Taking in good and bad client feedback in a professional and resolution-seeking way
Every client is different. Throughout the course of your freelancing career, you’ll likely be faced with high praise as well as some occasional criticism. What’s important is how you take in the feedback and maintain a healthy relationship with each of those providing you work. Here are some ways to keep an ongoing content stream if and when clients might not be thrilled with what you’ve provided.
- Be Receptive and Stay Positive
No matter the length, tone, or detail of the feedback, it is always important to take the constructive criticism and create something positive from it (even if you don’t agree with what they’re saying). Turn the negative feedback into positive starting points for the content moving forward. Ask for things like additional style guides or example pieces that may not have been there before. Inquire about a potential phone call, interview, or additional dialogue that shows you are seeking a mutual resolution.
- Carry a long-term Mindset
The ideal client is one that you can schedule around, predict, and understand on a fundamental level. Not only does a consistent client make for higher efficient work weeks, but it also helps you foster ideation and eventually know exactly what a specific brand is looking for. Should you receive negative feedback, reassure them in your intentions to learn their brand become a voice that can speak to their organizational goals. Relationships with you and your client will take time just like any other type of collaboration. Work to ensure that you are interested in their long term goals just as much as they are.
- Keep it Professional
It is easy to get frustrated. You work hard on a piece, spend ample time on the project, and go through several revisions only to be told it isn’t on par with what’s needed. The feeling of frustration is completely normal, however, don’t let it get the best of you. The quickest way to end a potential client/freelancer relationship is to take the feedback personal and become defensive. This only leads to more problems and likely a new freelancer to step in and take your place.
- Be Honest Right Away
The worst thing you can do as a freelancer is opt into something that is either completely misaligned with your expertise or beyond your scope of capabilities. It is extremely important to iron out details from the very beginning, asking for exactly what is expected from you as the writer/editor/designer etc. If something sounds like it may not be a good fit or not in line with your availability, be upfront and communicate that. Who knows, you may end up working on a project for the client that fits you better.
Dealing with feedback is always going to happen in the world of content. The better you can handle certain feedback and communicate a resolution for all, the higher chance you have at retaining clients and growing your book of business. Stay ahead of the curve by preparing yourself for these kinds of situations and executing each piece to the best of your ability.