Copywriters, keep your clients happy

18 replies
I'm a professional writer who got his start with a huge news service. It was the Gannett News Service. Did more cartooning and illustration than writing but did a huge amount of editing.

Deadline on the city desk. It doesn't get any tougher than that.

Anyhow, when I started copywriting on the web it was by sheer accident. I had been working for AOL/TimeWarner and was writing day and night as well as a moderator for one of their top forums. You learn a lot about people when you're chatting live so when I started copywriting many years ago I found that the best part isn't just getting paid but meeting clients who are nice, courteous, smart, and share valuable info.

Wish I had listened to many of them but I wasn't into IM at the time.

Nowadays because of the expansion of the web you can find clients all over. For a single person wanting to make some extra cash or even a good income you would only need a few regular well paying clients.

When you get them, treat them nice. Keep a good schedule and offer some suggestions now and then. Say "Happy Birthday" if you know their birthday.

I've got clients I've had for almost a decade. We've been through a lot but the clients who aren't trying to exploit you or run game on you, treat with high respect and treasure them.

They'll stick with you for years.

When some of my writing clients find out I draw comic books they go out and buy them. They send them to me from all over the world and I'll autograph them and with my main clients I even do a portrait of them or their kids now and then for free. Yep, free.

As we see more tweaks in the IM game for the better we'll see more opportunities and more chances at friendship in business.

Believe you me, as crooked as this world can be, having a client you can depend on is a blessing!
#clients #copywriters #happy
  • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
    Love your illustrations. Lots of talent on display.

    And treat clients like family... I second that emotion.

    -- Ross
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    • Profile picture of the author rjweaver10
      I agree. Some of my clients I have been with for almost a year. Its a pretty awesome feeling to have. Thanks for the encouragement! :
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    • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
      Originally Posted by Ross Bowring View Post

      Love your illustrations. Lots of talent on display.

      And treat clients like family... I second that emotion.

      -- Ross
      Much appreciated Ross! Wait til you see some of my watercolor portraits. I'm really enjoying going back into that area of fine art.
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  • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
    What's an extra plus is that some clients own hotels and have theme park goodies and other related businesses that you can get deals from or for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    "This would be a great business if it weren't for the bloody clients"
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
    Banned
    Originally Posted by EvolBaby View Post

    When you get them, treat them nice. Keep a good schedule and offer some suggestions now and then. Say "Happy Birthday" if you know their birthday.
    This. We do this a lot of times, especially when Skype pops a message that it's the person's birthday. It's always good to treat everyone nicely, be it in business or in life, in general.
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    • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
      Originally Posted by contentwriting360 View Post

      This. We do this a lot of times, especially when Skype pops a message that it's the person's birthday. It's always good to treat everyone nicely, be it in business or in life, in general.
      Exactly! ICQ has a birthday reminder and I have so many contacts there I've forgotten what we did. Whenever a birthday reminder pops up I say "Happy Birthday" and sometimes I'll get a reply back and an offer to work on something! It's great!
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  • Profile picture of the author staceythewriter
    I agree. When you treat them well, even after not using your services for a long time, when they finally do need a copywriter again, it's you that they think of.
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    Stacey Mathis
    Stacey Mathis Copywriting
    The Copywriter's Highway to Success
    http://www.staceythewriter.com
    Twitter: @staceythewriter

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  • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
    Yes Stacey!

    In addition to my long time clients I'll even do a portrait as a gift. They love having their kids or pets painted or drawn. Matter of fact I have a client who runs a huge website. I can't wait to see what he and his boss say when I offer to do a couple of portraits for them in watercolor or do a comic book superhero thing for their kids.

    They just love stuff like that and they'll hip you to new techniques or coming trends.

    Add to that some good barter opportunities and great things can happen.
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    • Profile picture of the author underworld90
      I've sent thank you cards to my clients in the past but never any big thank you gifts. The relationships that I have with clients feel more business-like and never quite as personal as would warrant a gift.

      That said, if I walk into a $10k a year client, I'll be buying them a thank you gift for sure!
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  • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
    Underworld90,

    Don't know how long you've been doing this but now and then you will run into a client that has become more than just business. That's when it becomes an art. You don't even have to think twice with them. Things just flow so smoothly that you make income on general principal alone. I have a client like that. We argue like brothers but every month we make that loot. Come heck or high water, we make that loot.
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  • Profile picture of the author adi qayum
    That is true indeed. If you provide the best quality to clients, even if they are paying a low rate, they will stick with you for years. Eventually, they will realize you are worth more and hence you would be awarded!

