Monday, August 4, 2008

Solving Problems for Freelance Clients

By nature, I am a problem solver who thrives on overcoming obstacles and that's one of the reasons why I think I have so many repeat clients. A good way to become an indispensable part of your client's extended team is to help them solve their business problems. How do you do this? It all starts with dialogue.

Talk To Your Clients

Your aim is to become a trusted advisor and you can do this by demonstrating your problem solving abilities and knowledge about your niche. (Another great reason to define yourself as a writer specialised in a specific area of knowledge!)

Consider asking questions and offering solutions. If you have a relationship with your client, ask questions about what their goals are and what they want to be doing in business. If you've heard something or read something somewhere that can help you do your job better with them, let them know. I had a client recently go crazy on the keywords and I was worried that they were doing the equivalent of keyword stuffing their articles which could put them at risk for being banned as spam. Because I have a good rapport with them I was able to approach this subject tactfully. If I had a different type of relationship with them I may have not done this.

I had another client that purchased some copy from me that looked great but their landing page was awful. I didn't tell them it was awful but offered to give them some advice on improving their conversion rates on their landing page if they were interested. I wasn't sure how they would take it so I approached it carefully. I helped them and they were pleased. If you're seen as a problem solver you can discover new areas for writing opportunities and your clients will be more likely to use you again as well as refer you to others.

1 comment:

Graham Strong said...

Excellent advice!

I do little things like that all the time. Most cases, it is little things like "have you tried this...?" to help them boost sales, etc. Most of it too is "free" advice, though I do consider it part of my "value-added" services.

It seems to work -- I almost always get repeat business from my clients. And often, with some pieces of advice, they tell me "Hey, great idea -- quote me on that!"

They get better service, and I get more contracts -- everyone's happy!

~Graham