They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.
Are you doing the same things over and over with your writing business and wondering why you aren’t getting more clients or getting better paying jobs?
Maybe it’s time to reevaluate your approach and change some of your crazy ways.
Are you guilty of any of this insanity?
Insanity: Applying to casting calls with a blank application
Every once in a while, you might be able to get away with this, but why chance it? Many times, your Casting Call application is your first interaction with the clients. If you won’t even take the time to craft a pitch of at least one or two sentences, why should they view your profile or respond to your application?
It’s even worse, though, when the client asks for specific information in their brief and you ignore it. Not only does it make you look apathetic, it sends a strong message to the client that you don’t or can’t follow instructions.
Insanity: Submitting pitches that aren’t relevant to the topic
If you are going to take the time to pitch a client or respond to a Casting Call, please make sure your pitch is relevant to the topic that the client is requesting. For instance, if the client is asking for an article on cheese, don’t submit a pitch on dog food or chiropractic healthcare.
Show the client that you care and take a couple of minutes to read their brief, then craft a pitch that speaks directly to what they want. If it seems hard at first, keep at it. The more you do it, the more adept you’ll become at writing winning pitches.
Insanity: Not communicating with your client
The basis of any healthy relationship is good communication. This includes professional relationships. If you aren’t sure about something in the brief, ask your client for clarification. Even if your client chooses to be noncommunicative with you, do your part to at least try to communicate with them. It’s not only the professional thing to do, it also covers you in case there is a problem later. You will have the messages to back you up.
And speaking of keeping yourself covered, I always end my orders with a little insurance. At WriterAccess, clients are allowed to request revisions, so when I submit my order I shoot the client a quick email thanking them and letting them know that if they need any changes to reach out to me. It’s a professional way to end the order but can also keep you out of hot water in case something goes wonky.
Insanity: Failing to review the client’s site or blog even though they requested it
Chances are, your client wants the content you write to match the content they already have on their site, so often you will be asked to review a website or blog. This allows you to get a feel for the tone and style and is an important part of the writing process. If your client has a blog that is very conversational and humorous, submitting a piece that is formal and serious indicates that you didn’t care enough to do as the client asked.
If you don’t take this important step and do your homework, especially if you’ve been asked to do it, don’t get your feelings hurt when they reject the order or you get a revision request. Whether you procrastinated until the last minute, or you just don’t feel like taking the time to review the client’s site, it will benefit you to take at least a couple of minutes and do a quick review.
Insanity: Failing to follow the instructions in the brief
Your client includes instructions in the brief for a reason. On this platform, we have a nifty little checklist that we must complete before we can even submit. You have to check each box, affirming that you’ve completed that task. That way, you can make sure that you’ve followed the vital instructions that the client included.
Taking the time to read the instructions in the brief, and follow them, makes your life much easier. If there is something in the brief that you don’t understand, ask the client about it. Most importantly, don’t check off the tasks on the checklist if you haven’t done them.
Insanity: Arguing with the client about revisions for information that you failed to include
You complete an order and send it off to the client, only to receive a revision request with a note asking you to please read the brief. According to the client, it seems that you did not include the requested information. You proceed to argue with the client about it.
That isn’t a really great move.
If the information was in the original brief, then you dropped the ball by omitting it in the final copy. Bottom line, if you left off information that was in the brief and you get a revision request asking you to include it, then the professional thing to do is smile and give the client what they want. This is, of course, provided that the instructions do not violate the WriterAccess Terms of Service – but if that was the case, you should have handled that before submitting the first time. Hint: The admin team is awesome about helping and standing behind their writers. Simply submit a Help Desk ticket and let the go to bat for you.
In this day and age, no one really has any excuse to submit plagiarized copy. Plagiarism is a complex issue. If involves more than just copying someone else’s work. Take the time to understand what it is so you can avoid it.
There are so many free plagiarism checkers out there you can definitely take the time to run your copy through one or two. Run a search for “free plagiarism checkers” and take your pick, or use one of my favorites like Small SEO Tools, Quetext, and my favorite, Grammerly. Of course, there’s always the classic CopyScape. Yeah, you have to pay for it, but it’s literally pennies per scanned copy. Just five bucks will get you a long way.
Insanity: Not saying please or thank you – or being just plain rude
A little courtesy will go a long way. Saying please and thank you is not only the professional thing to do, it’s just basic human decency. Each time you submit content to your client, send them a note. It doesn’t have to be a huge dissertation, just a couple of lines work well.
Even if your client does not do their part, make sure that you do yours. Say please and thank you even if they don’t reciprocate.
Join the professionals at WriterAccess and watch your freelance career take off! You’ll be in good company with all of our talented writers at all experience and ability levels. Apply now to get started.
Stephanie M is a writer living in East Central, Alabama, but she didn’t always lead such a peaceful, carefree life. A few years ago she made a daring escape from the “cube farm” at a Federal Agency in Washington, D.C. (after eight very long years) where she worked. as an analyst focusing on disaster response, technical writing, program management, and FOIA.