What Did the Client Mean? Tips for Better Client/Content Writer Communication

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One of the most important aspects of working with a team is effective communication. Consider experienced content writers a part of your team to get your projects moving in the direction you want. These helpful tips will help keep your client/writer relationship running smoothly throughout the project.

1. Never assume.

You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: never assume that a writer intuitively understands what you mean and can ‘fill in the blanks’ left by sketchy instructions. If you want a particular format followed, for example, let the writer know in detailed and clearly-written instructions from the outset. Try to think like a writer: what information would you need to complete this order?

2. Have a clear picture in your mind of what you need and are looking for.

Consider the ultimate purpose of your content order: what you want it to accomplish. What kind of tone will work best for your intended audience? What background should the writer have: legal, teaching, medical, or business? Be open to the writer’s insights and advice, as well — these are often based on years of experience writing all kinds of projects, and will have a clear understanding of what will work and what probably won’t.

3. Respect deadlines – especially the ones you set.

If you want a fast turnaround (say, under 48 hours for a large order) then it’s a not a good idea to wait until the last minute to read, then approve or resubmit for revisions. Your writer likely dropped everything else to do your project; responding in a timely manner enables the writer to clear up any misunderstandings or answer questions, build any rewrites into his or her schedule, and meet your deadlines more efficiently.

4. Check your email or messaging frequently for order-related questions and comments.

Sometimes questions come up in the course of writing a piece for a client. Requested links don’t always open, instructions may be a bit vague, and so on. Clients who don’t respond or do so at the last minute leave the writer with no choice but to “guesstimate” and submit, only to necessitate a revision request.

Mary S has been writing since she could hold a pencil – and had her first (paid) news column by-line at the age of 10. She has enjoyed helping a wide variety of clients meet their unique content needs here at Writer Access since 2012.


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