Can you do that for me?

Marketing your freelance writing services through your network can lead to new business, month after month. While some of the projects you receive from your network will be right up your alley, others may be new to you. Over the past couple of months I have heard the phrase “can you do that for me” too many times!

People who have trusted you to do a good job in the past will trust you to do the same in the future. This is true even if the project is not suited to what you consider your core skills.

For example, I have been working closely with a client to grow their blog through regular updates and some SEO work here and there. Our entire relationship for the past six months has been built around this blog.

Last week, the client called and asked if I could help write two feature articles while also starting a newsletter. At the time my contact had no clue that I was skilled in these areas as well. But since our relationship has been so good for so long, my name immediately came to his mind. This is the type of call that you want to receive.

Yes, from time to time you are going to be presented with work that you aren’t equipped to handle. Remember, there is nothing wrong with turning somebody down. In fact, it is better to turn away a project than to take it on and hope for the best. If you fail the client may look at you in a different light, and in turn this can harm your once good relationship.

As you grow your network and complete more projects you will begin to hear from clients asking if you can do more for them. It is much easier to succeed when the work is coming to you!

Profile image for Chris Bibey
Chris is a full-time freelance writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He specializes in web content, sales copy, and many other forms of writing. Chris has two books in print, as well as hundreds of articles in local and nationwide publications.

3 thoughts on “Can you do that for me?”

  1. I have this experience all the time. I think I’m going to change my title from “writer” to “person who does anything that involves putting words together for you.” I don’t know that it fits very well on a business card, though.

  2. This post underscores a truism in freelancing in general, and commercial freelancing (my field) in particular. That being that most clients are too busy to be hunting around for the absolute perfect writer for each and every job. So, bottom line, as Chris points out, if you have a good relationship with that client based on successful writing outings with them previously, the path of least resistance is going to have them come to you for future writing projects – even if they’re project types quite different from what you’ve done for them previously.

    Also, regarding turning down work that really isn’t a good fit for you, this is where developing a network of fellow writers with different and complementary skills can pay off in the long run. You send work their way when it’s not your bailiwick, and they do the same for you later…


    • Exactly. I have clients who knowingly bring me projects that I won’t take on solely because they’ve come to trust the referrals. And when clients know you won’t steer them wrong even when sending them to someone else, they’re more likely to trust you with future projects of their own as well. And there’s nothing like the combination of repeat work and incoming referrals to keep the freelance gigs rolling in.

      Side note, the boyfriend was kicking back reading your self-publishing book last night and I couldn’t keep track of all the gasps and giggles as he was reading the personal anecdotes and figures in there. We’re considering developing a new software package either for freelancers or indie publishers and he wanted some background. He was shocked to learn how little traditionally published authors can earn per book sale, and I think he finally understood why I’m going the indie route myself. So thanks for saving me a lot of time trying to explain it. 😉


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