I like to have some background noise when I’m working, and I often have the television on during the day. It’s interesting where ideas for blog posts come from sometimes: I started watching an episode of D.C. Cupcakes, a reality show about two sisters who run Georgetown Cupcake.
To be honest, I wasn’t paying a lot of attention at first, but when the ladies became involved in hiring new staff, the show became a lot more interesting to me. I’m always curious about the hiring process from an employer/client’s point of view, whether it turns into something I can blog about or not.
Good Brand Fit
I listened as the two women were discussing what kind of employee they were looking for. One was talking about the brand and how the person that gets the job should fit in with the image the company is trying to project. In this case, the image is one of a person who can be a human “cupcake” – cute, sweet, bubbly, etc. At that moment, I put aside any thoughts I may have had about working in a cupcake shop if this whole freelance writing thing tanks – I am friendly and all, but don’t have the fembot/perky vibe about me when I’m talking to people.
Responsible and Reliable
The other woman was very clear that the company should be focusing its attention on finding someone who will be responsible and reliable, as opposed to a person who fits in with the company “brand.”
I added my two cents worth by saying, “Why don’t you look for someone who has both qualities?” Unfortunately, when you talk to people who are on TV, they don’t listen. So I thought I would ponder this a bit and turn it into a blog post.
My Take on the Matter
When you are applying for freelance, the client wants to see if your writing voice will fit in with the client’s brand. Everyone you write for has a goal and a target market they are trying to reach. The work that you produce needs to speak to that market and help the client reach their goals. You can be a wonderful writer, but if you don’t have the right voice for the gig, the client is going to hire someone else.
The other part of the equation is reliability. Showing up and doing the work as agreed cannot possibly be underestimated. When a client gives you an assignment, they are trusting that you will complete on or before the due date and that if you have questions/concerns/need clarification, you will ask for it. I would even go so far as to say that being reliable is the more important part of the getting hired equation.
After you have been working for a while, you can adjust your writing voice to fit the client’s needs, but you can’t flake out on stuff and expect people to keep hiring you. If you can combine a flexible voice and a good work ethic, you can have your (cup)cake eat it too!