Develop a Stream of Direct Orders through Consistent Follow-Up
Rob offers in this blog post some tips for cultivating relationships with clients that turn into streams of steady work. Employing these principles personally means that currently more than 90% of his work is done via DirectOrder. These tips are basically common sense and many of you probably already use some of them. Nonetheless, perhaps something new will click with you that will prove fruitful.
Greetings, fellow writers! It’s a pleasure for me to participate in this blog as a writer, and I hope I can add some beneficial ideas to the discussion. Before I jump in, let me give you a thumbnail sketch of my background, to give you the opportunity to put into context what I have to say. I’ve been textbrokering, as we call it around my house, for about eight months. I started slowly, because I did not immediately realize the potential this work offers as a steady source of quality income. I’ve been working it pretty hard for about six months now. I enjoy it immensely and have developed a quality group of clients.
Personally, my background is in pastoral ministry, specifically as a starter of evangelical churches with a very contemporary flair. We were usually known as the church in town that liked to rock! After nearly 20 years and four churches, my wife and I decided to take a breather from that line of work and give our three teenagers a chance to put down some roots here in northern Michigan. Over the years, writing was an essential part of my workload, so when it was time to look for new work, seeking freelance writing opportunities was a natural pursuit. I Googled “writing jobs” and after weeding through a good many sites that were a complete waste of time – I know you’ve been there, done that! – found Textbroker, and got started.
What I want to offer in this blog post are some tips for cultivating relationships with clients that turn into streams of steady work. Employing these principles personally means that currently more than 90% of my work is done via DirectOrder. These tips are basically common sense and many of you probably already use some of them. Nonetheless, perhaps something new will click with you that will prove fruitful.
To begin with, when you receive an excellent rating on an open order article, message the client. Thank them for the rating and let them know you enjoyed writing the article. Offer to do more work for them through the DirectOrder process. If you are able to offer them a price rate that will save them money, mention that prominently, and spell out for them the savings they will enjoy. If you are a five-star writer and the article was a five-star article, obviously you have the most flexibility in pricing. If the article was a 4-star effort and you can’t set a client-specific rate that is lower and which still allows you to make a decent wage, take a different angle. Pitch the idea that if they send you DirectOrders, they’ll get consistently high quality work they can rely on for the same money. Who knows, if they were three- or four-star articles, you might even be able to persuade them to pay a bit extra to obtain your services than they were paying on the OpenOrder side. Always exude personal confidence in your ability to deliver fantastic text. Mention anything about your personal or writing experience, or even your interests, that might convince them you’re the best writer for the job. I’ve engaged most of my steady customers through this approach. Remember that you are an independent contractor, and like it or not, sales must be part of the embraced job description of any writer who hopes to succeed. Good sales people know that asking current and potential clients for their business is essential.
Here’s an important tip: Even if the article was outside of your strengths, consider following up anyway. It’s important to keep in mind that many of the clients who order work through Textbroker are website developers. I know Christina has written on this, but it bears repeating. When you write an article on Pete’s Plumbing in Peoria, you may not be writing for Pete. Chances are, you are writing for the gal or guy who is building Pete’s website. That person has other clients, and all of their sites need quality content, too! Become the website builder’s go-to writer and you might find yourself pretty busy, with an enjoyable variety of writing projects coming through DirectOrder. To wrap up this point, when you write a follow-up, be confident and as succinct as possible, and remember to thank them for their time. Positive responses I’ve received have included an immediate influx of DirectOrders and “we’ll keep you in mind” replies, some of which have produced fruit later while others still have not.
When you do receive a DirectOrder, look it over and come up with an estimate of when you’ll be able to deliver it. Then contact the client to acknowledge having received it. Thank them for it, and give them an idea of when you expect to have it completed. I have found that they appreciate being kept informed. The few times I’ve had to delay work for DirectOrder clients, they were understanding because I communicated with them.
Finally, you might receive a single DirectOrder that is actually a batch of articles. I’ve received as many as 30 product review articles that the client grouped together to save the hassle of inputting them separately into Textbroker’s system. When this happens, I write 3-5 of them, and then send them to the client through the messaging system. I want to know I’m hitting the target before I invest too much time. I use their response to tweak the ones I’ve done, if needed. I can then forge ahead on the others with confidence.