Want More Freelance Work from Clients? Ask Questions! By Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan

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An old friend contacted me out of the blue via email to see if I would write a press release for an event she was planning. I followed the link she sent, and learned she was now on the board of a well-known non-profit that hosted two big fundraising events each year. But, I also noticed there was no social media activity associated with these events.

When I sent my reply to my friend, I sent her a few brief suggestions of some new ways to promote these events, and asked if the board had already contracted with a public relations agency. She let me know they had just ended a contract with an agency that didn’t meet their needs. I let my friend know that I did contract work for an agency that specialized in non-profit event planning and publicity and that I often do the writing and social media work for the agency’s clients.

We had our initial fact-finding meeting and the non-profit signed on with the agency I had suggested. The agency signed me on to do the press releases, social media and creative strategy.

The key to success here was not saying yes. Instead, I asked questions, and did more research to discover if there was more this potential client needed than what they had asked for. Asking questions about the overall needs of the non-profit, instead of just agreeing to write one press release, turned this project from an small, one-time fee to a larger relationship with more income, as well as the potential for on-going work.

Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan is a writing mom on the run. Best known as a children’s author, she also provides business writing and creative consultation. She is the owner of Sweet Tooth Communications, LLC, in Pittsburgh, PA. As a runner and triathlete, she relies on tough workouts to spark incredible ideas. As a mom, she knows the value of humor and patience.