If you want to charge more money for your freelance writing work, you need to offer an incredible customer experience.
In a nutshell, a great customer experience means that you, as the freelancer, are making life easier for your clients, anticipating problems and heading them off before they disrupt the project, sticking to deadlines, and delivering an amazing finished product.
In this post you’ll learn:
- Why an awesome customer experience is important to your ongoing business success.
- What you need to do to ensure an amazing experience for your customers.
- How an amazing customer experience translates to more money in your pocket.
Why Customer Experience Matters
Have you ever ordered something online that wasn’t from Amazon? From, say, a site you’d never heard of that had a great price or a hard-to-find item?
You place your order, fill in your credit card details, and go. And then… you wait.
You check your credit card, and it’s been charged. But you don’t have any kind of shipping notification or update from the website. You send an email, and no one answers. You seethe silently.
Three weeks later, your package shows up in the mail, and you’re kind of happy, but you’re also left feeling like, “What was that?”
Now, picture this scenario. A client contacts you and says, “I need a white paper.”
You say, “Awesome! I can do that. That’s $500.”
The client pays you.
And now the client waits.
The client gets nervous.
Maybe the client emails with random questions, because she doesn’t have a clue what’s happening.
Maybe the client sits and stews quietly and calls her best friend to tell her she’s just not sure about this writer she hired.
Maybe the client makes up stories in her head. Did you take the $500 and go to Vegas? The client has no clue, because you aren’t communicating.
Or — maybe you told the client right away, “Great! This will take me two weeks.” And then you don’t bother providing an update during that time, because hey, you said, “This will take two weeks,” and you know you’re working on it, so all is good.
But guess what? The client doesn’t know what’s going on, so it’s not good.
Your client is still emailing you weird questions, calling her best friend to hash it out, and making up stories about where you are.
A colleague reaches out and says she’s looking for a writer, does your client maybe know someone.
“Well,” says your client, “I thought the woman I hired was the real deal. She was so great in our initial call. But now… I just…. No, I can’t really recommend her.”
Your client is feeling super unsure about this whole thing.
You don’t want your clients to feel like that. You don’t want to lose potential sales before you’ve had a chance to make them.
You want your clients to feel THIS happy, all the time.
When your clients feel happy, they will want to work with you again and again. They will tell other people about how happy they are with your work. It will be easy for them to recommend you to other people, so you will have even more clients.
A great customer experience creates happy clients. So let’s figure out how to create a great customer experience and keep your clients happy.
Keep Your Clients Happy
Be honest: how many times have you said to a client, “Yep, no problem, I’ll have this to you on Thursday.” And then, when Thursday came, you weren’t ready.
It wasn’t your fault. THREE of your kids were sick, PLUS the car had that flat on Tuesday, AND your great aunt was in the hospital, AND your husband broke his ankle, PLUS the power went out for two days.
Guess what? Your client doesn’t care. Not because he’s heartless — in fact, he may be absolutely lovely. But this is business. You promised to deliver, and you didn’t, and that’s the ONLY thing your client will remember.
Your job is to make life easier for your clients.
That means that when you commit to a due date, you deliver on that date, but it also means that you keep the client informed along the way. If the project is going to take a few weeks, you don’t just go work in your yurt on your deserted island. You tell your client what to expect.
In order to deliver on time, you need to know how long your work will take you, and then schedule it out on your calendar.
Let your client know at the start of every project what’s going to happen and when. Be super, insanely, ridiculously clear on this. For example, you could tell your client:
On Tuesday, I’m going to share an outline with you via Google docs, and I’ll send you a separate email message to explain exactly what you need to do.
On Friday, I’ll send you a rough draft of part one, and I’ll send you a separate email to explain what you’re looking at and what I need from you.
Next Wednesday, you’ll get the full draft — I’ll email you all the details when I share the document — and we’re scheduled to speak on Thursday at noon to review everything.
When you give your client guidelines like this, she knows that you’ve got everything under control. She can relax. She doesn’t have to sit up at night worrying about what’s happening. Instead, she can sit in a lounge chair with a drink in her hand, because you are on it.
You Can Charge More Money for a Premium Experience
Think for a moment about the expectations you have when you go to a fast-food restaurant. You know that you’re going to pay a set amount of money to get a certain type of food. You don’t expect a waiter to com and take your order. You don’t expect anything on the menu to cost more than, say, $5. You don’t expect to wait more than 5 minutes for your food.
Now, think about what you expect when you walk into a five-star restaurant. You’re greeted at the entrance and shown to a table. Someone pulls out your chair for you, pours your water, and hands you a menu with a flourish.
You have expectations about the service — and the pricing. You know you’re not going to find a $5 meal here, and that’s okay. You understand that a burger here will be made from high quality meat, cooked precisely to your specifications, and the presentation will be Instagram-worthy.
You expect to pay more for a burger here than you would at McDonalds.
You know that if you take a bite and the burger isn’t everything you expected, you can send it back. You can tell the chef to try again — but chances are, you won’t need to. The chef knows his stuff. He’s not messing around. He’s not making burgers on an assembly line.
When you take the time to perfect your process and get really good at what you do, you are creating that five-star restaurant experience.
Your clients will have expectations — and they’ll be willing to pay for the service they get. You’ll have the time to give each client the attention she deserves, and the quality of your work will reflect your experience and careful deliberation.
Keep your focus on creating a truly amazing experience for your clients, from start to finish, and you will be able to charge more for your work.
Ready to Charge More Money for Your Freelance Writing Work?
Once you understand the system, you absolutely can charge more money for your freelance writing work. It really does boil down to creating a premium experience that helps your clients understand the value of your entire business process.
You’ll have to be clear on what you offer clients, how long each part of your process takes, and how you’ll communicate and manage client expectations along the way.