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The Freelance Writer's Guide to Dominating Your Writing Market - Part Four
Written by William Ballard
Honesty is Still the Best Policy
Despite what you may think or what you may have heard, honesty truly is still the best policy around.
You see, information is no longer in the hands of a salesperson but in the hands of the consumer.
How? You may ask…
Well, the answer is quite simple, the Internet. In fact, that is where you are at and that is where you are marketing your writing services to the public, is it not?
Consumers (and that goes for potential clients that may be seeking out your writing services) are online and instead of believing in everything that you say in your marketing or sales pitches, they can easily find out the authenticity of your brand and services online. And that is before you ever get a chance to really talk to them one-on-one or in person (or through an email).
Have you been phony in your sales messages? For example, are those testimonials really legit testimonials?
When you say a client’s satisfaction is guaranteed… it is truly guaranteed?
Have you really written for those well-known publications that you are bragging about? If a potential client was to go and contact that publication would they get the same answer that you are sharing on your website?
Well, these are just a few things that we are going to be discussing in this final article.
According to Dictionary.com honesty is defined in this way:
Dictionary.com goes on to define honesty as:
Honesty Brings Freedom
I don’t know about you, but I am a major fan of being free, heck isn’t that why we went into business for ourselves anyways? To be entrepreneurs and live our lives on our own terms instead of being a slave to the 9 to 5 rat race.
I’d much rather be free from deceit or fraud than to be a slave of always having to cover up lie after lie after lie. To me, that seems like it would create more unnecessary work that I don’t really need.
I would much rather spend my time writing great content that makes my clients happy then to spend the majority of my time giving lie after lie after lie to try and keep myself in business.
I am sure that you would agree with me that honesty really is the best way to go in business.
Honesty Develops Trust and Builds Respect
Again, from the definition we have read above, we can see that another meaning for honesty is virtue and respect. Could developing trust and gaining respect and credibility really be that easy? Perhaps, it is more easily said than done.
I have watched endless amounts of webinars and have listened to endless amounts of podcast and teleseminars, and guess what?
It amazes me how much wisdom should be “common knowledge” or “common sense”, but both are not so common at all, but extremely foreign to most people. Or perhaps, such wisdom is known but never practiced.
There is so much knowledge and wisdom that we really already know, however, we never practice it. And then we go and spend money on a webinar or seminar or read a book that tells us what we already know to kick us in our butts so that we actually start practicing what we already know we should be doing.
I am sure many of you can relate to this: You read a book or attend a seminar just to find out, “Oh, I already knew this…” In fact, we usually go and tell everyone else what they are doing wrong and tell them what they should be doing instead (and we call this giving “advice”), but fail to take and practice our own advice.
I truly believe that if you want to develop trust and build respect and credibility for your brand and writing services, cultivating the quality of honesty is the key to that door of success.
Treating Your Clients Like Friends (And Treating Your Friends Like Clients)
This may sound a little silly, but just recently I watched an episode of The Bernstein Bears that had the following basic storyline:
Brother and sister bear wanted to by some expensive jackets that all the cool kids were wearing but Papa bear and Mama bear would not pay for the jackets and instead suggested that brother and sister bear come up with the money themselves to buy them.
Well, throughout the whole episode brother and sister bear were coming up with new ways to make a buck so that they could buy those jackets. However, in doing so they neglected the relationship they had with their friends and even treated their friends as customers and business partners rather than friends at all.
As you may have already guessed, eventually their friends didn’t want to be around brother and sister bear anymore. And this made both of them sad. They finally realized that their relationship with their friends was more important that trying to make money for some jacket that they really didn’t even need.
The episode concluded with both brother and sister bear taking the money that they earned and opened a banking account, ended up buying some jackets that were less expensive (and of course not name brand as they originally wanted) but got the job done nonetheless. And then the money they had left over from that was used to through a party for their friends.
I share that story with you to give you this tip: If you really want to develop trust, respect, and credibility for your writing business start treating your clients like friends. Of course, keep it professional, but as I assume you are sincere, authentic, and transparent with your friends you should be that way also with your clients.
I am firm believer that one of the keys to success in business is the ability to nurture and cultivate relationships. If you are treating every client like they are a money machine without any feelings or dreams and aspirations then you are going down the road of failure.
Today’s Take Aways and Action Steps
Now Over to You...
What does honesty mean to you? What was your first reaction or feeling when first taking the time to read this article? Did these points hit home to you?
If this article has added value to your freelance writing or writing business please share how in the comments below. And don't forget to share with those you think might benefit from these tips.
This article is part of the Freelance Writer's Guide to Dominating Your Writing Market series
Series Table of Contents:
The Freelance Writer's Guide to Dominating Your Writing Market - Part One
The Freelance Writer's Guide to Dominating Your Writing Market - Part Two
The Freelance Writer's Guide to Dominating Your Writing Market - Part Three
The Freelance Writer's Guide to Dominating Your Writing Market - Part Four (This Article)
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About William Ballard
Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Blogger, Inbound Marketing Specialist, and Author, William Ballard, helps small businesses and entrepreneurs broadcast their message across the Internet and be seen as experts in their field.
William, a writer and blogger since 2007, enjoys sharing with others his experience on how to become a successful writer, blogger, and author. View more about William Ballard →