Q: How do you find good clients as a freelance writer?
A: Who you write for is often as important as where you find your jobs. A good client can make the difference between a job that runs smoothly and one filled with problems and setbacks. Some job boards and websites provide reviews on both contractors and clients, making it easy to spot a difficult client. However, even if the client doesn’t have a posted rating or review, there are still ways to spot a good client. Look for well written job posts with clear explanations of job details, and a reasonable budget.
Good clients are happy to answer follow up questions, respond quickly to inquiries, and offer reasonable deadlines. They are friendly and personable, often calling you by name in messages or correspondences. They know what they need from you and are clear about it from the very beginning. Good clients, unfortunately, are not as common as bad clients, but if you pay attention, they’re usually easy to spot.
Often, what a client doesn’t post can tell you as much as what he does post. If the client puts a lot of stress on budget and price, there’s always the possibility that he is a good client who is just dealing with a tight budget, but it’s much more likely that the client is going to expect a lot of work for very little pay. There’s nothing wrong with expecting quality work, but if the client talks about rejecting articles or docking pay before you write the first line, it could be a sign that the client isn’t very professional. Personally, I refuse to work with clients who mention pay cuts or docking in their proposals. I make a point of only turning in quality work. If the client has a problem with something I wrote, I am happy to correct the problem, but I can’t afford to work for nothing. Though this policy has kept me from bidding on a handful of projects, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.