Samita had made a post at a writers’ community about how she had gotten herself trapped. How she will get out of the mess was the real intention behind the making of the post, anyway. What actually transpired? It looked like Samita had reached out to this client about her services, using some publications she had contributed in as some kind of social proof. Somehow the client misunderstood her (or maybe he never did). In fact, you should read Samita’s original post:
Oh no! I was happy that I had landed what I thought was an awesome press release client. But when I delivered the work he wrote back “you can go ahead.” English isn’t his first language so I wrote back and asked him what he meant, he said, “I understand you would also press release the article you wrote at the Huffington Post, Editors Canada, and the Canadian Business Journal…Oh no! This is because in my pitch I wrote “I am a freelance writer whose writing has been featured by the Huffington Post, Editor’s Canada, and the Canada Business Journal, among others. Does *** need help with press releases or other content marketing?” Now he wants me to cross-post to those places! What a nightmare!
That should be the end of the long wall of texts about Samita’s dilemma. And coincidentally, it is the end of Samita’s dilemma! How? You will get to know in a jiffy.
First off let’s look at some lessons Samita’s dilemma can teach us.
> Samita asked questions when she is not cleared. She did not assume anything and that could just have been devastating. Samita demonstrated this when she asked her client what he meant by ‘you can go ahead.’
> Instead of committing more blunders by replying the client immediately, Samita shared her problem with a community of more experienced persons where she got the most invaluable tips that helped her salvage the situation. She got back replying the client very appropriately.
> Samita quickly take responsibility and controlled the situation by making to clear the misunderstanding while coming to terms with the fact that it probably could have been that she was not explicit enough with her explanation about the services she is offering.
> Samita in her quest to make the freelancing money did not compromise professionalism.
> And Samita did not commit herself and her career.
So Samita updated her post with the below:
I was able to resolve the situation by respectfully explaining that my fee was for writing and not distribution and that posting on my other platforms would violate their policies. But, to make up for the miscommunication I would be willing to post the press release on free PR sites and share on my social pages. He wrote back that he was sorry for the misunderstanding and that he appreciates my counter offer, which I do not have to fulfill if it’s too much trouble. He then said that he looks forward to working with me again the next time he needs content. Phew! Crisis Averted!
Yes, it’s indeed crisis averted. Nevertheless, check out my thought on Samita’s update.
> All Samita needed to resolve the issue was to respectfully explain.
> She didn’t struggle with ethics.
> Samita chose to offer the counter offer (for whatever reason) but she is under no obligation to even make the offer in the first place, much less fulfill it. Or is it her fault the client misunderstood her? Her pitch was clear and direct: “I offer help with content creation (PR specifically) and content marketing, not content distribution.”
In whatever way you choose to view the epistle up there, and sure it’s Samita’s solved dilemma; but if you at least take this freelancing thing seriously, you should have packed enough wisdom and experience from Samita’s story that you can use to maneuver whichever issues you might be having with clients going forward, and not necessarily services misunderstanding as it were the case in Samita’s dilemma.
Well, I have never had any such misunderstanding with clients. And believe it, before now I wouldn’t know what to do or perhaps I would have handled the issue wrongly. But have you ever been misunderstood by a client? What measures did you take to revert the misunderstanding? Does any of those measures you took share similarities with those of Samita’s? I honestly want to know. OK. Comment box then.
Sam is a freelance content writer. He blogs at 1stclasswriters.com where he shares his knowledge and experience about the freelance writing business. When Sam is not writing, he could be on his social channels chatting up like minds.