Plain Business Etiquette
I’ve mentioned previously that I have been spreading my wings and venturing into new areas looking for business. Primarily this has been based around the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) knowledge I’ve been accumulating, but it has brought home to me a reminder of my very first weeks writing for pay. Making initial approaches for work and how to handle queries and the assignment itself are probably more important than what you actually produce at this stage.
When making an initial approach for an assignment don’t pussy foot around. Ask for the work; spell out your idea, or how you will deal with the subject matter and most importantly how you will manage the work and what can be expected.
Below is a real bid I made for ten articles recently:
Hi – this supplements my bid of $60 for 10 x 400 word (min) articles. The articles will be delivered within 24 hours of receipt of instruction. They will:
1. be 100% original and Copyscape tested prior to submission;
2. in US English or British English as you specify;
3. grammatically correct and free of typos;
4. optimized with the keyword/phrase to your specification;
5. written by me – a native English speaker who splits his time between the US and UK.
I’ve attached a sample of my writing below and you will find my contact information within this if you wish to discuss this prior to awarding the work.
I note that you have 2 of these projects and I shall bid for this other project also with the same terms.
You may have noticed that it is not personalised and that is simply because I did not know the identity of the project provider, but the rest is straight forward and to the point. I attached a writing sample with this bid, but the bulk of my bid is not concerned with writing per se, it tackles the issues of what, quantity, cost, quality and when the product will be delivered. Some may consider my terse bidding style to be too cold or “in your face”, but in fact it is a clear cut approach that leaves little room for doubt as to what I will be providing.
Notice that I have pretty much covered all aspects of the project and provided samples for the project provider to check without having to dig around. Do not put potential clients in a position where they have to do some digging to find out how good you are. Always place your name, email address and any contact telephone numbers at the top of any writing sample that you send out to prospective clients. Invite potential clients to discuss assignments with you prior to awarding the work, as this will show that you actually do care about delivering content that fits their needs.
You may notice that I state the articles will be written by “me” which may seem like stating the obvious but in reality it is not. There are a huge number of content providers that are operating as nothing more than a brokerage or battery farm with people churning out content. I’m a native English speaker and writer, the sample attached is my work and I wanted to make it clear to the client that I was not going to be sub-contracting the work out elsewhere, they were paying for “me” and I was being delivered.
In this particular instance, the bid was successful and I have busied myself writing on the delights of colonic irrigation for the past few hours. Delivery of the work was completed and the client is so pleased he’s awarded me the second project that I was bidding on and paid me. You’ll probably want to read through a few ideas online about getting repeat customers if you also want to be re-awarded writing gigs from clients.
One thing before I leave, after my internet research on colon cleansing products there are memories of images I wish I did not have!