Hi again! Welcome to part 2 of “How to be a Freelancer Clients Love”
Happy to have you back!
Last week we talked about sending proposals and getting jobs so now let’s get into the nitty gritty of an actual freelance writing project. I’ll cover:
- How you follow through on your original promise
- How to handle revision requests
- And what to do after the project is complete
By the end you will understand what you need to do to get clients to love working with you!
So here we go…
Now the project is the part that is all on you.
You go to work, creating the best work you possibly can. You’ll write the piece according to your outline and the guidelines provided to you.
And don’t leave the client hanging…
Be sure to check in to make sure you aren’t missing any messages from your client. Every once in a while, they may have an important project update so you definitely want to be in the loop.
Once the writing is complete, it is time to proofread, proofread, proofread!
For me, I have to step away from a piece for a few hours before I can effectively proofread it. You may also want a trusted friend or coworker to read through it and provide their feedback.
**Tip: Another option that I love and can’t live without is Grammarly. What is it? Some geniuses invented this tool that will scan your work for spelling and grammatical errors. There is a free version that shows you the most critical errors, while the paid version will show you more detailed corrections.
Once your work is polished like your grandmother’s fine set of china, you should have a checklist of the requirements the client asked for (this will include things like word count, tone, style, keywords, headers, pictures, etc.)
Double check that every… single… thing is done. The devil is in the details folks!
Next, run your document through a plagiarism checker. Plagiarized content can damage your client’s reputation, harm their SEO, and cause them to take legal action against you.
Even if you aren’t knowingly plagiarizing, sometimes certain sentences may get tagged.
**Tip: Copyscape is a good tool which is cheap, 200 scans for $10 and you can ensure that all your work is 100% Copyscape passed. (Clients will know what that means)
One Final Check
When your piece is finished, polished, copyright-free, and ready to go, check it one more time.
Yes. Give it one more final read through and then turn it in.
Be On Time
Now, also keep in mind that timing is crucial. If you can be early, be early. You’ll earn bonus points for that. Plus, it’s always good to have the extra time in case revisions are needed. If early isn’t possible, be on time.
For goodness sakes, be on time.
Clients have dealt with empty promises and missed deadlines from other freelancers, so you have to be different!
Submitting the Work
When sending in your finished piece, choose your accompanying message carefully. If your submission is not quite what the client wanted, you need them to know up front that this is the first draft and you are willing to make changes.
Here’s an example:
Bad: “Hi (Client name), Here is the finished project. Please review and submit payment.Thank you!”
Good: “Hi (Client name), Here is the first draft of the project according to the outline we agreed on. Please review it and let me know if it meets all of your requirements and expectations. I am happy to provide revisions, so feel free to send back any feedback you have. Thank you.”
See the difference?
It’s really frustrating as a client to receive something that doesn’t meet your needs. Even though chances are good that you are in the same ballpark as the client thanks to the outline, you want them to know you are open to making changes if they want them. So make that clear, just to be safe!
If they are happy with your work, congratulations! You can move to the final section of this blog. If not, here’s what to do next.
If the client does have revision requests, don’t freak out! It is okay and they can still end up fully satisfied. It is normal to be asked to make some changes. There are some little details that you just can’t know before hand.
Here’s what to do.
Respond proactively. Ask questions if you are unclear on anything. Once you understand what needs to be done, assure them that you will make the changes and tell them when the changes will be finished by. I typically finish revisions with 48 hours but I strive for 24.
What if they have new requirements?
All revisions should be in line with the original instructions and outline or should be very small things. If clients are making new requests, you will have to politely remind them that any new requirements will have to be paid for.
For example, if they think that 1500 words are needed to cover the topic instead of the 1000 words that they originally asked for (and paid for), I would say I am happy to write an additional 500 words and that will be …this much. There have to be fair boundaries or some projects would never end!
Once the revisions are finished, resubmit the work and ask if the new version meets their needs. Also remind them to let you know if they need anything else as you are striving for full satisfaction. If they make more requests, repeat the process. I very rarely have more than 1 round of revisions when following this process but you can set a limit of revision rounds for the price you agree on.
**Tip: Most established writers set limits on the amount of revision rounds allowed for the project budget agreed on. 1-3 are normal.
Once the client is happy, you are almost done!
After Your Work is Accepted
After your work is accepted, it is important to discuss the overall satisfaction your client has with the project. You don’t want to find out through a 3-star public review that they weren’t as happy as you thought!
Ask If They Are 5-Star Satisfied
So after they have accepted the work and paid you, ask them if there was anything you could have done better. Let them know that you strive for 5-star satisfaction and want to know if you delivered that for them.
Ask For Their Positive Review if on a Platform that Posts Reviews
You also want to ask them to support your efforts in providing high-quality content by giving you a 5-star review and a comment on their experience (if they feel you deserved it, of course). Be sure to tell them it would be greatly appreciated. Reviews, or the lack of, can expedite or slow your freelance writing career!
Return the Favor and Ask for Referrals
You will then want to leave them a positive review if you can and ask them if they have another project they would like to work on together. Be sure to let them know you are available for more work going forward and would be happy to receive any referrals they sent over as well.
**Tip: You can even offer a discount on their next project if they refer a friend to you who orders work.
That’s a Wrap!
Phew! Now you can kick up your feet and relax knowing you did a great job.
There are few subtle differences between a mediocre freelance writer and ones who clients absolutely love, and it really comes down to the details.
- You need to do what you say.
- You need to be proactive.
- You need to think ahead.
- You need to set realistic expectations.
- You need to be available.
- You need to put your best effort into the work.
I work with so many clients who are worn down from working with freelancers who deliver late, make up excuses, don’t deliver at all, or don’t provide quality work.
If you are different, they will appreciate it and it will pay off!
You will earn more long term clients who trust you and award you increasingly larger jobs, you will earn more money for the work you do, and you will gain referrals. This is how you become a full-time freelance writer who can work from anywhere.
Do you have any questions about freelance writing? Feel free to drop me a line in the comments below, I will be happy to answer and share what I know.
Thanks for reading and look out for more tips next week!