These freelancing gigs sometimes come by drops and not by flood as many may imply on those Face book groups and when you get a gig and work on it the whole night, sleep in the morning, back aching, head spinning, eyes popping and fingers freezing, then a client tells you that you did not meet expectations, the heart or is it the soul just faints.
In my moments of disappointments I have found out what made some of my best clients reject my work. I may not be 100% correct but at least I have a clue of what they thought.
Here are the principles I came up with to help me capture and maintain clients.
You will never deliver a satisfying piece if you don’t understand the instructions of the customer, their preferred tone and flow of the article. I once wrote a scientific article and almost went nuts then lost it and lost the client. My problem is I gave focus to what the client termed as non-core and my tone was too friendly.
When the instructions are not clear, what you deliver will also be unclear. Both the writer and the reader must understand what the article is all about and the purpose it’s meant to fulfill.
If writers can be very honest, the first 300 words or so are the easiest to write, especially for a topic you are familiar with. This is because the content is still fresh and available in the mind and may be you just finished researching and your memory is still fresh. Wait until, the brain starts drying up; do you still have the power to keep your reader engaged?
The same zeal and passion that is felt by the reader in the beginning should last them the whole time to the end of the article; every writer must strive to stay interesting.
One of the things that demoralize writers especially those who write for agents like Upwork and Iwriter is writing a very cool article, spending so much time on it only to be paid a dollar or two, this is later charged by the mine so you end up receiving only a few coins.
When you build your career, the income becomes better but in the beginning, you can hardly quote because you fear your experience may disqualify you from getting approval as an elite writer.
To a person struggling with prizing, I suggest you seek advice from our seniors. The likes of Walter Akolo, know how much people in your level are charging and boldly state your prize.
I stopped writing many articles in any single day. I am doing a maximum of 2000 words of client work and maybe 1000 for my blog on alternate days. Reason being; divided attention is giving me very poor results.
I would rather give a top notch article for 10 dollars rather than do work worth 20 dollars and risk losing my client or getting poor rating.
Considering I have an equally demanding day job, I do anything possible to get at least two to four quiet hours, un-interrupted; just writing.
Freelancers are interesting at times. They expect the client to send them instructions early and give them the liberty to send in the work last minute.
I can’t point fingers; I have fallen prey too many times. I have come up with this principle to help me give my customers ample time to review my work, send back any corrections and get the final draft in good time to post to their blog or submit if it’s an assignment.
I also love the convenience of having a whole day ahead of me to review and make amends. It’s as pleasing to another person as it is to me.
There’s no prize for cowards. You must be brave. I tell myself that all the time. Some people get two or three rejections and just coil up and say ‘this is not for me’. Please, who are hardships made for?
Put yourself together, brave on like a soldier, the world was made for people like you and me who in their imperfections refuse to let go of hope and hold on like there’s no tomorrow.
Sometimes I get on my computer and I have nothing to write but I remember; I am a difference maker. If I don’t speak, no one will.
Someone today is searching the internet for that article you have not posted. Gather up your courage and post.
I also had to do that for my first blog post and for some clients, I still take a deep breath before I click send.
One thing am sure of is I will never get enough, even when this blog matures and starts making good money, I will still want more. I have never had someone say, this is enough. All I need to do now is go for holidays and rest.
There’s a very thin line between greed and aspiration.
Know your limits. The reason why we have conmen and fraudsters is greed. They want to milk you and loose nothing and after that, they want more.
Manage your desires with the same diligence you manage your money and time. If you don’t, you will never ever be happy. Learn to take a break and reward yourself after a good day’s work. This way, you will be fulfilled.
I know you want to get to a point where you don’t have to introduce yourself; me too. When we get there, we should be healthy, strong; calm and collected. Only contentment will take us there.
When you win a bid or get a new direct client, do you have a conversation of your expectations from each other? Do you acknowledge when you receive mail? Do you request for feedback? How is your language?
Many times we post our anxieties on a face book group while it would have been much easier just mailing your client.
There are those questions you ask and we attempt to answer you but the real answer should come from your clients.
Mail them, chat them, call them; whichever method you use, ensure you communicate.
I need not elaborate on this. I believe you started writing because you knew you have something special in you that can be shared. All you need to do is maintain originality. Learn from others but do not imitate them.
You are your own creation. Make your work show-case that. Ooze your own substance.
When you are starting, do not struggle alone, seek support. Consider getting training in this field, share your problems and have them resolved. Let me give credit to www.freelancerkenya.com where I get my training from. This is just one of the many resources online.
Learn and earn as you write. After you have learnt, work hard and maintain your market.
For those who have gone ahead and are now past ‘newbie’ label; consider coaching others. Help someone so that we can all become better and make the world better.
You might be surprised, as you coach, you will also learn new things.
As I conclude, these principles are not limited to freelancers only. They fit in any field. I only used freelancers as a guideline.
I would like to know what principles guide you. Post your comment below and let’s share.
Your friend always;