It has almost been a month when a client and I agreed in principle that I would be his content manager. A part of my role is to help him in hiring freelance writers and managing them. Because of that, I had a glimpse and taste of what it is like and here are my thoughts.
Finding writers is easy. Besides posting a status update on my Facebook timeline, there are other means too. One of them includes onlinejobs.ph, where I met the client I am working with now.
When I started with this client as a ghostwriter, I had no idea that I would be his content manager.
How did this happen?
I will tell you why, but let me say too, that I feel a certain level of appreciation.
Dale Carnegie paraphrased Sigmund Freud on his classic book saying:
“Everything you and I do springs from two motives: the sex urge and the desire to be great.”
Furthermore, Dale also paraphrased John Dewey whom he described as one of America’s profound philosophers. “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.”
As a freelance writer and any kind of employee for that matter, we want to feel appreciated.
Francis Kong, one of the highly-regarded business and motivational speaker in the country said:
“There are two reasons why people leave (their jobs). They cannot get along with their boss, and the feeling that they are not appreciated.”
I believe I have talked to more than enough people to say that at this point, any employee would agree with what Francis said.
But knowing how I want to feel appreciated was not the reason why the client promoted me.
As a Ghostwriter
The client would give me topics to write about, and that is what I did. In the past, there were clients whose intended use of the articles were unclear to me. But for those that I did know, I was able to offer more value.
For instance, knowing the purpose of the site where the article would be posted, I wrote with that intention in mind.
In the past when I do small group coaching, one of the things I often say is:
“People want to earn the most amount of money by doing the least amount of work.”
On the other side of the fence, “Clients want to get the most out of freelancers by paying the least amount of money.”
It is easy for people in the industry to say, “Do not accept the job if the pay is too low.”
But what is low, and what is fair?
The first article I wrote for the client took more than four hours to complete. But each succeeding article took lesser time. For that to happen, I learned more about the subject matter and found ways to have an efficient workflow.
Today, writing a thousand-word article for the same client, on average, would take a little over an hour. In other words, it is possible for me to write two to three articles within the same time frame compared to when I started.
Let me be clear here.
Completing articles is a matter of obligation. But the other things we could do are the value-adding ones. For as long as there is a working relationship, the more we could do, then the better it is for the client.
If the client understands the desire of freelancers to feel important, then they would take action.
The question is, do freelancers (or employees) deserve appreciation?
From the Other Side of the Fence
For more than two decades, I had been a businessman. It is in my blood to treat many things as a business. As a matter of fact, I view freelance writing as a business, not a career or profession.
Due to past experiences, I understand what clients likely expect from the freelance writers.
It is simple.
Complete the articles that meet agreed quality expectations on time.
Unfortunately, there are writers who would complete an article for the sake of doing so. For obvious reasons, this kind of attitude does not result in great articles. Even worse, writers with that negative attitude do not increase their value over time.
And speaking of time, there are jobs based on time such as hours of work done. I have seen writers inflating their time by keeping time trackers alive while not doing much.
Is that not an example of doing the least while desiring to have large compensations?
I should also note that manipulating a time tracker is cheating. Freelancers who do that are no different from the neighborhood thieves.
A lot of people think owning a business could give you time freedom. But that is only for a few people. For most business owners, they spend longer times on their business than if they were employees.
But why would these business owners spend that much time?
It is your business, so you have to love it.
And that is the same attitude I wish freelancers would adopt.Think of each freelance job as a business and love it so that you would do whatever it takes to make it good. Click To Tweet
Hiring Freelance Writers Never Seems to End
When it comes to resumes and samples, every single person applying for a job would always present their best.
But the bottom line is the result.
For how could we expect clients to give us the best if we would not give ours?
As a freelance writer, I look at it as my business and the clients are my customers.
Think about it.
As customers ourselves, did we not demand excellence in quality of service from businesses?
Do we not expect servers to be at their best when we walk into a restaurant?
We certainly expected the food to be exceptional, especially since we are paying for it.
Sure, we want to feel appreciated. For some, it might be monetary, but for others, it could be a simple complement.
“To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want,” Charles T. Munger said. “The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.”
We want to feel appreciated, but we need to give first before we could demand one.
If only we could be proactive and truly care for the clients, then it would not seem like hiring freelance writers is an endless cycle.