Archive for August, 2011

As a freelancer I have found that there are basically two to three kinds of clients–one– who are on a limited budget, want to spend minimal and want to gain the maximum. They will never appreciate your work, will haggle over every penny and frankly are no good in financial terms or even in work satisfaction terms as you won’t even get a good recommendation from them. They usually frequent buy and sell forums and their threads read something like, " Need native English writers to write 500 word articles on online marketing niche. Articles should have no grammatical or spelling errors. I will pay $ 10 for 10 articles. I need them within 48 hours." My advice, unless you badly need work, avoid such clients.

The Professional Client


The other two types are the ones we have to focus on–the second type of client pays well, knows what his money is worth, will provide you with recommendations and will generally be professional in all his dealings. He can smell a rat from a mile, so, do not try to fake your credentials with such a client. You should impress him with your credentials. He may even hire you if you are a newbie, as long as you can show that you can deliver.

This kind of client values his reputation as a buyer as much as you value yours as a service provider. I would recommend this kind of client as he is quick to praise, will give you honest feedback and will also teach you a few things about your craft as he is a perfectionist when it comes to work.

Where to find them, check out job boards and have a CV or a blog or website as samples.

The Vague Client


The third kind of client is the one on whom you should really focus on. He has money, isn’t completely sure of what he wants, but is ready to put in his money if you manage to convince him.

Look for them in job boards or content mills sites. Keep samples ready and write a nice persuasive proposal. Check out Angela Hoy’s free eBook on, "How to Be a Freelancer."

In her sample query letter she starts by giving a sample of her written work, then goes on to describe what her article is about. I recommend this book as a guide for any freelancer, irrespective of what stage your career as a freelancer is at.

How to deal with the professional client?

Let us now discuss how to tackle the latter two. For the second kind of client, be confident, not over-confident. Do not fake up credentials– if you do not have relevant samples, say, "if I’m given a chance I can prove my worth." If you sound good enough, chances are he will hire you. This kind of person is easy to tackle, if you know how to. They are not suspicious but chances are have seen a lot and do not trust easily. Don’t come up with a long winded plan either, just give a clear plan of what you offer and what you can do for them. Short and simple is the mantra here.

Be a good listener and do just as the client asks, this in fact goes a long way in your career as a freelancer. People who are good listeners manage to deliver just what is required of them as they listen carefully to what the client wants– they have the capability to fill in the gaps.

How to handle the vague client?

Now we come to the third kind of client, he is willing to pay, is suspicious, as he has heard many stories of writer scams, but, doesn’t have much experience in the field– if you can convince him, he is willing to put his money on you. Try to come up with a definite plan, explain to him how you are going to translate his vision . He is willing to be led, you should know how to lead. Discuss at length how you work on a project. This will convince him that you are a professional and you know your job.

Ask him relevant questions about the project, so that, he knows you are interested in the project and will do a thorough job.

Do a quick background research as well as study the latest trends in the field-bottom line– client knows that you know your job.

Submit a rough draft for client approval, so client knows he won’t be taken for a ride.

Prepare a final copy and review it yourself and then finally submit it to the client

Follow these steps along with ensuring a strong online presence. Be active on discussion boards, always try to share your knowledge, remember it is more important to share your knowledge than to display. In the latter case you may come across as an overbearing personality, if you are an authority on a subject you will be recognized as such.

All this will serve as a sample of not just your mastery over words but also show your clarity in thought process and your ability to convey it through words.


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