The Boss Babe Blog
Build your career without sacrificing your life.
Just a couple of days ago, I posted a short article that listed tips for Freelance Writers to become more successful in their work. After thinking on it for a while, and dealing with a couple of not-so-easy-to-please clients, I thought that it would be beneficial for everyone reading this, if I posted a short article about how buyers can get the best service from the Freelance Writer that they choose to work with. Some of these may seem obvious (I'm going to point them out anyway), and some of them may seem biased (they probably are, but that doesn't make them any less truthful), but I honestly believe if you operate under these rules, you will be bound to get the best service.
1. Always ask if you could see an example of their work.
Personally, I always try to remember to offer to show the client an example of my work. I want to know that we have a mutual understanding of expectations, and I'm not going to be working for hours on a project just for it to be cancelled or rejected once it's delivered. However, when I am exceptionally busy, this can be a difficult thing to remember. I'm always appreciative of a client that takes the initiative to ask for this. I don't know about other writers, but I have an entire file on my laptop specifically for the work that I present to new buyers. If a freelance writer refuses to show you examples of their work, it is most likely for one of two reasons. Either they know that their work isn't up-to-par, in which case you definitely don't want to buy from them. Or, it isn't something they normally think to do, and they are unwilling to make an exception for you. Either way, you are probably going to clash with them at some point, and you probably need to find yourself another writer. *cough* *cough*
Bonus: If you aren't pleased with the example they send you, move along. Don't be afraid to tell them that they aren't what you are looking for. Rejection is part of being a freelancer, so they are used to it.
2. Remember: Freelance Writer and Fairy Godmother are two VERY different professions.
I am only going to say this once, so listen very closely. I am not a magical, mystical creature. I am not a wizard. I am not a miracle worker. I am not a fortune teller. I am not a fountain of wishes. I am not a keeper of all imaginations. (Though that might actually be fun.) Am I a lifesaver? On occasion. Am I a literature geek? Most definitely. I am a freelance writer.
In case you haven't already figured out where I'm going with this, I'm trying to get the point across that I cannot read your mind. I don't know when a speech is due if I am not told. I don't know how many minutes the speech should last, unless you tell me. I don't know how to describe the bride in your maid of honor speech if you don't describe the bride for me! Sure, I can ask you each one of these questions, one after another, but it really gets old. Sometimes, I swear it's like pulling teeth with the buyer! This wastes both of our time and energy. So, when I have my list of required information in the gig requirement section, it's better for both of us if you just answer all the questions. Like I tell everyone I work with: Even if you think it's irrelevant, send it to me. It helps more than you think.
Bottom line: No matter how much I want to wave my wand and turn everyone into pumpkins sometimes, it isn't possible. Communicate.
3. On another note, freelancers are also NOT personal assistants. (Unless you pay them to be, hey, to each their own.)
I'm sorry your boss changed his mind 3 days after the order was accepted and completed, truly I am, but it's really not a problem I can help you with. I did the work, you liked the work, you paid for the work, so now you're stuck with the work. That's how this works.
No, I will not rearrange my entire daily schedule to fit in your project. Yes, there are people with deadlines ahead of yours and I will be focusing on them first. No, I did not abandon them just because you decided to waltz into the picture. Again, I'm sorry, but you need to find someone who has the time for this kind of commitment. No, I'm not being mean. It would be mean if I took on the project, and sent you unsatisfactory work. Trust me here, I know what I'm talking about.
I know it seems like a bit of a stretch, and to be honest I probably didn't word the messages that harshly, but that is the gist of two messages I have had to send out in just the past week. Some people aren't expecting a miracle worker like I mentioned before, but they are unrealistic in the idea that I am catering only to them and their project. Freelancers understand that we need to be available often, and we need to be flexible, and we need to be open minded, and so on and so forth, but there is a limitation to this. **Think about it. Why would someone start a business as a freelance writer? They desperately need cash? No, that's minimum wage jobs. It's usually because they are a single mother, a student in high school or college, or a person who simply aspires to be their own boss and gain more flexibility and freedom in their life. If we believe that our services aren't the best fit for your project, the odds are we do know what we are talking about. We know the services we provide. We know what we can and can't handle. It would be smart for a buyer to take that advice. Another useful tip: if you have a project that you know is exceptionally large, or even a bit tricky, ask the writer to look over the requirement before you order. Send them a message letting them know that you want them to look over it before you actually send it. This is a breath of fresh air for a freelancer.
4. We like tips too! (Reviews are just as nice...)
Nothing makes me smile more than a client that appreciates my work enough to leave me a tip. It doesn't matter if they decide to tip $5 or $25, it still makes my day. Of course, some people just aren't tippers. Either they don't have the means, or they just choose not to. That's alright too, because when you encounter a freelance writer, you have the ability to give them something just as precious... a 5 star review! That's right, if you like our work well enough to want to thank us, do so with a review. Now, I don't normally fish for tips or reviews, I take what I can get, but they really do make my day a little nicer. You see, our potential clients only know us through the internet. They might be weary of whether or not we will do a satisfactory job. We rely on our reviews to speak for our services. Plus, if you ever know someone in need of a writer, word-of-mouth works great in this situation too! The best way to thank us for our services is to help us get more business, and it's free for you!
What do you think? Do you think this insight will be useful to keep in mind the next time you decide to buy from a freelance writer? Let me know on my social media pages! If you want to test these tips out, come buy from me on fiver with the button below!