When I’m asked (and I’m asked often) what makes for a successful freelance writer in St. Louis, I find myself a bit surprised at the first thing I say. Yes I’ll tell you I’m witty, engaging, hard working, deadline-driven, and turn in stories that resonate, but the first thing I say is, “I communicate.”
And I mean with the client. Be it the magazine editor, the hot new company developing content for their website, the company that needs a compelling voice for their social media work, I am in touch. I sit at my home here in beautiful Webster Groves and work mostly offsite, but I make sure whoever I’m working knows the status of the project I’ve been hired to complete.
Especially with magazine editors, I will shoot a quick email saying something like, “He had to cancel twice because of scheduling conflicts, but I wanted to let you know I was able to sit down with the mayor today. He was remarkably forthcoming — I’m on track and you’ll get that article on Tuesday.” They really appreciate those updates.
And they appreciate these: “The interview subject had a death in the family and had to go out of town. She was really apologetic, and as delicate as the issue is, I’m still going to stay on top of it. I am going to keep you posted.”
Every client, especially social media ones, like, “as I worked on what we last discussed, I had an idea of a slightly different direction that I think will be more compelling and I want to run it by you….”
If you’ve hired a freelance writer in St. Louis or any place else for anything else, and you’re not pretty sure exactly the status of the project 100 percent of the time, perhaps your communicator is communicating with who is most important: You.