Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Value-Added Freelancing – Are Your Clients Getting Value from You?
My previous corporate life taught me a lot about value. Providing value to my customers brought them back, got glowing letters written to my superiors, and helped me feel great about the job I was doing. I felt good when I showed customers ways I'd saved them money or hit corporate goals and stretch goals. I loved getting a "Wow that was fast" or "Dana, you're awesome!" I work hard today to get the same reaction from my writing clients. It's not possible to hit the mark and wow customers 100% of the time but I'm happy to say that most people feel good when they send me money for the service I've provided and most of them come back for more.
Although I'm a freelance writer and web marketing consultant who has traded dress shoes for fluffy slippers, I've retained my corporate set of core values.
I haven't turned lax just because I'm not wearing pantyhose. Let’s say I wear virtual pantyhose with my fuzzy bunnies ;)
• I ask questions. I make sure I try to gain a full understanding of what clients want.
• I treat their business as if it's my business. That means that even though I might be ghostwriting, I still work to put the same amount of care and effort as I do when I put my own name on it. If someone wants to sell something, I work my hardest to help them do that. I'm exuberant when a client tells me that they've had great results as a result of something I did for them.
• I answer emails fast. People like instant service.
• I try very hard to never make one client feel less important than another client. If your smallest client feels like they're your most important customer they're more likely to become a bigger client for you.
• I give more than I get. Value. I often provide little extras so that customers feel like they've gotten value from me. I love the reaction I get when I tell someone I've done something extra for them.
• I care about the outcome. I want my writing to provide customers with results so that they feel good about what they've spent, they'll want to buy more from me, and they'll tell others about my services.
• If I get it wrong, I do whatever I can to make it right. I've seen writers refuse to step even a smidgen outside the scope of what they feel they're being paid for or become miserable when they have a rewrite request. Of course we'd all love to get it right the first time but the way you react to criticism can make a big impact on a client's perception of you.