As a freelance copywriter and content developer, I partner with a lot of different clients—solopreneurs, large companies, small businesses. Each of them is unique and results in a unique relationship. But almost across the board, there are a few similar things that I’d like to say to all of them at some point.
1. I care about your business.
I actually do. I care because you care. I care because I’m able to pick my clients and I choose to partner with good people who I believe in… people who are so passionate about their businesses because they want to make a difference in the world.
I’m not looking to make a quick buck. I’m looking to help you build something new and fabulous, something that you’re proud to show to the world. So please don’t think of me as a clock-watcher who wants to get in, churn out some content, and leave with a check. I’ll treat you like a partner, not an ATM.
2. I’m not always right.
I recently attended a webinar hosted by Neil Patel. During the presentation, he said that people tend to think of marketing as guesswork when it is actually a science.
I agree but at the same time, it’s only fair to point out that science isn’t perfect either. The scientific method involves hypotheses and experimentation. It’s pointed guesswork based on the best knowledge at hand. Scientists enter into experiments with the understanding that their hypotheses might not be correct and the results may not turn out as expected.
It’s the same with marketing. As a marketer, I use the data I have at my fingertips to inform my decisions for email campaigns, landing page copy, calls to action, web design, etc. At the end of the day, though, I’m not always going to be right… And that’s just fine with me. I learn as much from my mistakes as I do from wins, and I’ll work to fix mistakes and do right by my clients every single time.
3. You’re not always right.
4. Doing something is better than nothing.
Sometimes clients don’t have the budget to pay for a weekly blog post or quarterly content management plan. That’s fine! Try starting with one newsletter a month or a blog post every other week. Something—even if it’s small—is better than nothing. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
5. Don’t hesitate to bring up the “p” word.
Pricing. It shouldn’t be a dirty word!
I love openly discussing rates with potential clients right from the start. If they’re sticker shocked because they’re used to dealing with content mills or underpaid freelancers, I’m more than happy to explain the time, energy, and research that goes into every blog article or white paper. 99% of the time, potential clients are happy to pay my asking price after that chat because they believe in spending money on valuable products, and they understand that the ROI is worth it.
I’ll give you an example. One of my clients, Khiem, runs a home health care company, where his physical therapists and therapist assistants go into peoples’ homes to provide rehabilitative care.
Khiem’s business was doing well but he realized that he could improve by making patients comfortable with his therapists before they arrived on their doorsteps, since most people are uncomfortable letting strangers into their homes. When patients were already comfortable with his therapists, they were more communicative about their issues and participated more significantly in their therapy from the get-go.
Khiem asked me to write a flyer introducing his team so he could send it to every new patient before their first appointment. I mentioned my standard rate and explained that this included a thorough discussion about his project, interviews with each of his team members, writing a comprehensive bio for each employee, gathering headshot photos, crafting the flyer, and revising the piece as necessary.
He readily agreed to the proposed pricing and I completed the flyer as promised. Within just a few months, Joe reported that his company had accrued so many new clients that they actually had to turn some away, and that he had hired several more team members to handle the increased business. The flyer paid for itself 20x over.
6. Thank you. I’m so glad we partnered.
In my years of freelancing, I’ve dealt with all sorts of personalities, industries, companies, and projects. Not all of them were easy or pleasant but at the end of the day I’m always glad to have partnered with each and every client.
I enjoy hearing that I helped someone’s company grow faster than they thought possible or that they just got 10 new customers. I appreciate learning something new every day. I love meeting people who are as passionate about what they do as I am.
Freelancing is no cake walk but I have to say: my clients are awesome.