The Benefits of Going Beyond the Call of Duty
One of the great things about writing web content is that we freelance writers can simply log on, check out work, write our material and move on, right? If you’re looking to grow your business, you may find that going above and beyond the “call of duty” can actually result in a better business relationship and more steady pay in the long run.
Saying Thank You…Just Thank You
A commonly discussed strategy for netting solo clients is to always send a brief but sincere thank you note after the client accepts your first article. Sure, this is technically unpaid words you’re typing out to the client, but the human touch can make a lasting impression, especially to a new client who is less comfortable with the interface of a web-based platform. While it can be tempting to work in a subtle pitch for more work, try to stick to a simple expression of gratitude. A specific, sincere thank you will make much more impact than a boilerplate “Thanks, please call again,” which may come off as impersonal and too “salesy.”
If At First You Don’t Succeed…Revise!
Revision requests are the bane of many a freelance writer. After all, revising can feel like a major time suck, especially for those of us who try to adhere to the productivity mantra “only handle it once.” But revision requests can actually be a great way to get a feel for a new client’s style and show that you are willing to do whatever it takes to satisfy them, which can often result in them sending a solo order next time they need to assign work. The key here is to know when multiple revisions requests are actually worth it. If a job is relatively short with a low payout to begin with, or the client seems like they won’t be looking to assign work steadily, it’s reasonable to complete a single round of revisions and move on. But if the work is relatively high-paying, interesting, and the client seems responsive to your attempts to learn and grow from their feedback, then by all means, put in the extra time now in order to fill up your freelance schedule in the future.
Going beyond your perceived requirements as a freelancer can not only help you net repeat, satisfied customers, but also improve your confidence. Taking the time to notice and respectfully point out a typo on a client’s website may position you as a trusted expert as opposed to some interchangeable part in the client’s overall business plan. Work to find ways to make yourself indispensable, by offering ideas for content, suggesting small edits to existing content, and working hard to knock each and every assignment out of the park.
Caitlin C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.