The Copywriter's Roadmap to Building and Maintaining Client Relationships

Freelance copywriters need regular clients to establish a steady stream of work. There is no magic number for how many clients it takes to be successful, but copywriters must ensure they have a positive relationship with all their clients. This article expands on client relationships, what they are, why they matter, and how to cultivate them successfully.

With strong client relationship skills, copywriters can unlock endless writing opportunities. Join us if you want to improve your professional relationship skills today.

What are Client Relationships?

A client relationship is the bond shared between a copywriter and their clients. Successful client relationships are professional and courteous, allowing both parties to get the most out of the other. Freelancers typically work remotely, so having strong client relationship skills is essential to conducting effective work that satisfies clients’ needs.

There are numerous benefits to developing professional relationship skills as a copywriter. Clients are more likely to recommend your services to others if you have an effective relationship. They’re also more likely to come to you again for future projects. Equally, copywriting is a more enjoyable career path when working with clients you like.

With positive client relationships, copywriters can expect the following:

  • Higher-paying projects

  • Established brand

  • Improved copywriting skills

  • Enjoyable work-life balance

The benefits of good client relationships are clear, but many copywriters struggle with making the first steps. Whether you’ve been a copywriter for weeks, months, or years, there’s always room for your relationship management skills to improve. Let’s assess how you can develop relationships with your clients in practical steps.

How to Build and Maintain Relationships with Clients

Client relationships operate in much the same way as many other bonds. As a freelancer, copywriters must be able to make their clients feel comfortable and confident in their abilities. Following these core tenants can help you understand your clients and vice versa.

Communicate Clearly

Open, honest, clear communication is the most crucial key to any functioning relationship. As a copywriter, you should be capable of excellent written communication. If you’re not confident about your communication skills, some steps can help.

  • Give Yourself Time: Don’t reply to an email or message immediately with the first response that springs to mind. Take time to consider what you want to say and how you want your client to feel to help you communicate more effectively.

  • Edit Your Words: Always draft your correspondence before sending it. You can re-read it or even read it out loud to ensure you haven’t missed anything or worded something unclearly. Reading aloud helps you see your words with fresh eyes like your clients will.

  • Think About Language: Successful copywriters understand that their language choices and writing style affect how clients and readers interpret them. When communicating with clients, assess their language - or even emoji - choices and reflect their style to establish a bond.

Empathise

Copywriters show clients that they understand the company’s needs by displaying their empathy. Empathising with a client requires trying to interpret a situation from their perspective. You don’t have to be a mind reader to please your clients, but there are things you can do to see the project through their eyes.

  • Ask Questions: One easy way to understand your client better is to ask questions about their vision for their company, their hopes for the project, and what they qualify as successful writing. Having these answers makes it easier to meet or reevaluate their expectations as needed.

  • Listen Well: Copywriters who can engage in active listening when working with clients get the most out of their contracts. Take in what clients are saying without assuming their meaning and ensure you fully understand what they have said. 

  • Don’t Judge: Judging a client’s opinions, ideas, or work style is counterintuitive to developing strong relationships. Copywriters should avoid taking on unprofessional clients who make them uncomfortable, but beyond that, judgement doesn’t help build empathy or trust with a client.

Maintain Professionalism

Successful client relationships are rooted in being professional when communicating and working. Some clients may become friends over time, and that’s a perk of the role, but copywriters shouldn’t aim to make their clients into friends. Instead, focus on how you can bring professionalism to your clients in a charismatic way.

  • Be Polite: ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are pillars of professionalism copywriters should always use in their communication. If you receive advice or feedback from a client, thanking them for taking the time to type up their thoughts goes a long way in developing an effective work relationship.

  • Be Honest: Positive relationships rely on trust to function, and honesty is the key to building trust with your client. Communicating clearly and honestly with your clients about the pricing and deadlines for a project creates a solid foundation for an excellent client relationship.

  • Offer Advice: Sometimes, clients will bring multiple ideas to the table, some better than others. As a professional copywriter, your advice helps clients develop their strongest ideas. Demonstrating your skill and industry knowledge makes you more trustworthy and authoritative, showing the client your true value.

Developing Relationships with Difficult Clients

Freelancers in all fields know the frustrations of working with difficult clients. However, try empathising with your client before writing them off as difficult. Challenging clients may have had negative experiences with copywriters before. Many simply struggle to understand the cost and worth of a copywriter. There are still ways to attempt to develop relationships with these clients.

  • Prove Your Worth: For clients who are fussy about prices or uncertain about hiring freelancers, proving your worth can change their minds. Deliver high-quality work on time and use your industry knowledge to demonstrate your professional abilities to win clients’ trust.

  • Remember Your Manners: If you’re struggling with a client who’s rude or impatient, it’s crucial to avoid stooping to their level. If you remain polite and understanding, you stand the best chance of improving the relationship. Even if things don’t work out, keeping your composure helps you come out looking professional.

  • Know When to Walk: Unfortunately, not every difficult client will come around to work well with you. As a freelancer, you have to advocate for yourself and your work. It’s crucial that you know when to politely end the professional relationship so you can both find more suitable counterparts. 

Final Thoughts

The work life of a freelance copywriter leans heavily on client relationships. They’re the cornerstone of a successful copywriter’s career, providing steady income and increased industrial connections. Remember to communicate regularly and professionally with your clients to boost your copywriting skills throughout your work life. To learn more about what it takes to be a copywriter, visit The Author’s Pad, where writers live and work.

FAQs

Review our responses to some common questions about client relationships.

Why is Building Client Relationships Important?

Building client relationships is important because it’s a core skill for a formidable copywriting career. Gaining a client’s trust through providing top-tier writing and being an effective communicator leads to more work in the future. Equally, understanding a client’s perspective and desires helps copywriters improve their professional abilities.

What are Client Relationship Skills?

Client relationship skills include active listening, clear communication, empathy, customer service, and professionalism. Copywriters who embody all of these traits can develop trusting relationships with clients that help both parties thrive. New copywriters can improve their skills by taking time to ensure they write what they mean and thoroughly understand what their clients want.

What is the Key to Managing a Successful Client Relationship?

The key to managing a successful client relationship is regularly communicating with clients. Learning and sharing personal information about clients, such as children or pets' names, recent holidays, and favourite hobbies, deepens and strengthens the bond between writer and client. Copywriters with several clients may want to keep a brief record of information about their clients to provide personalised and charismatic communications.

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