Reading Between the Lines with a Client

Writing a job ad is not an easy thing to do, and it’s no wonder that so many clients appear to struggle with putting what they need into words. Some of them seem to expect the reader to know what they want when all they post is “writer needed” and an e-mail address. Others have a lot of content in their ad, but that doesn’t mean they are stating their needs in a way that is easy to understand.

If you are waiting for the perfect ad to answer, you may be missing out on some great opportunities. Just because a client has trouble putting their writing needs into words doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they want. Instead of clicking away from ads that are poorly worded or look awkward, try taking some time to read between the lines and see if you can figure out what the client needs and how you can present yourself as the person who can meet them.

Once you get into a discussion with the client about the specifics of the assignment, it’s a good idea to check to make sure you are both on the same page. Sending an e-mail outlining your understanding of the details gives you a record of the instructions the client gave you and lets you work out any misunderstandings before you start work.

Part of your job as a writer is to use your words to help the client articulate what they want from you. If you are able to do so, you will have taken an important first step toward establishing a good working relationship.





One response
  1. Annie Mueller Avatar

    Jodee, this was just right for me today. I’ve just started a new project for a client and I was realizing as I jumped into it today that I’m fuzzy on details: how much is just writing, how much research does he want, what research am I doing, what info is he providing, etc. I’ve worked with him before and we communicate well, but I needed to hear this – sometimes (or all the time?) it’s my job to be articulate enough and clarify so we both know what we’re doing.
    .-= Annie Mueller´s last blog ..How to Start Writing, Part 2 =-.

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