What do my customers want and what are they worried about?


A value isn’t the same thing as a goal for a client.  A value is what’s important in general, not a specific thing that the client wants to accomplish. Think of adjectives (dependable, open-minded, passionate). So what are my buyers looking for?

Reliability: They want a writer who can say something consistently. Having material to work with, like a document written by a client, is a great way to get even more material written (because you can spend less time preparing). At the same time, you want a client who is reliable, and offer works (and payment!) regularly.

Creativity: Some clients want you to rewrite their material, put in what they ask and nothing more. In that case you’re of a typist or transcriber than a writer (though sometimes a phrase is just not workable at all). A lot of times, though, you get to decide how to say what’s being said.

Communicative: I have worked in a grocery store as a clerk, and in a financial services business as an agent. Totally different tasks and activities. In each job, though, you have to talk to someone. A lot more people as a store clerk (all those customers and co-workers, managers) than as an agent associate (maybe the help desk, and the agent who assigns responsibilities).


“Fears” is an exaggeration. I don’t think people are necessarily afraid of anything in the business world (except not making any money), so it’s probably better to call it “hesitations.” That’s more realistic — it’s the things that keep them from trying new things in their business, hiring new people, launching new products. The big two are:

Hesitation of Loss: No one wants to lose money. Starting a new venture can be risky, and there’s no end to the research available about the best ways to offer a product or service, down to the best font to use on a blog post. The way to overcome that hesitation is by offering something, having a track record. If you have no track record, but people won’t try you without a track record… well, that Catch-22 is the eternal question.

Hesitation of Approval: It’s wise to consult different sources when getting ready to take action, like experts in the field, family and friends. The hesitation there is in whose opinion matters. Can a writer overcome this hesitation? Not directly, but finding research that supports the writer’s contributions to the project means the writer ends up with more contributions to the project.