Whether you’re new to freelance writing or more established, standing out from other writers can help you achieve sales. One way to make yourself shine is to establish your professionalism in this field from the get-go. You can also tweak your current practices to look more professional. We’ll look at why it’s important to be professional as a freelance writer and offer some client-facing tips to help you direct your efforts.
Why Is It Important to Be Professional?
Anyone can call themselves a writer. However, clients want to know they are working with freelance writers who will take their assignments seriously, produce content that meets their needs, communicate well, and meet quotas and deadlines.
• Inspire confidence in the client
• Reflect dependability and experience
• Deliver value, both through the services provided and in how the client’s reputation is reflected in the work
• Get return clients
• Can command higher rates
In a nutshell, freelance writers whose professionalism is apparent in their work are more successful! Appearing professional vs. appearing disorganized, unreliable, or in a hurry can be the difference between maintaining client relationships and seeing your freelance writing career dry up.
Tips for How to Demonstrate Your Professionalism to Clients
Follow some freelance writing success tips to help increase your level of professionalism.
The following client-facing tips can be implemented quickly and easily:
• Choose a real-sounding penname or username. Clients may be more willing to work with someone whose penname sounds like a real person’s name rather than a handle for a social media network. Just consider: Would you rather work with someone who goes by the name Anna J. Kelly or born2rite?
• Proofread and use spellcheck and a grammar checker on all your pieces. (Be aware that these cannot always be depended upon to make the right choice, however.) Even the most detail-oriented writer can miss typos or other errors in their work. Furthermore, proper spelling and grammar are important to clients who value clarity and want to grow their audience. Spellcheckers and grammar checkers are essential tools to prevent mistakes from entering your copy.
• Make sure your writer profile or other client-facing information about yourself reflects your experience and topics of expertise.
• Study communication techniques to sell yourself as a writer and apply them!
• Meet your project deadlines. If you have the chance to set your own deadline, set it further in advance than you expect you’ll need, then submit early. Your client will appreciate your promptness and your ability to stick to your word. Waiting until the last minute may cause you to rush, which encourages errors, and may make your client nervous that they won’t receive the copy on time.
Other strategies take longer to implement but will showcase your professionalism freelance writer:
• Use inclusive language to welcome a diverse readership to your articles.
• Focus on a couple of specific niches, develop your understanding of them, and build your portfolio with articles that explore those topics in a variety of ways. Doing so will demonstrate your expertise and knowledge in a field; always an attractive quality in a writer. Furthermore, expanding your writing expertise is ultimately rewarding!
• Write longer, more in-depth articles about your chosen topics. Show your clients you have done your research and are capable of providing their readers with informative, detailed articles. Clients use this content to bring readers back to their websites, encourage customers to buy a product, or advertise services. Knowledgeable, well-researched articles really matter to clients’ bottom lines.
• Cite your sources to demonstrate professionalism. Including references goes hand-in-hand with research. If you’ve used the work of others to help you write your articles, properly cite those sources. The authors of that content, study, or other sources deserve credit. Providing references shows that you respect others’ work and helps you build credibility as a writing professional who is ethically and transparently conducting their business.
• Strive to produce consistent quality. If your clients have purchased content from you in the past because they like your use of language, your writing style, or your thoroughness, maintain that level of quality throughout the pieces you produce. Clients won’t hesitate to hire you again if they can expect consistent quality from you.
Your freelance writing jobs may be a side gig or a hobby, but treating them as you would a main or full-time job will get you more fulfilling and better-paying work. And if freelance writing is your main job, the more professionalism you demonstrate to clients, the stronger the career you can build in an increasingly competitive industry.
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Author Details: Kerry Kubilus is Constant Content’s enthusiastic head editor. Curious and inquisitive, she loves that her job involves helping writers’ work shine while simultaneously learning about a wide variety of topics. In her time off, she enjoys first-hand research about travel, culture, and food, preferably all at once.