Refreshed, Reinvigorated and Ready to Go

I probably should have preceded this blog post with one headed ‘Fatigued, Frustrated and Fed up’ as that’s exactly how I felt just a couple of weeks ago. It’s a good thing that my holiday came when it did as I was well in need of it.

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‘Why was I feeling so FFF’d up with everything?’ you may ask. Here’s why:

Fatigued because I’ve been working weekends for the last seven months as well as working Monday to Friday. Basically, me and my husband have been renovating my mother-in-law’s former home as she sadly passed away last September.  Although the work was mainly cosmetic we underestimated just how long it would take to complete. We also didn’t realise how much the continuous weekend working would take it out of us, especially as we have both been fully stretched in our Monday to Friday occupations recently.  Plus, we’re not as young as we used to be and at times like this it really shows.

Frustrated because I desperately want to publish the novel that I wrote several years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy lately that I can’t even find time to edit it let alone put all my promotional and marketing plans into effect.

Fed up due to a combination of the above two. I do tend to push myself too hard at times, to the point where I feel extremely tired but I still find myself dissatisfied if I don’t achieve all of my goals. I planned to launch my novel in May or June and it galls me to have to accept that I will probably need to postpone the launch date.

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On a more positive note, two more weeks should see the end of the house renovations and then I’ll get my weekends back – at last! I’ve also spent two blissful weeks lazing about in the sun so I’m feeling much more refreshed and ready to tackle the mountain of client work that is waiting for me. Not that I’m complaining about my client workload – it’s always good to have plenty of paid writing, proofreading and editing work. Getting my weekends back, however, will be an absolute bonus. It means that I’ll be able to take some time to chill and recharge my batteries at the weekends. I might also manage to squeeze in a couple of hours on my novel if I’ve been too busy during the week. Bring it on!

I’d love to hear how other authors find the time to organise a heavy workload particularly those who have other commitments as well as being authors. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box below.

 

Becoming a Freelance Copywriter – Part 6 – Retaining Customers

Now that you’ve built up your client base you need to make sure that you retain those clients because your connections with them could lead to regular ongoing work. Here are some tips that should help:

Maintaining Quality

There’s an old adage that you’re only as good as your last piece of work and that is particularly true in the writing industry. It is important to maintain both the quality and the punctuality of your writing no matter how busy you may become. This can be difficult at times when you have a heavy workload, but don’t be tempted to do a rush job, which doesn’t match your usual quality standards. Just because you have done good work for a client in the past doesn’t mean they will retain your services if you return writing that is sub-standard.

To ensure that you haven’t made any mistakes with your writing you should always proofread it a couple of times. You will find it easier to spot errors if you approach it afresh. I usually check through my work straight after I have written it then put it to one side and proofread it the following day. I prefer to proofread first thing in the morning before I start work on other writing projects. You will be amazed to find how much easier it is to spot errors after you have slept on it and approached the task with a clear head.

Be realistic about timescales because if you fail to deliver a project on time it will only lead to disappointment on the part of the client. As a freelance copywriter you are bound to get periods when everything seems to come in at once followed by quiet periods. This is one of the reasons that I decided to write and publish my own books as it is something productive that I can fit around client projects, whilst still utilising my skills as a writer.

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In time you will learn to manage these fluctuations. However, in the meantime you will have to balance your workload in the best way you can. Managing a demanding number of projects will sometimes entail having to make crucial decisions. For example, if a client is really valuable to you, can you really afford to put him off if he has an urgent requirement? You may decide that it would be best to put him at the front of the queue and ask other clients whether they would mind waiting a little longer. Alternatively, you may decide that it is worthwhile pulling out all the stops for a couple of weeks and working longer hours until your workload is more manageable.

Keep in Touch

Bear in mind that clients have urgent requirements and not so urgent requirements. With the latter clients tend to put off these tasks choosing to concentrate on the more pressing needs of their businesses. In fact, sometimes they forget about them altogether until something jolts their memory. That’s why it’s handy to keep in touch. However, it’s not a good idea to bombard clients with emails every week as this can become irritating as we all know. Instead you should only contact them by email when you have something worth reporting such as a special offer.

Social media is a handy way of keeping in touch with clients and I always try to connect with clients on Facebook or Linked In. With these channels it is accepted as the norm to make regular postings, and people following you can choose whether or not they want to read the information you are posting. So, if you publish a blog and link to it from Facebook or Linked In it may remind your clients of your presence. Also, if you provide valuable information via your blog it will serve to reinforce your professional prowess. 

Entice Them

One good reason to contact a client directly by email would be if you are running a special promotion. This could be a percentage discount on all services or perhaps you will offer a discount for certain areas. I offer a permanent discount for bulk articles and blogs as companies have a regular need for these. Commissioning regular articles can also work out costly for businesses who constantly publish them to maintain their Internet Search Engine Rank. So, if you have a new client that you have just written the web copy for, it may be a good idea to let them know if you offer a discount for bulk article copywriting. 

This is the sixth part in my series of articles about becoming a freelance copywriter. Part 7 will discuss the financial aspects. If you have found this post helpful or you have any questions you’d like to ask, please feel free to post your comments below.