How to freelance

Writers are from Mars, Clients are from Venus

Subscribe to Email Updates

Why writers and clients sometimes clash - and how we can fix it

Freelance writing is the Stockholm syndrome erected into a profession. The terrorist holds a gun to our head and we love them for it. (Or more as a friend of mine said ‘we’re the battered wives of the media business.’)

writers are from mars, clients are from venus: alien

Why do relationships between writers and clients go wrong?

  • Over-promising
  • Too-high expectations
  • Bad briefs
  • Writers don’t understand pressures on clients
  • Not enough feedback
  • Under- or late payment
  • Editing by committee (AKA death by redlining)
  • Editing by lawyer
  • I surrender. Just tell me what to write.

What can we do about it?

Often, writers just eat bitter weeds and tolerate the intolerable. Sometimes, we throw our toys out of the pram and quit. Between these two extremes, there are other options.

But remember, relationships don’t fail because we write badly. We have to work at the the other stuff too.

See also: Why good writers (occasionally) produce bad copy

Discover inbound marketing - free guide

Matthew Stibbe

Matthew is founder and CEO of Articulate Marketing.