How can you keep your clients happy when you're writing for businesses from home? Here are five top tips for copywriters.
1 - Think carefully about deadlines
Be realistic about when you can complete a project.
A trap that many new copywriters can often find themselves in is when they have declined to negotiate the deadline. Your clients want the finest content their money can buy – and as quickly as possible – whether they're hiring a London financial copywriter to write B2B content or a blog writer to write B2C content. However, rest assured – they'll always want your best content more than someone who just delivers to the deadline. So don't be afraid to negotiate your deadlines a little. Unless your clients have particularly strict timelines, they can often be quite flexible. They have to be in order to get the top talent for their businesses.
So, for example, if you receive a brief on Monday and the client ask you to complete it by Thursday, making sure you give yourself enough time to research, write and proofread your work sounds like the obvious approach. However, the approach you really need to follow is allowing yourself some extra insurance time to account for issues such as broadband outages or other unforeseen circumstances. The former approach is how the idealistic copywriter works The latter is how the professional copywriter works. Professionalism trumps idealism.
3 - Quality is always more important than punctuality
A copywriting job that isn't done correctly isn't done at all.
If you have underestimated the time you need to a complete a project and you can't meet a deadline, let your client know as early as possible. A good client always prefers a project that has been delivered late but executed correctly, as opposed to one that is on time but not up to scratch. Yes, failing to meet a deadline is a mistake – and mistakes will happen from time time. But it's how you respond to those mistakes which will determine how your clients really judge you in the future.
Always provide a very good reason for any delay, too. Whether it's a problem with your broadband, a healthcare issue, or a family emergency, it helps to be honest with your client, although you shouldn't feel obliged to provide any specific details. If the delay is likely to be significant, offering a discount on the fee can be a good way to show that you are empathising with your client.
4 - Plan early and write later
Get half the job done before you even start writing.
Once you receive your brief, think about the kinds of resources you'll need to use, then create a basic plan that will form the structure of your content. For example, if you needed to write an article on the top five most unusual bars in London, do some quick research and make some notes about five venues that you think are unique or strange. It's often much easier to write articles that already have a basic structure. When you get down to writing your content later, you'll have a fresh mind and be better equipped to come up with new ideas.
5 - Always let your client know when you're available for work
Make yourself your clients' go-to copywriter
Give your clients a weekly update to let them know when you can take on a new brief. This keeps you on their radar so you won't miss out a steady supply of copywriting work! If your clients can trust you to get the job done on time, every time, they'll have no need to ask anyone else for their business copywriting.