Clients are a feared group of people who freelancers depend heavily upon to ensure that they still have a career in freelancing. Some of them are very easy to work with; they say what they mean and mean what they say, and they never pay late. Others, however, make you wonder what it was that convinced you to give up your day job to go freelancing in the first place. But if you think that only clients are hard to work with, then you probably haven’t been in business long enough.
Freelancers have their share of peculiarities that, at times, drive clients up the wall. If you’re serious about succeeding in your chosen career path, it’s important to know if what you’re doing is actually helping you in your career, or causing you to lose clients.
Now let’s take a look at the ways clients lose faith in your services.
Overlooking Your Readers’ Needs
So what makes a great piece of writing? Well, that’s a tough one, and an extremely subjective way to view writing. But how can you tell what’s good and what’s not? The answer is simple: if a client likes it, then it’s good!
But what happens if you have more than one client to handle? What happens when you write for a blog who has readers from all walks of life, designers, developers, writers and readers, young talents, seasoned experts? Perhaps it will help you get some context into the purpose of your writing, particularly the difference between a blogger and a writer.
A blogger usually maintains a blog site with thoughts, opinions, and interests; and if the readers are fortunate, what’s written is what they’re looking for and what they want to read. However, if you look at this from the other side of the mirror, you’ll see that a much-visited blog or site publishes with the readers’ best interest in mind.
There’s no clear, single answer on what readers like to read because every blog has its own group of readers who, by themselves, are already fickle-minded enough to love and hate what you write at the same time.
In spite of this, don’t assume that what you’re interested in is automatically what your readers want, as well. Observe your readers and write to keep them coming back for more. Give them a reason for wanting to read what you write. If you’re lucky, you may one day discover the secret formula that makes your writing engaging.
Giving Away Secrets of the Trade
Never tell how much work you’ve put in before your clients have looked at your output. In terms of writing, the piece itself will reveal the amount of effort or experience you’ve put in. So when what the piece is telling your client and what you told your client don’t add up, something’s got to give.
Given the fact that what constitutes as ‘hard work’ to you doesn’t necessarily mean the client views it the same way you do, suggests that sometimes, it’s better to just not share your trade secrets so easily. Remember that giving away too much information can be detrimental to your clients’ impression of your work, which in turn may compromise their view of your performance and your end-results. It’s better to just focus on honing your skills and letting your craft do the talking.
Underpricing Your Client and Yourself
Of course, a lot of freelancers know that content is king, but you shouldn’t, in any case, hold it for a king’s ransom.
A lot of writers assume that they should write an article based on how much they’re paid for it. If they’re paid less, they write below their standards. If they’re paid more, well, that’s a rarity, if at all.
Fact is, however, that you’re not going to get rich with only one article, and if you apply this “write as you are paid” rule in your writing, you’re never going to break out of that vicious cycle of submitting substandard work. What you need to do with your resources is to build your client’s trust in the services you offer. This doubles as an investment in your portfolio for future work.
Put in 100% into every aspect of your writing and make your readers crave for more. Clients love formulas that work and they always want to keep the people who can make things happen continue working for them. Nothing beats the feeling of having several clients fighting over whose project gets your attention first.
Submitting Poor-Quality Work
Writing is a form of art, mostly because it’s definitely not science. The only way two people can submit the exact same essay, bearing the same points or choices of words during a test, would be because one of them had no creativity and had to resort to copying to pass.
As with any form of art, it takes a drop of talent and a lot of practice to become good at writing. In fact, there’s one small but very important detail that can help you deliver good articles, and that’s pure hard work.
Comprehensive research, cross-referenced materials, and multiple revisions are just some of the characteristics of a piece that, once published, will leave readers in no doubt that the writer has really done his share of homework.
Resorting to Plagiarism
Writing high-quality articles can definitely put a lot of pressure to freelancers to push their writing skills to the extreme. In fact, some individuals may resort to plagiarism.
First and foremost, if you want to generate income from freelance writing, you should take pride in what you write. Next, if you can’t be bothered to paraphrase or cite your sources or write something original, then perhaps it’s best for you to ‘retire’ gracefully.
There’s a thin line that separates flattery and forgery, but if you can’t prevent it, at least be someone whose work was plagiarized; don’t be the one accused of this heinous act.
But ideas get stolen all the time! What’s the big deal? Well, the Internet is quite a huge place. Coincidences happen or sometimes, deliberate idea theft can happen, protected thinly by a different language, but all it takes is for one plagiarized article to smear a client’s respect or opinion of your work. At times, the damage can even go further than you realize, and it could get your client in trouble, as well. When that happens, everyone’s going to scrutinize your works, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Bottom line is, don’t write if you think the only way you can go far is on borrowed talent.