrating your superior skill will win over clients. There is no such thing as a job that is too small if someone is willing to pay for your time. After all, those smaller clients will probably send you bulk work or share your name with someone looking for a writer to complete a huge task.
Be Confident, Not Conceited
I’ve seen a lot of freelance writers lose clients because of overconfidence or outright conceit. Confidence is an incredible trait to have, especially when on the battlefield surrounded by other writers. But overconfidence can lead to mistakes, misjudgments and an arrogant attitude no one wants to work with.
Having a good opinion of yourself and your abilities is something a lot of clients look for. In fact, confidence can influence many areas of your life outside of your career. Have faith in yourself and your abilities, but don’t come off as too cocky.
Don’t Underestimate Your Client’s Abilities
Never underestimate your client’s knowledge or abilities. I’ve seen many writers fail miserably as they try to pull one over on someone they think is not literate in the industry. In fact, you may wind up working for someone who has superior skills to your own but simply doesn’t have the time to write.
I have a client now who may not be the best writer, but she’s an excellent editor. She finds mistakes that get past me during my own proofreading. I compliment her on finding the error, I apologize, I fix the mistake and we move on.
Continue to Learn from the Mistakes of Yourself and Others
Speaking of mistakes, learn from any you make. Nothing is truly a failure as long as you learn something from the experience. In any industry, knowledge is power. The more you know, the more attractive you are to clients.
When I first started, I was an average writer who definitely required a bit of fine-tuning. Over the years, I studied my flaws and constantly work to improve. It’s this effort to be better than I am which drives many clients to keep sending me work. It’s a journey of self-improvement that has kept me writing for clients since January of 2012.
Never Assume Your Prowess on the Battlefield is Superior
This goes along the same lines of being conceited and over-confident. No matter how good you think you are, there will always be someone out there who is better. It’s OK to have confidence in your ability, but don’t assume you are the end-all, be-all in your field. In today’s freelancing world, you’re easily expendable.
By demonstrating your skills, adaptability and willingness to learn what the client seeks, you’ll secure your place in the eyes of those who pay well. Don’t worry about being the best there is, but focus on being the best for that particular client. A lot of the time, clients will pay someone who has less skill but is easier to work with.
Build Security in Your Freelance Career
As a freelancer, you’ll be up against mighty writing warriors who have proven themselves on the field of battle. You need to make yourself standout and be memorable for the right reasons. A satisfied client is more likely to send you more work and share his or her experiences with others. Before you know it, you may have an intricate network of clients all looking to pay you well for what you provide.
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