A guest blog from a former copywriter
Once you’ve got yourself a client, it doesn’t mean everything is going to go well. It can be tricky to pull them in, but sometimes the hardest part can come once you’ve got your hands on them. You also want to make sure the job goes well so they might consider hiring you again or suggest you to other people. Here are a few tips to help the job go well and hopefully bring in more work afterwards too.
This is, unsurprisingly, key. The thing is, there’s more to it than just receiving and sending through each draft until it’s complete. That’s the main part, but there’s more you can do on top. First of all, make sure you’re being clear at all times. At first you may not know what knowledge your client has, so if you start going on about SEO and keyword density from the off you’re going to make them feel confused and uncomfortable if they have no idea what you’re talking about. Avoid jargon unless you’re sure your client knows what you know.
You should also be keeping your contact fairly regular as well. Keep your client updated with how things are going, where you’re at and about any problems that have arisen. Make sure they’re aware of where the project is at. It makes them feel more at ease and reassures them that something is actually being done. Everyone likes to be kept in the loop and your client will appreciate it.
This is something that has the potential to cause a lot of friction. Of course, it’s your client’s project. They should have the final say and what happens to it, but what if their final say is going to cause the project to be a failure? In the end, you’re the one with the skills and expertise, if you weren’t you wouldn’t have been hired. So, how can you stop a job you’ve worked really hard on being ruined last minute and causing you to disown it?
In the end, if you have a client that just won’t listen, there isn’t much you can do. Luckily, they’re not all like that and you can usually bring a client round to your way of thinking. Be sure to be respectful from the start, but also firm as well. Don’t tread lightly when a client suggests a bad idea. Tell them straight away what’s wrong with it and why it won’t work. As long as you can explain fully, clearly and politely throughout the project, you should find it easier to keep control.
Whether you’re a one person operation or a multinational corporation, clients still expect a certain level of professionalism. This doesn’t mean you can’t crack a few jokes or be laid back in your communication though (spend some time gauging your client to see what kind of person they are and the kind of attitude they’d like). There are other aspects you must keep to a certain level. Communication as mentioned before is one. Another is keeping to deadlines as much as you possibly can, miss one and you could scupper any chances for a repeat job.
It’s also good to give a high impression of professionalism too. When you invoice your client, do you just muck something up in a spreadsheet and send it over or do you have your own ones? Keep everything standard and looking great (you can get some good invoice templates here) and you’ll ensure your client has a good impression of you.
All this should help to encourage your client to hire you again and, hopefully, refer you to others as well.