Biz: The value of a little solicitousness

Subject: Biz: The value of a little solicitousness
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 21:20:35 -0400

(Cross-posted to copyediting-l and techwr-l, since this is of interest to people in both groups)

One of my standard bits of advice to freelancers is to do something I always did as a wage slave: constantly keep in touch with your clients without being obtrusive or annoying about it.

One particular trick that I'd like to pass on is the notion that you should always keep your key clients advised of times when you expect to be unusually busy or perhaps even unavailable. This is somewhat self-serving, because it lets you gently coax your clients to send work earlier than at the last possible instant, thereby making those last few days before your vacation less stressful than they would be if a huge job arrives at the last possible instant before you leave. But it's also a great kindness to your clients, because it lets them plan around your absence and make sure that work gets done on time.

Do they appreciate this? You bet. Just got a call today from one of my main clients thanking me for letting them know well in advance of those periods when I would not be available--such as my upcoming trip to Australia in September. The manager in question (a gem among clients) was careful to let me know just how much he appreciated this.

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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