I received another mailer last week from my favorite local dentist. I haven’t gone to this guy, but I’m a huge fan of his marketing. He just gets it. Look how much fun he’s having being a dentist! My dentist just looks like he hates me and his job. Maybe I should start going to Dr. Kolsun.
Check out his other ad, and just try to disagree. You can’t. It’s impossible.
I spent almost a decade working as a freelance writer: first as a journalist, then as a copywriter. I’ve had plenty of great clients, and a few not-so-great clients. But I’ve never managed my own team of freelance writers until this past year.
Nothing has taught me more about freelance writing than sitting on the other side of the client-freelancer relationship. It’s completely transformed my perspective. And while I no longer have the time to freelance, I’ll be keeping these five tips in mind should I ever return.
1. Follow directions.
This will set you above two-thirds of your competition. Two-thirds! Just for following directions! It sounds silly, but it’s true. If a prospective client asks you to email you a PDF copy of your resume, don’t send it to her via Facebook attachment. Don’t send it in a Word doc. Email a PDF. Getting these little details right reveals that you can follow more important directions when the actual assignment arrives.
2. Be responsive.
Dirty secret: As a freelance writer, I used to wait a day or two before replying to prospective clients. Why? I thought it would make me seem busy, and therefore important. Then I became a client, and I realized how invaluable it is to have a writer who responds within hours, not days. It shows that she’s prompt, engaged in the project, and may even have availability for last-minute assignments. Which ultimately translates to more work, and more money in her pocket.
3. Follow up.
As a freelance writer, I assumed clients clients would call me if they wanted to work with me again. I rarely followed up, because I worried it would bother them. Then I became a client, and found myself handing out more assignments to the writers who’d called to check in.
This strategy can backfire if you follow up too often. But a quick phone call to check the status of a project, or an email reaffirming your availability, may net you more work. Continue reading
This video from ABC1’s “The Checkout” pokes fun at gendered marketing. I love how it manages to be laugh-out-loud funny and educational at the same time. (It even includes sources!) Thanks to Susannah Conway for turning me onto this web series.