Building strong writer-client relationships
Finding a client for your freelance writing business is one thing. Keeping a client is another thing altogether. That writing gig you just scored may pay your bills this month, but what happens if another one doesn’t come along immediately?
Make sure you have a well-structured contract
Whether you’re doing a single job for a client or a month-long project, all freelance writers should have a signed contract before beginning an assignment.
This contract protects not only your interests but your client’s as well. Only by establishing the responsibilities of both parties in writing can you form the foundations of a healthy working relationship.
So, make sure to spell out all the tasks you’ll provide for your client. Establish a firm project deadline along with anything else the client is entitled to (i.e., rewrites). Your fee and payment plan should also be detailed in the contract.
During negotiations, see if there are any additional services the client could use from you. Some clients may only bring you on to rewrite a few web pages, but if you learn they need someone to regularly update their social media posts, you might be able to negotiate a more long-term contract.
Finally, establish set times for contract re-negotiations—like every three or six months. This is particularly important if you find yourself working for a client over the long haul. You don’t want to be stuck working for the same low rate after a year when your greater experience should let you negotiate a raise.
Online resources like Hectic make creating custom proposals and contracts a snap, using pre-perfected professional templates. Learn how you can sidestep common freelancing mistakes by starting a free Hectic account.
Stay organized when managing client relationships
Unlike most 9-to-5 workers, freelancers need to manage relationships with multiple clients, each with their own deadlines, needs, and paperwork.
That’s a lot to keep track of, especially if you don’t consider yourself the most organized person.
Thankfully, freelancing software like Hectic helps you take control of your client relationships. Using your Hectic account (which you can get started on for free), you can see all your client information on your laptop screen.
This makes it much easier to handle things like project management, accounting, time tracking, meeting scheduling, and invoicing clients.
The fact is, many freelance writers might be amazing at writing, but not so great at business management. Having the online tools to keep your workdays organized improves your relationship with your clients—leading to more regular work assignments.
Start pitching your own assignments
One of the best ways to keep working for your clients on a regular basis is to pitch your own writing assignments.
Not only does this basically let you create your own work, you’re also easing your client’s own workload by removing the burden of brainstorming new online article ideas or social media posts.
Plus, you can pitch projects you already know a lot about or have a passion for. This makes your work more fun and helps you complete it faster (essentially increasing your hourly rate if you charge by project).
However, to pitch effectively, you need to keep your clients’ needs in mind. Make sure your ideas align with their company goals and appeal to their target audience. As long as you do this, your clients will see you as a valuable resource they need to keep on the team.