Tips For Successful Content Writer Client MeetingsYou wrote a killer pitch for a potential new client and now they want to have a meeting. How do you prepare for this initial meeting with the client?

It’s normal to be nervous before meeting a potential client for the first time. You want to nail your first impression and convince them you’re the right person for the content writer job.

Client meetings are an inevitable part of offering a content writer service. Most clients will want at least one meeting before they hire you. Here are a  few simple tips to help you make that first meeting a success.

Research The Client

Find out everything you can about the client before your meeting, so you have a grasp of the business and how you can help meet their needs.

Due Diligence research is always worth your time. Don’t walk into the meeting blind. Browse the client’s website, follow them on social media, and get a feel for their audience. Most businesses are on LinkedIn with links to all their employees. If you know who you’re going to be meeting with, connect with them on LinkedIn and view their profile.

content writing jobs research

In my prior job as a financial crimes analyst, I spent my days doing enhanced due diligence investigations on high-risk individuals and companies. I scoured Google using standard searches and image searches and scanned all the social media platforms. That is basically what you are doing here, just maybe not to the extreme I was going to.

Here are some questions to get you started with your client research.

  • What is the size of the company (employee count and revenue)?
  • Who is their target customer?
  • What are they known for in their industry?
  • What are they currently doing to stay ahead in their industry?
  • Where are there opportunities for you to help?

Doing this research prior to the meeting means you’ll avoid making embarrassing mistakes or assumptions, and better yet, show’s your knowledge of their industry and the confidence you bring with your content writer service.

Plan Your Questions Ahead Of Time

When your client asks you if you have any questions, you don’t want a blank stare and awkward silence. Prepare a list of questions that you would like more information on. This shows the client that you are motivated and prepared.

Here are a few good questions to ask a new client during the meeting.

  • What frequency of writing are they expecting?
  • Are you expected to generate the content topics or are they going to provide them?
  • How quickly will they need work completed?
  • How much autonomy will you have for the job?
  • How do they want the content submitted? Google Docs, Microsoft Word, WordPress?
  • How much ongoing contact do they want?

Some content writers like to send out an information-gathering template to potential clients to fill in before the meeting. This gives them a lot of detail about the broad scope of a project. Other content writers prefer to keep their questions for a face-to-face meeting. It’s up to what the client prefers, not you.

Talk About What You’ve Achieved | Provide a Portfolio

While your meeting will primarily be about your clients’ expectations, be prepared for them to ask you about prior experience or even examples of previous work. This is a normal ask when applying for content writing jobs. They want to see you’ve got the skills and experience they’re looking for.

Think about past work that’s relevant to your potential client. Talk about the results you delivered. If you can explain the positive impact you’ve had on other clients, they’ll want you to do the same for them.

If you’re a new content writer, think about additional skills you can bring to this project. Everyone starts somewhere, but you don’t want to give your client the feeling they’re taking a risk by hiring you. Although content writing might be the primary role they are hiring you for, there are several other secondary roles that you can sell them on. Talk to them about writing captions for their social media channels, writing weekly newsletters that get emailed out to their customers, or writing press releases for the company. Being a content writer covers a multitude of tasks, so be sure to sell those content writing services as well.

Listen Carefully

You’ve probably got a pretty good idea of what the client is expecting at this point, but don’t assume what they’ve told you everything prior to the meeting.

Listen carefully to the client, giving them your undivided attention. Watch out for changes to the scope of the project. If they’re adding in extra requirements or changing the timelines of when content is due, adjust your price accordingly. What is your time worth?

If the conversation seems vague, ask questions to clarify exactly what they are expecting from you. Often a client can’t exactly express what they need. Try repeating back to them your understanding of what they’ve said in a short summary, such as:

“You’d like five 1,500-word blog posts submitted each week as Word documents to a shared Google Drive folder. You’d like each blog post to have two images, a meta title, a meta description, and internal links. Is this everything you want me to include in the content I submit?”

This gives your potential new client the opportunity to hear their ideas read back to them into a workable project outline. It helps you have a shared understanding and allows space to clarify any confusions you, or they might have. Sometimes all it takes is to hear your own expectations verbalized to know you need to change something. It’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate, that is unless the client requests otherwise.

Plan Your Pricing Structure

It’s very likely you’ll be asked to name your price during your first meeting. That can be hard to plan for. Having as much information as possible before speaking to your client really helps. You can work out a rough price with room for any unexpected additions. Remember you can always negotiate down, but rarely can you negotiate up. With that said, start at the high end of your pricing scale.

how much does a content writer make

It’s worth creating your own private price list for a range of different project types you can use to price up work quickly. You don’t need to share this with your client, just have it ready in front of you. Generally speaking, content writing is going to be either pay by the word or a flat rate for each article that is written.

Think about:

  • Your normal turnaround time and how much extra you want for short deadlines
  • How much you charge for different amounts of words (flat-rate vs per word rate)
  • The cost of sourcing images
  • An hourly charge for your time to cover meetings and other overhead tasks. If they end up wanting you to develop social media content, that is more than likely going to be an hourly cost that you’ll need to come up with for that service.
  • Having a private price list gives you something to refer to rather than plucking figures out of thin air. Don’t be afraid to over quote the project to cover unexpected extras. They can always negotiate down.

If you can’t give an immediate price, tell them you need to work out the figures and will email them before the end of the same day. You don’t want them to look elsewhere while you’re working up a quote for them. Don’t name a price if you aren’t completely sure you can deliver on the project either.

Show Confidence

This is your opportunity to sell yourself to the client. They want to see if you can handle the project. Even if you’re a complete newbie, exuding confidence will reassure them you can deliver on what they request.

Most client meetings will be held on a video call nowadays, but you might talk over the phone, or even meet face-to-face. However the meeting is being held, remember to be warm and friendly. Address the client by their name and let them see you’re human. Be yourself, show your personality, and own the meeting.

Keep your tone of voice and body language positive. When they speak, make eye contact, listen, smile, and nod your head to show you’re engaged and comprehending what they are saying.

Wrapping It Up

The key to a successful meeting is to make it about your client. Listen to what they’re saying and clarify exactly what they want from you. After the meeting, confirm the key points in a brief email to seal the deal. Just as with a formal job interview, following up within 24 hours is critical to your success.

Everyone feels nervous when they speak with clients for the first time, no matter how much experience they have. At first, you’ll be spending a lot of time getting ready for meetings, but as you become more experienced, you’ll develop a natural flow and process that you follow to have successful client meetings every time. Hope this helps and good luck landing your clients!

By Published On: May 13, 2021Categories: Career Growth, Writer Development

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