The web is a wonderful place if you are a freelance writer. Where else can you go to hire a blogger, fire a content writer, or discuss the latest craze in web-based marketing—all while wearing nothing at all, if you so desire? That’s the wonderful World Wide Web, the place where written dreams are made in minutes and dashed even faster. So what is it that links writers to those interested in paying for the words they write? Communication. Make sure that the avenues for communication are open and active with these five tips.
Be a Better Emailer
Email is one of the first tried and true methods of online communication. You can maintain records with copies of emails and customize your system to fit your needs. Better yet, email affords a more protected and private form of communication than, say, social media or web-based forums. In order to be a better emailer:
- Check your email on a daily basis, replying ASAP to any messages in your inbox.
- Organize emails according to clients or assignments by utilizing the handy dandy folder capability.
- Format a reply signature that shares your contact information, as well as professional style. Determine how far you want to go with contact in relation to your writing business, i.e. should you include links to your Facebook profile, Google+ account, and Pinterest boards?
- Print off emails that pertain to security or confidentiality, store copies in a locked cabinet, and delete the evidence from your inbox, as well as trash can. This prevents, or at least halts, hackers from stealing any important data, which will be a boost to your blogging business in terms of customer confidence.
One place to find information about people is Facebook. This concept applies to your writing business, as well, via business pages. However, you should go to where the majority of your potential customers are, such as LinkedIn’s marketing category or Google+’s web-based business groups. Connect with them via social media, while keeping in mind the following tips:
- Offer your customers something for nothing. Give away an eBook based on your skills as a writer or offer to guest post on your customer bloggers’ blogs. Create a giving environment via your social media profile and chances are you’ll receive some amount of kickback for your efforts.
- Showcase your professionalism via your social media pages. Those customers who yearn for a profile or page like your own will most likely request your paid services.
Forums provide a place for open communication, sourcing from a sample of an online audience who typically come into forums for a common cause. For connecting with writers, forums can be a place to find new writers to work with, in addition to the latest trends in the writing industry. However, you need to be cautious when it comes to using forums for communication with clients. After all, privacy is limited in forums where trolls are all too frequent guests. Save your personal details and business dealings for the more private and secure communication methods and use forums for ideas and new writer contacts.
Ring a Ling!
Back in the day, the telephone was the hottest item in any household; the only thing holding back a conversation was the length of the telephone cord. Nowadays, cell phones have plowed through land lines. The beauty of using telephones for communication is that you have the opportunity to discuss spur-of-the-moment sparks of ideas that are incited by verbal communication. You can’t do this with email and texting has its limits in terms of maintaining professional communication. After all, when’s the last time you texted smileys to your clients?
If you are interested in calling a client, there are options that will help you maintain your online persona. For example, with the Burner app, you can create a new phone number in seconds, to be used at your disposal. When you finish using the number, it instantly goes up in flames, along with any texts or call history you have while using it.
Videos Kill the Competition
The best way to connect with clients whom you source online is through video conferencing. You are able to see and talk to your clients in real time, which opens up greater possibilities of communication than even telephone contact. Additionally, you can record your video conferences to save for your records. PCMag suggests using:
Keep in mind that while some of these services are free, you will have to pay to upgrade to a more professional feel. This might be something to consider if you plan to use video conferencing on a regular basis to contact clients. In addition to making your life easier thanks to fancy editing tools and options, your clients will appreciate the professionalism afforded by your conferencing software.
When Miranda B is not communicating with clients, she is communicating about how best to work with and for clients via her freelance writing business.