When you are applying for available freelance writing jobs or make a pitch to a prospective client, there are some things they are wondering about but won’t ask. Consider the following the next time you are communicating with someone new about your writing services:
1. “Are you reliable?”
While freelancers may complain about clients who simply disappear, they aren’t the only ones who behave that way. A client wants to find someone who will show up and do the work they have been asked to do.
2. “Is your everyday work as good as your samples?”
We pick and choose the work that we provide to prospective clients as samples very carefully. It’s only natural to want to find what we consider to be our best work to present with our cover letter and resume. The client who reads them may be wondering if we can produce that level of quality on a regular basis.
3. “Will you be difficult to work with?”
No matter how stellar your samples are, if you give off the impression that you are going to be, um, challenging to work with, then the client may well take a pass.
4. “Can you follow instructions precisely?”
When clients tell you how they want to you to write something for them, it’s not a suggestion. They want what they want, and we get paid to give it to them. Failing to do so means that the work may get sent back for revisions or even reassigned. When that happens, it throws the project off schedule for the client.
5. “Can I afford to hire you?”
The final decision about whether to hire you may come down to whether your rates fit into the client’s budget. If you are asking for a higher rate than the client had in mind, be prepared to show how hiring you will bring value to the project.
You may want to anticipate these 5 questions that clients won’t ask you and address them in your cover letter as best you can. Tell the client about how reliable you are and how you strive to meet your clients’ needs for every project you take on. When the time comes to negotiate rates, give yourself some wiggle room so that you can make a counteroffer if that seems appropriate.
How would you deal with these issues with a prospective client?
Jonathan Cohen says
Heh. As to items #1 and #3, I recently put an ad on Craigslist advertising myself as a “Non-flaky, drama-free writer who gets the job done.”
Response was surprisingly good.