Want to build a professional writing career? It’s easy, when you focus on client service. Treat your clients well, and you’ll be doing them and yourself a favor.
Let’s see how you can improve your client interactions so they’ll be thrilled with the writing you do for them.
1. What’s the Job? Discover What the Client Really Wants
Most of the hassles which writers have with their clients occur when the writer isn’t clear on what the client wants. This means that before you start a writing project, you need to spell out exactly what you believe you need to deliver.
Frequently the client isn’t sure exactly what he wants or needs. When you get the project brief, ask questions. Then rewrite the brief in your own words and outline all of the deliverables. Don’t omit doing this. Ensure that you find out exactly what the client really wants, and then deliver it.
2. Schedule Your Writing: Complete Projects Before the Deadline
As soon as you accept a project, create a personal deadline for yourself which is at least three days before the client’s deadline. Complete the project before this date.
Start the project immediately, or if you can’t do that, do some initial outlining for the project. Working on the project immediately gets you thinking about the project. Then when it’s time to write, you’ll write without procrastinating.
3. Write in Drafts So That Your Client Has Input
Ensure that any project you accept has clearly specified milestones. In a very short project, there’ll only be one milestone — the first draft.
On longer projects, create a milestone for each week. Send the client your drafts as you complete them. This allows the client to have input into the project, so that you know that you’re both on exactly the same page.
4. Be Professional About Invoicing
Your writing is a business, and businesses invoice and get paid, so follow up if payments don’t arrive. Before you start the project, tell the client what your terms of service are, and what the deposit will be.
Make sure you receive the deposit before you begin writing. Invoice at each milestone on longer projects.
Don’t be shy about invoicing. Reward your clients for prompt payment with a small reduction in your fee, or with a coupon which they can use on future projects.
Remind slow-paying clients that the copyright in your work remains with you until you’re paid in full.
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