Writers, tell me you agree: Since I began writing, I’ve always been, well, a little scared of sending my first draft to my clients.
Today, as the owner of a freelance health writing business, that fear has morphed into a combination of adrenaline and trepidation.
Because when I send clients my first draft, I want them to love it. Quite simply, I want to nail it. I’m excited about what I’ve written, but I’m also a little hesitant of what my clients will think.
Understand that this is the mindset of many writers. Once we’ve hit that send button, though, excitement and nerves can quickly turn to disheartenment in the absence of one little thing: acknowledgement.
Acknowledge you’ve received my draft. That’s all.
Acknowledgement is a simple act of appreciation that goes a very long way.
It shows me you care about our working relationship and that you respect the effort I’ve put in to get to this point – even if you haven’t yet had time to review the work.
It tells me you’re a nice person because you have made the effort to respond to my email.
It proves you’re aware of the fact I am (somewhat anxiously) awaiting your feedback.
It indicates you are looking forward to reading my work and that you care about your project.
If you can acknowledge receipt of my first draft and let me know approximately when you’ll have time to review it, I’ll be forever grateful. Plus, if you can pinpoint a date I can expect your feedback, I won’t need to pester you with follow-up emails and phone calls.
While email acknowledgement goes a long way, a simple phone call can go even further.
Remember, freelance writers such as myself work alone. Sometimes I’ll go an entire working day without speaking to anyone. If a client phones to thank me for completing a project on time and lets me know when I can expect feedback, my day is made.
Without acknowledgement or a simple “thank you”, writers can feel unappreciated, disheartened and demotivated.
Don’t be a ghost.
I’ve had “ghost” clients who have received my first draft and paid my invoice with no acknowledgement whatsoever. To this day I have no idea if they loved or hated what I wrote. This sort of working relationship makes me feel uncertain and uneasy – to the point where I’d be hesitant to work with these clients again.
Acknowledgement is a two-way street.
As the contractor, I am obliged to show you the same level of respect I demand.
This level of communication ensures a healthy working relationship and constructive feedback from both parties.
If you, the client, can find a writer who is reliable, trustworthy, delivers high-quality content, understands your business and gets your brand voice, it makes sense to nurture a long term relationship.
Long-term relationships between clients and writers have numerous benefits for clients:
- Save time and money – you won’t need spend resources looking for new writers all the time
- Loyalty discounts – you’re more likely to receive favours, discounts and have writers go the extra mile
- Consistent content – your tone of voice will be constant throughout all your communications
- Budgeting – you’ll be able to budget for new projects easily because you already know your writer’s rates
- Low risk – working with a writer you know well reduces the risk associated with bringing in new contracters
Ensure your acknowledgement is coming from a genuine place, and make it personal – not a process.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Does acknowledgement play a role in your communications? Let me know in the comments below.
Image credit: Shutterstock/ Oksana Kuzmina