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What’s Better: Direction or No Direction?

There are two types of freelance writing clients: those who give specific directions on what they want and those who leave things up to the writer. Which type of client would you rather work with? Through my experiences I have found that there are pros and cons of each type of client. And since each client is unique, no two situations are ever the same.

I always find it helpful when a client gives me exact directions on what they want. In this case I know how to get started, what to do, and when the project ends. If you are the type of freelance writer who likes structure, it is safe to say that these clients will fit your career nicely.

The downside of this is that you will not have a lot of creative freedom. For instance, you may think that you have a good idea, but since your client has specific requirements in place, you will never be able to act. For some writers it can be difficult to take directions and stick to them without straying. How do you feel about this?

What about clients who offer no direction? The main benefit of this is that you are free to do whatever you want, within reason. For instance, a client recently asked me to provide them with 25 keyword articles on a specific topic. While they did supply the main topic, they are leaving everything else to me. It is my job to choose the length of the articles and all the finer details.

Of course, clients who do not give any direction may not get what they were hoping for. And unfortunately, this often times comes back on the writer. You may be told that you can do whatever you want, but upon completion the client is asking for changes because you strayed off the “proper” path. If this happens you will definitely be asking yourself why the client did not give you more direction at the beginning of the project. I have found this to be quite common.

Even when a client tells me to “do what I want” I always ask for some sort of direction. I have found that this helps to clear up most disagreements and extensive edits before they come into play.

If you want to be a successful freelance writer you need to learn to deal with both types of clients.

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Comments OffFreelance WritingSeptember 30th, 2008

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