- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 08/11/2009
- Writing for the Web
Online business owners face special challenges when clients revise assignments at the last minute. Often even successful professionals are afraid to say “no” to a good client. But when you get clients through Internet marketing, you can set expectations and avoid these frustrating, no-win situations with some website copywriting techniques. Here’s the problem. Most busy professionals (including me) are juggling half a dozen projects from multiple clients. We accept deadlines and create expectations based on the information we get when we are hired. The challenge comes in communicating expectations to clients without sounding as though we are demanding or hard to work with. But this type of communication is essential if you are to give good service to all your clients, not just those who make the biggest fuss. When we get last-minute requests, the whole process changes. If I have to revise Client A’s copy immediately, then I have to postpone Client B. Or else I have to stay up till all hours working on Client B. That means Client B gets inconvenienced or doesn’t get my best work. Nobody wins.
If you are an independent professional working with clients, you probably face similar challenges, regardless of your
field. Sooner or later, a client will call and say, “I asked you to write an ad for Product X. Now we want to feature Product Y.” Professionals who work with one-to-one consultations usually build in requirements. Typically clients are required to give 24 or even 48 hours notice of cancellation. If you cannot accept those terms, you just find another professional. But those who work on projects tend to be more easygoing, not realizing they are risking a traffic jam somewhere along the way. So I encourage all my own clients to clarify what they mean by “deadline.” When you describe your services, you (or your copywriter) needs to explain that you can meet a deadline only if the client meets certain requirements. Copywriting to set requirements calls for special techniques. You need to be friendly and authentic. You continue to sell your services. But you also communicate that you are a busy, experienced professional. Your website can communicate this message three ways. First, describe the type of client who likes to work with you. Second, describe your services in detail. Third, showcase your own expertise so clients realize you are truly unique. You can accomplish this goal without bragging or boasting when you “show” what you can do instead of “telling” your readers
how great you are.