As writers, we focus the majority of our time, attention, and efforts on our craft. However, being great at what you do still won’t help you communicate and work with clients. Winning over and maintaining a relationship with your customers will require much more than excellent freelance writing.
What was that you said? Do you mean that writing great content won’t set us up for freelance success?
Although that may be a hard pill for some of us to swallow, it is an unwavering fact. Freelance success requires more than being an expert on a topic or being great at crafting a storyline.
If you are like most freelancers, you are working in a field you love. The problem with this (one of the few), is that we can forget that this is still a job, a profession, a career. Like any job we held before we embarked on a freelance career, there was more to the business than just our role within those companies.
Now that more is in large part up to us.
There is More to Freelance Writing Than Just Your Job
Too many people too often jump into freelance careers with the wrong impression. Many hopeful freelancers believe that if they are great at what they do, then they will succeed. This may not seem like a far-reaching idea at first. A more thorough look at what it takes to be successful, however, reveals something else.
You may very well be the most talented content writer on the planet. Your skills may surpass all other writers. But without customers, none of that matters.
Yes, that means what you think it does. A few good blog posts for a customer will not result in having clients pounding at your door begging for more. What that means for you is that you must go out and find them.
Does any of this sound anything like your job as a freelancer? But please note: finding customers isn’t enough. After you find them, you must win them. Many writers, for example, use online platforms (like nDash) to showcase their profiles.
Now you may be thinking that now that we’ve acquired these customers, we can relax and really focus on our passion, our love, and our work, right? Not exactly. But here is where your amazing talent and skills will begin to shine.
Being great at what you do will definitely go a long way in making your customers happy. More importantly, it will help you keep them. Once again, don’t expect clients you’ve worked for a few times to come beating down your door. They won’t. Maintaining a relationship involves time, effort, and communication. These are the same principles you will need to apply when working with your clients.
These could be pitching simple article suggestions, or it could be an occasional note to your client about upcoming work or the timing of their next marketing campaign.
Do your best work, keep open lines of communication, and don’t be afraid to occasionally take the initiative.
Be Good. Really Good.
When we think of a career as a freelancer, the lure of freedom and the joy of doing what we love is big. The good news is that this is still true. But the news we need to heed carefully involves making that freelancing dream a reality.
It does start with being good at what you do, really good. In fact, the better you are at your craft, the more likely you are to succeed. That success, however, will only come if we remember our discussion at the onset. This is your career, and it’s a business. That means finding, winning, and keeping customers. That means handling our business well, from taxes and time management to customer relationships.
Be good, very good at what you do. It is quite likely that you already have a lot of expertise or experience in your writing niche. So now is the perfect time to get good at the business side and be very good at learning how to work with your clients. Being good at what you do is only one-half of winning clients as a freelancer.
Editor’s Note: This post was written by nDash community member Everett Calvert. Holding a degree in computer science, Everett Calvert does a lot of technical writing, including content for handbooks and instruction manuals. To learn more about Everett – or to have him write content for your brand – check out his nDash writer profile.