Building Trust and Getting Hired

This week, we’ve been focusing on how to look like a pro — from your first day as a freelancer.

Today, we talk about client communications that nurture relationships and turn prospects into long-term clients.

What a Client Wants

We tend to think that our job as freelancers is solely about helping clients get better results on their marketing. In reality, a big part of our job is to build trust. And yes, giving clients sound marketing advice and writing great copy are ways we do that. But, just as important is good communication while working on a project.

You see, your client's greatest fear is that he'll make a mistake hiring you. Your professionalism goes a long way toward easing those fears.

When a client hires you to write his copy, he wants:

  • Copy that meets or beats anything he could write in-house.
  • The assignment completed the way he asked for it.
  • Every promise fulfilled.
  • Every deadline met.

What he's afraid of:

  • You'll disappear without delivering, just as soon as he’s paid his initial deposit.
  • You don't really know what you're doing, so hiring you is a waste of his money.
  • You don't know his industry as well as he does, which means he'll have to do a lot of work rewriting it.
  • You don't understand what he wants, and he can't explain it any better, so he won't get the copy he wants.

Building and Nurturing Trust

Rarely do we get hired after only one conversation with a potential client. That's because he's worried about all things that could go wrong. He wants to be sure he won't lose money on you.

But even after hiring you, some of these doubts will remain. If you're going to succeed as a freelancer, it's up to you — both before and after you're hired — to make sure your client trusts you to deliver as promised.

How do you do that?

It's as simple as staying in touch.

Make it easy for your clients to contact you. Return phone calls and emails within a reasonable time frame. Be adaptable and easy to work with.

Before starting a project, let your client know what to expect. If it's a long project, send weekly updates so he knows exactly how it's progressing.

When you turn in a project, consider sending ideas for additional ways the copy could be used. Make any edits or revisions quickly. If possible, follow up a month or so later to see how the copy is working for him.

Then, stay in touch. Do you have an idea for an email or a special offer your client can make? Send it to him, even after your project is done. Your goal is to offer value far beyond your fees so you stay at the top of your client's mind.

A Few Tips

The key is to be professional in every client communication. Here are a few things to remember:

  • No typos. Ever.
  • Stay client-focused. It's not your copy that matters, but the outcomes you help your client achieve.
  • Always add value. Otherwise you're easy to replace.
  • Write as if you're talking to a peer. Never grovel or adopt a subservient tone.
  • Decide up front what your services include, then stick with it. That will make you look like an experienced professional.

Your goal is to make your client glad he hired you. So do your best to remove any fears he may have about working with a freelancer. Build his trust by always delivering on your promises, and you'll be rewarded with a long-term relationship that benefits both of you.

This week, we've talked about five communications that you need to look like a pro: your website, a special report, your sales letter, a blog, and client communications.

The first three are vital to your success because they're the ones that will get you clients. Content, such as a blog, newsletter, or autoresponder, will help you build credibility as a professional. And client communications will help you nurture and seal long-lasting client relationships.

Aim for all five, of course. But, take them one at a time. Before long, you'll have all your communication wheels running smoothly, and you'll look and feel like a pro.

What about you? Have you got ideas for communications that can make you look like a pro from Day One? Be sure to share your thoughts and ideas below.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: March 16, 2012

1 Response to “Building Trust and Getting Hired”

  1. Hi Kathryn,

    I just wanted to thank you for your articles this past week. I enjoyed them & can easily see myself using the strategies you gave us.

    As a new copywriter, I'm a tad nervous about how I'll get started with my marketing & get that 1st client! I know it will all work out, but reading your articles helps set my mind at ease.

    Thanks again!
    Keep up the great work!

    Paula High-Young

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