How to Build Trust with Challenging Clients in Your Copywriting Business

Have you ever worked with someone that made your life harder? For some freelance copywriters, challenging clients can make work demanding. One key to improving your relationships with your clients is by building trust, but how do you do that? Today, we’re reviewing some ways you can prove your trustworthiness to particularly challenging clients.

What are challenging clients?

For a freelance copywriter, the most challenging clients you will get will be those who question why they should work with you. Don’t get us wrong, it’s okay for potential clients to want solid reasons to hire you, but some clients need more reasons than others. Most of the time, challenging clients think they can do their own copywriting. 

Building trust with them is hard because they may not think you’re worth their time. It takes a long time to nurture relationships and build trust with clients. However, before we break into the extra demanding clients, let’s talk about earning trust with your potential clients.

How do you build trust with potential clients?

There are several ways to build trust to show potential clients you’re worth their time. Marketing yourself as a copywriter with a substantial portfolio is essential. Here are some features you can include in your portfolio to boost your client trustworthiness.

Show authority

Clients are more likely to trust you if you write about your abilities with authority. Don’t forget: you are an expert in your field. That goes double-fold if you have experience with a specific topic. If you’ve been a freelance copywriter for three years, with most of your work centring on home improvement, label yourself as a DIY copywriting expert.

Prove your claims

Your portfolio is the perfect place to talk about yourself. Making statements without backing them up, however, will leave clients doubtful. Instead, get specific with your qualifications and provide proof of their validity. Show potential clients that you’ve used detailed research to help your past clients. New clients will trust you more if they have assurance from your previous clients that you deliver the goods.

Use testimonials

Nothing will win over new clients more than positive reviews from your previous clientele. Ask clients to review you, using prompts that get them to shut down the potential doubts of future clients before they arise. For example, clients that see a review like this will know you’re worth the time and effort:

‘This copywriter was fantastic to work with. She brought so much value to my ideas and presented them in a way that’s gaining lots of traction on our company blog, and we’re seeing a significant boost in rankings.’

Sometimes even all of this will not sway a problematic client. So, how do you build trust with them?

How to build trust with challenging clients

Testimonials from former clients won’t necessarily sway more reserved clients. Perhaps they’ve had bad experiences with freelancers previously, or maybe they built their business from the ground up and feel protective over it. Check out some of the best ways to develop a trusting relationship with these clients.

Research

The best way to build trust with a challenging client is by doing your homework. Many business owners are concerned that freelancers don’t value their companies enough. Here are a few reasons to research your client thoroughly to build their trust.

  • It gives you greater insight into their strengths and weaknesses.

  • It helps you customise your pitch to the client, targeted at their pain points.

  • It highlights your passion for the business to the client.

Research helps you utilise empathy to generate trust between you and your client. You can sympathise with the problems holding them back right now and highlight areas of their business that are working well. Challenging clients appreciate you taking the time to understand their perspective and bring a forward-thinking approach to their problems.

Be genuine

You want to sound professional as a freelance copywriter, but this can be off-putting for more reserved clients. Instead, ditch the jargon terms you might usually use and be genuine and straightforward. Being authentic and passionate about helping the business engenders trusting interactions between you and the client.

Walking the line between maintaining professionalism and showing your authentic identity demonstrates your abilities in a way that doesn’t intimidate or - worse - irritate a challenging client. A relaxed but confident attitude with a polite personality puts your client’s mind at ease and allows them to open up to you more, making the whole process easier.

Be true to yourself

Sometimes, you might have a client whose business doesn’t make you feel passionate. To show your clients that you genuinely care about them, you have to actually care about them. It might be time to think about letting go if you can’t bring yourself to be invested in your client’s business and bond with them.

You deserve to have a client that’s easy to build trust with and who has a business you can throw yourself into as a copywriter. Business owners deserve the same thing from their freelance copywriters. If you can’t offer that, the best thing you can do is present honesty to your client. Recommend another copywriter in their field if you can, and everyone wins.

Prompt feedback and listen to your client

If your client is worth the effort and you bring them quality work that boosts their profile, ensure you invite their comments, ideas, and feedback. Some clients provide input in a straightforward, curt way that can seem harsh. Remember, however, that they want the best from you.

As a professional copywriter, you should be able to take criticism without getting upset. Examine the feedback you receive from your client and figure out how you can use it to improve your work in the future. Opening a dialogue with challenging clients can make them feel more involved and satisfied with your work.

The bottom line

Ultimately, not every one of your clients will be your newest and best friend - and that’s for the best. Learning how to work with challenging clients is crucial to your personal and professional development. Developing trust with demanding clients is a skill you can use throughout your career and personal life.

If you’d like more advice about building trust and developing client relationships, check out our blogs at The Author’s Pad. We’re committed to helping copywriters at every stage of their careers grow and thrive.

FAQs

Here are our takes on a few of the most frequently asked questions about building relationships with challenging clients.

How do you handle conflict or work with challenging clients?

If you have conflicts with a client, remain calm whilst talking to them. Improve open and transparent communication with your client to resolve the issue without causing further confusion and disputes. Conflict usually occurs with clients when they feel they’re not getting value for their money. You can make clients feel more involved by talking them through your process.

What’s the first step you should take when dealing with a difficult client?

Apologise. As a professional, the best move you can make is to apologise for your part in the confusion that led to the tense interaction with your client. Let them know you’re committed to resolving the issue and rebuilding lost trust with your client. From there, you can ask them questions to identify why they are upset and how you can help.

What is one strategy for dealing with an aggressive client?

If a client behaves threateningly or aggressively, keep your composure when talking with them. Stay calm and polite to avoid escalating their behaviour. Let your client air their feelings and remember not to take what they say personally; their behaviour says more about them than it does about you. Try communicating with them again after a while has passed, and they have had the chance to calm down.

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