Behaviour yeses and noes: the customer

Two women in workout gear on a pier giving each other a high five
Photo by Luis Quintero on

Just like the business content writer has behaviour yeses and noes, the customer does as well!  If you’re looking at hiring a freelance business writer to give you some support and you want to make sure that it’s a profitable relationship on both sides, here are some behaviour tips to help you make the most out of this understated professional relationship with your content writer. 

Behaviour yeses

  • DO ask for (and look at) samples before starting a relationship: Any writer is going to have sort form of portfolio up for potentials clients to see.  Ask for samples and make sure that you take the time to look at them.  If you don’t and they deliver something that you dislike in style, it was on you to make sure that you approved of their samples.  
  • DO give them a detailed brief and encourage communication: It’s tempting to just give the content writer a random topic in your nice and then leave it at that, but for the first couple of projects, it’s important to provide them with a summary of the project expected and even link them to pieces of content that exist already on your website so they can get a feel for them. Also, make it clear that you want to hear from them if they any questions or uncertainties.  
  • DO offer feedback and suggestions for future work: Positive or (constructively) negative, a writer loves getting feedback and suggestions on the work that they did for you.  Consider giving them some brief delivery notes so that they can use those to help make your next collaboration stronger or, at least, learn from their mistakes for future customers. It doesn’t need a long detailed list of flaws, just a paragraph is good.  

Behaviour noes

  • DON’T treat them like a machine: This is a big problem with some freelancing platforms out there where customers are anonymous.  They expect professional writers to churn out thousands of “perfect quality” writing in 24 hours and only expect to pay the standard rate.  This is inconsiderate and something to avoid.  If you’ve got a large project and a tight deadline, be respectful of their needs by either extending the deadline or making it worth their time financially.  
  • DON’T underpay or refuse to pay in case of a bad experience: Once you’ve agreed to a set rate, you are obligated to pay it if the writer delivers the project.  Even if it’s a negative experience that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, don’t underpay or refuse to pay your content writer.  It’s very unprofessional and it can get you in a lot of trouble.  As we all know, bad press can ruin you in no time at all.
  • DON’T get abusive even if you’re frustrated: Maybe the writer is late in delivery or maybe they’re being stubborn in revisions, or they just aren’t getting back to you.  Whatever the reason, make sure that you are firm but professional.  Don’t threaten or otherwise use abusive language.  Not only is it online forever (screenshots are easy to get), it could also get you in serious trouble if they decided to report you to the various authorities.  

Keep in mind…

Being respectful of your freelance writer doesn’t mean that you need to pussyfoot around them.  It also doesn’t mean that you have to let them off the hook for what they’re contracted to do.  You’re there to develop a professional relationship with your content writer, not to be their bestie.  If you want to make sure that you’re walking that line, reverse the situation and think about how you would want to be treated as the writer.  That can help you through sticky or awkward conversations a lot more than you might think!

Business content writing

Kelterss View All →

Kelterss is an experienced freelance content writer and a published author based in New Brunswick, Canada. She writes website content, blog posts, and product descriptions for customers worldwide. Kelterss specializes in writing about mental health, fitness, and dog behaviour. Freelancing since 2014, Kelterss has earned over 3,200 reviews and has a 4.9/5-star rating.

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