Avoid disappointment: Whether you need help from a copywriter like me, a graphic designer, a web guru, a stager, a photographer, or any other freelance service provider, don’t wait until the last minute to get in touch!
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to say “Sorry, I can't do that” to someone who needed a real estate bio, a few pages of web copy, a property description for the MLS or a magazine ad, or a customized prospecting letter, simply because they waited too long to ask for help.
Last week I had an inquiry from an agent who said she’d been trying to write her own bio, but just couldn’t get it to come out sounding good. She asked how long it would take me to write it for her, and I gave her my standard answer: I ask for a 3-week deadline and then try to be finished within a week or ten days. It doesn’t take that long to write a bio, but there is always other work in line ahead of new projects.
She said “Oh, that won’t work. It was due yesterday.”
This week, an agent told me that she guessed she’d have to try to do it herself because it was due the next day.
Meanwhile, producing a good bio in one day is impossible. Even if I had nothing else to do or was willing to push aside my other clients in order to do a rush job, it simply wouldn’t work.
First, the agents have to fill out my questionnaire so I have some knowledge of their personality and how they work. Most can’t get the questions answered in one day. Then I have to study the answers and read their testimonials. I also read any other bios they may have written, just to get a feel for what they think is most important about their service. Then – an important step - I read through all of it another time or two and think about it before I begin to write.
Even if it was possible, why would you want to hire someone who was available to do your job the minute you called?
Isn't that kind of like seeing an area filled with busy restaurants and choosing the only one with an empty parking lot, just because you can probably get a table right away?
Wouldn’t being instantly available pretty much indicate that they didn’t have any clients? And if that's so – why?
I’ll grant you that new freelancers may fall into that category, but if someone has been in business for a while, and if they’re any good at what they do, they should be too busy to start your project immediately.
Once you’ve gotten help – cooperate!
You’ve asked someone to produce something for you – so be available and responsive when you get questions and when it’s time for your feedback. Whether it’s your bio, graphics, a web design, or anything else that needs your approval, the person working for you needs to hear from you. Don’t make them write to say “Did you get what I sent?”
And - If there’s a deadline to ask for revisions, respect it. We know you’re busy – and so are we.
Finally - If you're planning to leave for a two week vacation and won't have access to your email, let that person know ahead of time.
Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net