The Godfather Trilogy: The Don and The Marketing Writer

Photo from The Godfather.

Photo from The Godfather.

I’ve encouraged small business owners to take their corporate writing as seriously as Heisenberg, but now I’d like to explain to writers why they should feel like a part of the Italian Mafia and their clients should be treated like the don. If you’ve ever watched the glorious trilogy of beautifully filmed Godfather movies, then you know the don is the respected head of the Corleone family.

“This is Business, Not Personal”

So maybe it’s hard not to take business personally. As freelance writers we put a lot of work into our writing, and having a testy or picky client can push us to the breaking point. Sometimes clients come across rude in their writing, and we don’t have the face-to-face experience that might say differently. We have to remember that the client is coming to us for our writing skills, so if they come off a little on the ungrateful side, it may be purely writing technique (or lack of it).

And perhaps the customer isn’t exactly right, but even if they intentionally slight us, they should be respected. They are the head of this operation and we’re working under them. Without the support of multiple clients, you wouldn’t have such a sweet payout for working from your home. Keep the don happy and everyone is happy.

Showing Respect

Kissing the client’s hand might make your business relationship a little strange, but the client is to be fully respected. Like the don, they are choosing whether you continue to work or shrivel away. Your interactions with each client should be humble, positive and grateful. Just picture the don in front of you if you feel like telling your client to go shove it.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

But really—doesn’t it often feel like you can’t say no to a client? In this case the offer may not come in the form of a decapitated horse’s head next to you in bed, but it’s still there. You may feel pressured to do revisions that don’t make sense or submit to less pay if business is slow, so you quickly take what you can get without complaint. Or you might find yourself writing that 200 word article and just having to add extra words you aren’t getting paid for, since 200 words just isn’t going to fairly cover the topic. But at the end of the day, isn’t it crucial you please the don client?

(In fairness, I expect the WriterAccess team would probably draw the line if the client tried to send us a death threat with horse parts.)

Legitimate Business: Marketing Writer

Ghostwriting may not be a glorious profession of fame and fortune, but it is a very promising career. Writers may not get credit for most of what they write, but the pay is good, the educational value is awesome and the community is irreplaceable. If you enter this family business, then take pride in your work and uphold our respected name. We are part of a family here, and we welcome talented members who have the same desire for success and greatness.

Alethea M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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