Sharpen Your Listening Skills for Freelance Success

When you work as a freelance writer, the actual writing is only part of what you do. Yes, you provide writing services, but I would argue that being a good listener is at least as important in this line of work as your ability to put words together effectively.

When you are making contact with a potential client (whether you are responding to an ad or approaching them yourself), you want to impress upon that person that you understand their business and what they are trying to accomplish. The job you are talking about may be writing some SEO articles, but the articles are more than just using some keywords a certain number of times. This is a strategy that the site owner is using to drive traffic to promote their product or service. You may have written hundreds of SEO articles before, and while it may be tempting to treat this as just one more writing gig, it isn’t.

If you can establish a relationship with your client and impress upon them the fact that you are interested in their business, you will have a better working relationship and they are more likely to contact you for their writing needs in the future. Look at it from the client’s point of view: wouldn’t you rather work with someone who “gets” what you are trying to accomplish?

When you get to the stage where you are discussing the details of the project, take some time to ask your client who their target market is and how your work will help them to accomplish their goals. These questions help to establish you as more of a team member than someone who is hired to simply do a single assignment. Ask some questions and find out what your client needs as opposed to just what the job entails.

How do you use your listening skills to establish a relationship with a new client?

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