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Why does everyone want to talk to me on the phone?

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I hate talking on the phone...probably since I am little hard of hearing, from years of shooting...I have a pair of site owners who seem very excited about my writing style, and want to set up a time to call me next week...UHG!

I usually respond with "let's just keep it on email for now", but things are getting more serious, and this is becoming more common...

On a second note...I have no clue what to charge anymore...I am getting far more than I was when I was hobby writing (still mostly hobby writing) but still not near enough to live on...These guys want to talk to me about "working" for them...I am getting my name out in the niche and attracting more and more emails from those who want my stuff but unfortunately it is mostly "I will give you a link if you write blah blah blah"... several have offered to pay but it ranges anywhere from way less than $.01/word to a little over $.05/word...even the high end is pretty low...

Just getting some frustrations out!

Randy

5 thoughts on “Why does everyone want to talk to me on the phone?”

  1. I feel your pain when it comes to talking on the phone. I hate it too–but it’s a necessary evil for doing business. There are phone options which may help you with the hearing challenge. I need to check into them, too, because I have some hearing issues in my left ear due to sinus/allergy problems.

    You may also want to practice in front of a mirror or call someone and watch yourself talking on the phone in front of a mirror. I know that sounds weird, but it may help your self-confidence. Remember to sit up straight and smile. Yes, a smile does go through the telephone wires.

    And tell yourself: I can do it! :}

    Okay, I’m beginning to sound like your mother! 🙂

    Good luck!

    Reply
  2. Great advice Wendy! I’m slightly different, I love to talk to people, in person, on the phone, via skype, and just shooting the breeze is no problem for me. Things change when there’s something it stake though, so I struggle with talking to new clients on the phone. The first time I spoke to a prospective client on the phone to discuss whether we’d be a good fit was a nightmare, I thought it would be fine, because I’d spoken to clients before (phone or skype) and never had any problems, but the difference was that they were already clients before we spoke. This time, I just babbled, stuttered, had mind blanks, and they decided I wasn’t right for them. Bah.

    I was the same at my previous job as a manager in a finance department. I would talk to anyone, no problem, and hold court in a room full of people and enjoy it. As soon as it became ‘formal’, like a presentation, I went to pieces. Even my team, they’d all known me for years and we all got on great, but as soon as I felt like I was being judged for my presentation skills I’d stutter, go to pieces and go red. Yuk, glad that’s all over with!

    Re rates Randy, I know what my hourly rate is and I know roughly how long something will take to write, so I use that as a basis – it works for me! As an example, I ghostwrite a cat blog and also an event-planning blog. I am the archetypal mad old cat woman, always had cats and I’ve spent years reading all the cat health/behaviour etc. books under the sun, so it takes me 20 minutes to write a blog post about cats. Event-planning is something different, so although, say I charge £X for each cat blog post and £X x 4 for each event-planning blog post, when I look at it as an hourly rate I get the same for each.

    Just to point out, there isn’t usually such a difference in my rates, but the cat blog is such a joy, and something I look forward to writing, so I did knock my rates down. It’s my special, ‘fun’ work

    Reply
  3. You’ve gotten great advice here already. It’s all about confidence. And really, remember they’re just another person. And life won’t end if one particular prospect doesn’t bite. When you aren’t stressed about making something happen, things tend to happen the way you’d like them to anyway. 🙂

    I’m a chatty person. I love public speaking. But I very rarely take client phone calls. I’ve only taken one prospect call in around 10 years that didn’t land in a contract, so I have confidence on that front. But for me it’s a schedule thing. I keep unusual working hours and rarely make exceptions. I stopped giving out my phone number when clients overseas started calling me at obscene hours. Now if someone insists on phone calls, I have to really want that gig for some reason. Otherwise I just explain to them that I keep my phone off when I’m working, and that’s as much about making sure I’m not disturbed when working on their project as anything else. They wouldn’t want me taking calls when I’m writing for them, so I won’t take their call when I’m working on something else. When I do take calls they have to fall within the availability schedule mentioned on my website (a three-day window for client projects each week right now) and they must be pre-scheduled.

    Another issue for me is that I want everything in writing. So I stick to email 99% of the time. If you take calls, make sure you’re sending email follow-ups to re-cap the conversation, especially if they involved project details. This way you’re covered if they try to claim they never said something.

    Every now and then you get someone who just wants to hear a voice for the comfort factor, which isn’t a big deal. It reminds them that they’re working with an individual professional and not just some content firm outsourcing their work to less qualified third parties. So get through the call, and you might be fine moving forward with email.

    Reply
  4. Randy, think of it as you interviewing them. Sometimes we forget that the job, and the client, has to fit us, too.

    Have some questions handy. Try these:

    – What is the overall message you hope to convey?

    – Who is the audience you’re envisioning?

    – What is your project budget?

    – How can I help you? (only if that last question is high enough to make you happy)

    Reply
  5. I avoid the phone when I can, because it detracts from writing time. I’ve had to relax that policy a bit for a new client, but since he’s paying well, I don’t mind as much. Like Jenn, I like to have things in writing, and usually send a recap email after a phone meeting so everyone’s clear on what’s been discussed and decided. It saves a LOT of hassle later.

    Reply

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