Let’s face it; every client and project may not be a match made in heaven. To avoid a catastrophe, gather as much information as you can about a client and their project to determine if the relationship/project will be a good match before you send a proposal, quote or bid. This will save you time and headaches in the long run.
Questions to ask New Freelance Writing Clients
1. What exactly is the project? Is it a blog? Do you need articles written? How about a newsletter? Make a client tell you exactly what it is they need and want.
2. Will I receive credit or byline? Some clients may or may not give you a link to your website. It’s your decision as to whether or not you’ll accept the project if the client says, “No, you cannot have a link to your website.”
3. How long is the project? Is it ongoing? Is it one to two months? Ascertain the length of time for a project.
4. Who’s the target audience? Some people need help determining their target audience. If you have a background in marketing, you could become a client’s marketing consultant in addition to their freelance writer.
5. Who owns the rights? Unless you’re writing for a magazine or newspaper (or you write a book), nine times out of ten, a client will retain rights to the written work you provide.
6. How did you hear about me? Clients may have found you through your website, social media websites, direct mail, etc.
7. What questions do you have for me? Of course, a potential new client will have questions for you.
8. My terms are 50% up front and the other half when the project is completed. If a project is month-to-month, I send an invoice at the end-of-the-month. Do these terms work for you?
9. Proposals. If the scope-of-work changes, I’ll submit a change to the scope-of-work proposal. This may affect the ‘original’ fee. Work will not continue unless both of us ‘sign off’ on the proposal. Agree? Disagree?
Tip: A client who isn’t thrilled about answering questions, or is evasive and indecisive indicates they could be a ‘nightmare’ client. They may be highly disorganized or can’t figure out what they want. Also, you may not get paid on time or at all for your work. Have the courage to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Questions to ask New Ghost Writing Clients
2. How many words is your book? This could be an estimate if the person doesn’t know exactly how many words they want.
3. Who’s the target audience? Again, it’s important to know the target audience.
4. Have you started on your project? Do you have sample chapters for me to look at?
5. Why do you want this book, eBook, short story, etc. written? What is the purpose of it?
6. Why are you considering hiring a ghost writer? Time? Don’t enjoy writing? Focusing on business aspect? Other?
7. What kind of publisher do you hope to be working with? Do you want to sell your book to a traditional publisher, or self-publish it with a print-on-demand service?
8. What is your estimated budget for this project? This is a good way to ‘weed’ out a client who may not be able to pay your fee.
9. What is your deadline? How quickly do you need this material?
10. What voice, style and tone are you looking for? Conversational? Direct? First, second or third person? Omnipotent? Give explanations of these in case the client may not understand what you mean.
11. If I walked into a bookstore, what section would I find your book? Young adult? Children’s? Self-help? Poetry? Science? Technology? Business? Travel? Other? It’s important to understand and to ascertain if the client understands where they’re book will be in the local or ‘big chain’ bookstore.
12. What authors have books like yours? This gives you a good idea of what a client is looking for.
13. Will I be interviewing anyone for the book? You could interview people for the book if it’s a memoir, self-help, etc.
14. What questions do you have for me? Allow a potential new client to ask you questions. They should ask questions.
15. My payment terms are ___________. Give a client your fee and payment structure. Make sure they’re comfortable with it.
16. How soon would you like to begin? A client may be anxious to begin straightaway. If the client/project feels good, go for it. If not, respectfully decline the project.
The more details you can obtain about a potential, new client the better you’ll be able to ‘tune-into’ whether or not the client and or project is something you want to pursue. Please don’t feel like you have to accept every new client and project. You don’t have to. Listen to your ‘gut instinct’ and say “Yes” or “No” to a ‘new’ client.
- 7 Benefits of Hiring a Ghost Writer (savvy-writer.com)
- Freelance Writers Market Your Honesty to Clients (savvywritingcareers.wordpress.com)
- The Challenges and Joys of Freelance Writing … Freelance Writer’s Perspective (savvy-writer.com)
- Affirmations for Writers (savvywritingcareers.wordpress.com)