How to Handle Client Feedback As a Freelance Copywriter

Freelancers understand the stress associated with receiving feedback can be daunting, yet it’s crucial to remember that feedback refers to your work rather than you personally.

Even the best copywriters may receive feedback that can be difficult to accept, so it is crucial that they learn how to cope with this and work towards an outcome that suits all parties involved.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If your client gives feedback that leaves you perplexed, do not be afraid to raise questions in a respectful manner. By doing this, it will help the copywriter better comprehend their requests for changes – eventually leading them both toward finding an agreeable solution that meets both parties needs.

Try not to take criticism personally. While this may be difficult at first, detaching from your work and viewing it objectively is crucial when dealing with clients; their feedback should not be seen as attacks against your worth as a writer but instead seen as ways of improving it for their audience.

When responding to feedback, be mindful to identify and examine any emotional responses that arise, such as anger or defensiveness. Such emotions could be an indicator that you feel threatened or vulnerable – once identified, this information can help you address their causes and find solutions that allow for further progress on the project.

At the outset, it’s essential that clients specify how they prefer to receive feedback – this might mean an email, call back, or adding tracked changes and comments directly onto a document. No matter which process the client opts for, it is vital that this goes as planned so as to save both parties time rehashing how best to provide input.

When providing feedback to a client, it’s helpful to present it in a positive light. Doing this keeps all parties involved satisfied and on track with the project. Kate Toon suggests using a “compliment sandwich,” whereby starting off by saying something positive before discussing changes needed before ending with something complementary again.

2. Don’t Take Things Too Personal

Experienced copywriters know it can be nerve-wracking to press send on a draft and wait for client feedback on it. After pouring your heart and soul into a project, hearing back that client response doesn’t match your expectations or desires can be hard.

Taken too personally, feedback can become defensive and stop you from listening and acting upon it as effectively as possible. Additionally, taking things personally may cause doubt in yourself as a writer and create uncertainty as to your ability on future projects.

Instead, try to disentangle yourself and your worth from the work that you create. By distancing yourself from it, the more easily you will be able to look at your copy objectively and not take things so personally when clients make comments or require changes.

Sometimes clients struggle to articulate exactly what they want or find it difficult to explain their ideas to you, so the initial briefing and interview process needs to take more time to help clarify their expectations and ideas. Once you know what they are after, ask for examples of websites, brochures or campaigns they find successful that fit with what they envision for themselves – this will give an indication of the tone they’re aiming for.

As part of your interview process, it is also beneficial to inquire how your potential copywriters have managed feedback that has been difficult. This will give you a good indication of their response to criticism as well as their writing style.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Honest

As a freelancer, your goal should be to always be honest with clients. That means never being afraid to tell your client when their feedback is nonconstructive or completely missing the mark.

Be sensitive when giving feedback. Be sure to explain why a piece of copy is right for them (rather than only listing its flaws), in order to prevent potential conflicts of interest in the future.

At the same time, it’s also essential to remember that while it isn’t your responsibility to ensure customer satisfaction, your job should still deliver projects on time and within budget. Doing this will build strong relationships between yourself and your client that keep them coming back for more work in the future.

At times, disagreements on how to approach copy aren’t related directly to the work itself – rather, it often stems from client opinions regarding what makes effective writing, and what their target audience wants to hear about. When this occurs, it’s essential that both parties referred back to their original brief to understand exactly what each party wants from each other.

If this approach doesn’t work, try asking them what they believe the problem is and how they propose solving it. Agreeing on changes is easier when we know exactly what it entails and why they might benefit the copy.

4. Take a Break

Copywriting can be an intensive task when working freelance. You spend much of your time researching, drafting, editing and perfecting before sending out work to clients. So when they come back with complaints or demand changes it can be hard not to feel defensive and angry – but taking a step back may help bring clarity.

Keep this in mind: most clients aren’t trying to criticize you or your work directly – rather, they want ways to enhance what they receive from you. With an effective working relationship and client feedback in place, use their comments as an opportunity to strengthen your writing and ensure a successful project outcome.

As an aspiring freelance copywriter, it is imperative that you can confidently respond to constructive criticism and feedback in an appropriate manner. Doing this will enable you to stay focused on your craft and draw in high-quality clients. When interviewing prospective copywriters, be sure to inquire about their writing process and criticism management policy – this will give an idea of how they would treat your work if it were theirs.

As a freelance copywriter, it’s also wise to stay abreast of industry developments by staying current with current trends, exploring different content types, and enrolling in copywriting courses. Knowing more will keep you from growing bored with the job as well as keep competitive and increase chances of landing higher-paying gigs. Should you decide to take an extended break, inform your clients in advance so they can find someone else suitable to take on their project.

5. Be Thankful

Marketing and copywriting are creative fields, meaning your work will always be subject to subjective opinions and criticism. No matter how well you tackle a brief, there will always be someone who dislikes what you have written and asks for revisions – which can be particularly frustrating after dedicating so much effort into it and expecting payment for it.

At the same time, it’s essential to remember that their feedback should not be seen as personal criticism of your work or you. Their comments simply reflect their opinion of whether or not it solves the problem effectively – not whether you can solve it yourself! By dissociating their remarks from personal feelings of worthlessness or inferiority, it will become easier to accept their criticism and improve your copy.

Remind yourself that any positive feedback from clients indicates their appreciation and desire for you to succeed – ultimately this is why they hired you in the first place! If they didn’t appreciate what you do they likely would just handle the project themselves or find another freelancer.

Once you’ve taken into account client feedback and implemented any necessary modifications, make sure to thank them for their time and effort – this will foster positive relations and increase their likelihood of recommending your services in the future.

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