Spending time convincing potential online writing clients to hire you is all part of the life of a freelance writer online.
But what if you could tell those clients exactly what they need to hear before they’ve even realised they want to hear it?
It would save heaps of time and potentially get you more online writing clients, that's what.
It's important to understand that a client's reluctance to hire you isn’t really their (or your) fault. There are a lot of. . . untrustworthy people online. Nobody likes to lose money or look bad in front of their boss.
Like with any type of relationship, clients need to know they can trust you before they start anything with you. So here's what online writing clients need to hear in order to trust you enough to hire you.
1. I can take care of that for you
Potential writing clients need to hear confidence in your own abilities.
It sounds obvious, but if you don’t sound confident (not over-confident, but confident), how are clients supposed to believe you’re up to the job?
If you’re a good writer and know you can complete the work to a high standard and on time, be confident in your pitch.
This alone will make such a difference to your freelancing writing business and how much you go on to earn.
(Bonus tip: this approach will make such a difference to your life in general.
A cis, straight white man once said:
“Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think."
Easy for him to say, but something to think about.
2. I’ve done this before – see here, here and here as evidence
It almost goes without saying that potential online writing clients will want to see proof that you can do what you say you can.
Not much online writing work to show off? If you’re yet to build up an online portfolio, download my free eBook to learn how to build a writing portfollio from scratch.
3. How do you normally approach that? Why is that? When do you usually do that?
Asking questions is not a sign of naivety – it’s a sign that you’re a professional writer who knows how things work out there in the online world.
To succeed in this game, you need to understand each facet of a potential client’s business, marketing goals, existing strategies. . . and so on.
Ask for clarity on anything that isn’t 100% clear. Your client will thank you for it in the long-run. (Plus people like talking about themselves and what they're looking to achieve!)
4. I’ll have that to you by this date
Once you know all the details of a project or ongoing work, let prospective clients know exactly how long it will take you to complete, and – if they haven’t already specified – exactly when you can deliver.
Some clients may need guidance in terms of what’s possible in a certain timeframe – particularly if they’re only just implementing a new content strategy for their business.
5. I’m flexible. . . but busy
Online writing clients like to hear that if something comes up, you’re the sort of writer they can rely on to be a bit flexible.
Giving into a client’s every whim and request at the drop of a hat can be counter-productive.
Look at it from the client's point of view: if you’re the competent and successful writer you say are, your schedule will likely be on the busy side.
Nothing screams 'writer desperate for work at any price' than a wide open schedule. Respect your own time and (good) online writing clients will respect it too.
6. Have you got any questions for me?
Inviting questions from potential new writing clients brings together most of the elements we’ve already looked at. It shows a confidence in your abilities and that you won’t leave any stone unturned in your quest for assuring quality.
Asking for any questions also gives you the opportunity to alleviate any concerns a client may have about hiring you. Once all their questions have been answered you can confidently move on to talking money and closing the deal. . .
7. Here’s how much it will cost
If the client hasn't already fixed the rate (and even if they have in some cases), once you’ve gathered all the information, go ahead and tell them how much it will cost.
Be sure to communicate all the benefits of hiring you first, plus how you work and why you’re worth your fee.
If you need help working out how much to charge clients, see this post:
If they can’t afford you and your writing services, you’ll know not to waste anymore time and can move on to a client that can afford you.