The cardinal rule for any freelance writer operating in a virtual arena like Elance is: “Don’t over-promise and under-deliver.” This habit is quick to kill off your freelance writing career.
If you are acquainted with Elance, or similar job posting sites, then you know how important honesty is to your success. On social medial platforms like Elance, your reputation grows by positive feedback from clients. Abandoning honesty will put you in a dangerous position. This is because when a client expects a high grade of work and receives a medium grade, he or she may write a contractor off altogether.
One of the sneaky things about over-promising is that it can easily happen to the best of us. One little exaggeration on a contractor’s Elance digital profile can result in big misunderstandings and disappointed clients.
Tips To Help You On Elance
Here are three tips from Elance contractors that should be practiced by all freelance writers, whether they work on Elance or not.
1- Be Honest With Yourself
Each one of us has a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Believe it or not, your freelance writing career will flourish with an honest eye. Distinguishing between your strengths and weaknesses does not make you a poor writer; it makes you a specialized writer. Here are a few more thoughts to consider:
- Remember, each project you undertake is a work in progress. From the time you bid on a job, to the day of its completion, you are working to make it better than it was the day before.
- Remember, you work from a digital platform. This makes honestly doubly important. On Elance, especially, face-to-face meetings are few and far between. Thus, it is important for you, the contractor, to regularly check in with your client and receive their approval before going ahead with the project.
2- Write Your Personal Bio In The Third Person
Let’s take a minute to talk about client- contractor communication. Your professional bio, resume, or personal website is the first form of communication you have with a client. It is the first step in establishing a relationship. Yet, these are the places where freelancers tend to slip and over-promise.
For the Elance freelance contractor, the first step in fostering these relationships is creating a bio that exudes warmth and honesty to pique the interest of future clients. You want to showcase your skills accurately, and you want to attract specific types of projects.
Writing in the third person allows freelancers to discuss their credentials, accomplishments, and qualifications without seeming haughty. It also allows them to display their likeability and exude confidence “safely,” without putting off potential clients. It forces one to honestly consider how others would describe their techniques and talents.
3- Bring Clarity To Your Proposals
The proposal phase of a project is just one more place where freelance writers feel tempted to over-promise. A proposal is essentially an opportunity for a freelancer to convince a potential client that he or she is the right person for the client’s job. If you are not careful, you will find that you have agreed to complete a job you are not qualified to do. Don’t let your persuasive skills make you dishonest.
Here is how you can avoid dishonesty:
- Keep Communication Clear – It’s important to keep the message of a proposal clear by discussing the project being bid on. “Reflect the project back to the client as you understand it and emphasize the benefits of the project as you see them.”
- Make A Plan – How will you carry out the job you are bidding on? Once you have a plan, explain it to the potential client in your proposal. This demonstrates to the client that you have taken an honest look at what they require. Likewise, this is an opportunity to honestly assess whether your skills will benefit the project.
- Highlight Your Skills – Your potential client needs to know that you have the necessary skills with which to do his or her job well. Let your strengths shine, but be honest about your weaknesses should the client ask.
Honesty is an important trait for all freelancers working to generate an online income. Don’t become the writer that over-promises and under- delivers.
Thank you to my Guest Post Author: Jessalynne Madden
Jessalynne is the Director of Blog Communications at Cali and Son Communications, a premier blog writing service. Cali and Son recently published Elance Freelance Writing, a manual for freelance writers who want to create a full-time career on Elance. Learn more about Elance Freelance Writing by visiting ElanceFreelanceWriting.com