As a copywriter your main job is to create great content and get paid. But whether you are a novice or an experienced copywriter, you are bound to deal with difficult clients. It is just part of the business. As such, it will be vital to learn how to quickly deal with difficult clients so that you can build your writing career while you earn a living. Some clients will challenge you, while others will outright drive you nuts and even cause you financial loss. But before you toss your computer through the window, there are some easy steps you can take to save your sanity and maybe even the relationship with those challenging types. Here are a few of the clients you may face and how to deal with them.
This client will tell you how to write practically every word. Often this client will be unhappy with your content. The reason for their lack of satisfaction is that they are doing the writing instead of letting you flex your creative muscles.
The best way to deal avoid this situation is to set parameters on how often you will provide content for their review with specific deadlines. Be clear with your clients that this will help you create the best content possible for them. Provide a few pages for your client’s review and feedback. Only do this as needed to help you create content appropriate for the client. This will also help you stay on track with client goals and will reduce their intrusion.
The opposite of the micromanager, this client will not know how to work with a writer due to lack of experience or poor communication skills. Often, this client will also be uncertain as to the direction of the content for their goals. This can lead to an endless project without extra income. It is imperative to push along the aloof client gently but firmly.
Instead of seeing an aloof client as a negative, this is a great opportunity for a copywriter to help create the client’s brand. If the client does not have samples of the content they envision, research the competition. Create a few drafts to help this client decide which style is preferred. Your client will appreciate your efforts and will consider you a valuable resource.
The deadbeat client is happy to receive and use your content but not so quick to pay. I always advise copywriters to request a deposit before starting any work, whether it is one page or a 20-page website. Legitimate clients will be happy to pay a deposit.
Create an agreement the outlines the project, deadlines and compensation. It can be as simple as an email between you and the client agreeing on certain terms or an actual contract. There are various online resources that provide free contract templates for freelancers. Depending on your comfort level, you can split up the deposit in two, three or even four ways. Have a written agreement that is signed by both you and your client. And of course, you should only continue work if the client abides by your payment agreement.
Above all, avoid the client who only offers to pay for your content after it is completed. You are a professional copywriter and deserve to receive respect and compensation for your time and work. I genuinely believe that there are few exceptions to this rule and that an agreement should always be in place.
Think of it this way—often the difficult clients are what help you grow more as a professional copywriter. It will be vital to learn how to quickly deal with difficult clients so that you can establish positive client relationships, build your career as a copywriter and be able to make a living.
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