Working With a New Client: Tips for Freelance Writers

Most freelance writers, and especially new freelance writers, just love receiving the news that they have been selected to work on a new project with a new client. You certainly do get a little confidence boost from being selected over other freelance writers who offered their services for that same project!

Hopefully you did your up-front homework on the client before you requested the assignment. You can generally read reviews about the client online to learn what experiences others  have had with them, and  you can also research the company you will be working for, if the client is company rather than an individual. Now that you have the client hooked, though, you will want to follow these steps to ensure you have a smooth first assignment with your new client, which may pave the way for future work from the client. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Payment Expectations. With any new client who has not yet established himself or herself as reliable in terms of paying for your services, you will want to proceed with a bit of caution. On larger projects, it is best to negotiate for partial payment on the project as certain milestones are met. If the project will be on-going, you should be clear about your own guidelines regarding payment. Few freelance writers are comfortable continuing to work with a client for weeks without getting some type of compensation in return. You don’t want to sit and stew quietly because your new client isn’t paying you as quickly as you had hoped, so make sure you clear the air up-front.
  • Baby Steps. Any time you are working with a new client,  you will want to send over a small portion of the work  you are doing for review and approval. This will help to ensure that you are writing with appropriate content, tone, and style that meets the client’s needs. Some clients are great about providing you with detailed instructions up front, and others are not. Even with detailed instructions, though, you will want to get your work reviewed and approved fairly early on into the project to make sure you both are on the same page.
  • Run With It. Many times, freelance writers who are working on a new project proceed timidly because they are unsure that they will get paid as agreed, because they are unsure if the work they are doing is satisfactory, or both. When you follow the first two steps listed here, however, you will find that you can then feel free to run with the project at full speed.

Working with a new client is a fun and exciting time for freelance writers, yet it can be a really stressful hassle, too, if you aren’t careful. Take some time early on in your relationship with the new client to follow these tips, and then you will find that you have laid the foundation for a great working relationship where you provide content that the client really wants and you are getting paid based on terms that work well for you.


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