How to answer questions from freelance writing clients

Working with clients on freelance writing projects can be a nerve-wracking thing, especially if you’re new to it. You want to make a good impression, not only with the quality of your work but as a professional as well.

One way to demonstrate your professionalism is to be prepared. In a previous post, I shared a list of 12 questions you should ask your clients when starting a new freelance writing project. But clients are likely to have questions for you too. The more prepared you are for these potential questions, the more professional you’ll appear. After all, what client doesn’t want to work with someone who is both organized and knows what they’re talking about?

While every situation is different, here are some questions you should be prepared to answer when beginning a new freelance writing project:

“What’s your rate/fee?”

Determining what your time and work is with can be tricky (I touched on it a bit in this post) but if you’re freelancing you obviously intend to get paid, so take the time to do it right. However you choose to charge for your services, make sure you know how to clearly convey that information to your clients.

“How quickly can you get the project completed/what’s your turn-around time?”

I cannot stress this enough: don’t pull a random time out of thin air. Figure out how much time research, drafting, and revisions take you for pieces of varying lengths (i.e. 500 words, 1000 words, etc.) and come up with an accurate ballpark figure. Keep in mind that other things such as your existing workload and other personal commitments may factor into that time as well. Ultimately, you want to give a turn-around time that makes you competitive, but that is also manageable. Give yourself enough time to ensure you’ll still be able to produce high quality work.

“How many rounds of revisions are included?”

How you choose to handle revisions is your prerogative, just keep in mind that every round you accept is going to take more of your time. Perhaps you offer one round of revisions in your basic rate and then charge a flat rate for each additional round. Or maybe you charge for every round or not at all! Regardless, if this question doesn’t come from your client and you do charge for revisions, be sure to let them know upfront.

“When/how can I reach you?”

This is another one of those questions that you should broach if your client doesn’t ask it first. Determine your “office hours” — the times your client can expect you to be available and how long it will take you to get back to inquiries — and how you’d like them to reach out to you. Some people are all about the hustle, and don’t mind being on the clock at all hours. If you’re not one of those people (I’m definitely not) then establish your boundaries early.

“Can I see some samples of your work?”

I highly recommend having a portfolio hosted somewhere online. It makes it super easy to flip over a link when this question inevitably comes up. How you structure your portfolio is completely up to you (here’s mine if you need some inspiration) but as long as it gets your prospective clients to your work, that’s all that matters. A list of links is fine, although keep in mind that if the link source ever removes the content, you’ll be out of luck. If nothing else, it’s not a bad idea to have a folder of archived screen grabs and/or scans on your desktop ready to roll just in case.

Have any questions you think should be added to this list? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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