    The birthday tip shows that we need to have a good relationship with our clients. It's always nice to know a little bit of who they are apart from the work they do
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  • Profile picture of the author magicmoola
    Well I agree with all your ideas posted here. Yes. When you treat your client well in return they'll remember you and keep on coming back for you. While sometimes you will meet some nasty client as well. I would like to know how do you manage them?

    Thank you for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    When I first started writing for other people, I'd track my time.

    I quoted people for a certain amount of interviewing, consulting and coaching.

    Sometimes we'd get things done without having to commit as much time as I thought to the dialoguing process.

    Other times...

    We'd go WAY over the time I allotted for their project.

    Then I just decided to stop tracking.

    It took as much time as it took.

    And I made the internal commitment to just freely give of myself.

    Mind you...

    I always cared about "showing up" and giving everything to a project (tracking or not.)

    But I'll admit...

    Sometimes I felt resentful when I was paid $2,000 and spent 30 hours on Skyping alone.

    But part of our job as copywriters is to ask questions until we're blue in the face, while inspiring and revealing new positioning by dialoguing back and forth via Skype, phone, email or physically getting together.

    And to get the most of out our clients - takes sincerely connecting with them; becoming a part of their family, and vise versa, allowing them into our crazy little worlds too.

    My take...

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author ejunkie
    "you would only need a few regular well paying clients"

    I agree with it... and your point about how to treat clients.

    Btw, your artworks are awesome.
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    • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
      Originally Posted by ejunkie View Post

      "you would only need a few regular well paying clients"

      I agree with it... and your point about how to treat clients.

      Btw, your artworks are awesome.
      Thanks ejunkie!
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  • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
    Mark understood but time spent depends on the pay haul of the project. I've had clients for my illustration work just drag stuff on ad infinitum if I don't stop them.

    Few years ago a movie producer wanted me to do a comic version poster of his treatment. He knew I had several comic books of mine optioned for film and he knew comics are hot in Hollywood and I mean HOT. Nowadays you do a competent comic book and film studios are all over your butt. So I follow a regimen. We discuss the project, what the target is. I design the characters and sketch out the work and each step gets approved BEFORE the next stage. I also demand no extra people like wives, kids, third cousins twice removed. Arbitrary people will futz up a project. I keep that regimen so that every step is recorded, approved, finalized. That way you can calculate your time better and get paid what you're worth. In this case the producer started veering off course and then when I got tired of his BS I said "This ends now.". Next day I got paid, end of story.

    Some people just can't stand paying someone for their services and want to drag things out, make things social, see people sweat. These kinds of people have twisted intellects and you have to cut them off immediately no matter what they might be paying. You either control the situation or not.

    For troublesome clients I cut through the nonsense right there and excuse myself. If they're troublesome because they don't understand something I'll try to explain it. If they don't get it, it's because they're unwilling or unable to get it. You have to cut them loose. Why waste time with one troublesome client when you could be entertaining five other easy clients? Problem people are not part of your life nor business. For every problem client there are 10 times the pleasant clients out there waiting for you.

    Matter of fact, a good example is a company I'm working for. We draw comics about famous people. There are lots of celebrities out here that I would love to write and draw a comic book about, however, some celebrities are a royal pain. If they are, they're not considered. They'll boo hoo and so on but my life's adventure doesn't have "pain in the ass person" on the schedule.

    That's why when you have clients that are cool, you stay with them and do right. Why make life miserable? The same goes with your fans and/or customers. If you get popular you can find fans who may be very wealthy or customers likewise. They might appreciate you for more. Enjoy it!
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  • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
    Here's something cool I'm doing for a new found friend on WF.

    He's helping me out with a new release and as we chatted he mentioned his kids, who are just adorable, love those Japanese anime cartoons. Well I've worked with the biggest Anime company outside of Japan and I said I would draw cartoons of his kids as anime characters that he can put on their sheets, tshirts, books and so on. I've done this for friends and the kids just love it. Can't get enough of it. We just met the other day and already we're having fun. That's the best part of business because we looked at one thing to do and several others branched off.

    Being polite and listening to professional advice leads to greater profit for sure.
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