Another writer I know mentioned that she landed a sweet little gig. The client paid her at or above market rate for a series of five articles that were right up her alley.
Good news, right?
Maybe. Maybe not. We may never know.
What You Don’t Know Might Hurt You (or Your Income)
The client approached her on a referral. They exchanged a few emails about the job before they finalized the arrangements.
And that’s where she may have screwed up.
She didn’t ask enough questions about how the client was planning to actually use the material. She knew that they’re offering a new service, but she didn’t ask them about how they were doing it. She doesn’t know if they had a blogging plan in place. She doesn”t know if the articles were going to be used as top-level site content, backfill or for article marketing or guest posting purposes. She’s not sure if they’re building a list and, if they are, what they’re using as an inducement (if anything). She doesn’t know how aggressively they’re approaching SEO concerns.
You get the idea…
She knew about the project specs. She wrote the articles. The client liked them. The end.
She doesn’t know how much money and work she may have left behind, though.
If you’re asking the right questions, you’re opening doors to additional opportunities.
Those five articles may have turned into ten articles, some additional web content, a better squeeze page, a white paper or special report for list building, a regular blogging gig, assistance in constructing additional content for inbound link creation and who-knows-what-else.
Those questions are business multipliers.
Plus, they have a fantastic upside even if the client really doesn’t need a hand with anything other than the base assignment. When you know the answers to all of those other questions, you have a better idea of how your work will fit into the bigger picture. That allows you to produce the best possible work, which is always a good idea.
Someone approached me about helping with the editing of a business plan. We talk. She didn’t have anyone to write a letter or brochure to go along with the plan to the prospective investors. She didn’t plan to create a web presence to aid in the project.
I asked questions. Now she has a copywriter on board. A great little interactive WordPress-driven website that will feature key information about her project along with some video and plenty of visuals is on its way. She be able to direct people to the site as well as asking them to read through the paper materials. She has a contained social media presence to help her out, too.
That’s good news for me. More importantly, it’s good news for her. Everything I’m offering will undoubtedly help her with this project. I can’t share the details here, but I can tell you that this is a “perfect fit” situation.
That little “help me with this business plan” request has turned into a mutually beneficial working relationship.
What about You?
That’s just an example. You might not be interested in some aspects of projects. You may not do the training and consulting thing. I understand completely. However, I do think everyone can benefit when people actually take the time to discuss the bigger picture and the way its component parts are working instead of having insulated conversations about discrete elements.
So, are you multiplying your business or are you taking it as it comes?
If you’ve had a positive experience after taking an extra step to get a wider understanding of a project, feel free to share it. I have a feeling that a number of people have turned small assignments into big money because they dug a little deeper.
Anita Cooper says
Great post! While reading through it I just had a big “duh” moment…I’m in the planning stages of trying to establish myself as a copywriter for real estate professionals and this really hit the mark for me. I’ve never asked where my articles are going to be used, but this will become a common question for me now when conversing with clients. Thanks for the tip!