I have a confession.
I’ve hated blogging for clients since the beginning of blog time.
I’ve tried. It’s not my thing. That’s why any blogging leads automatically go into my “refer to one of my students” file.
Here’s why I bring this up…
A new coaching client of mine (::waving to her::) admitted that she also hates blogging. She’s sucked it up all this time because her clients asked for it — and she wanted to know if it’s OK to stop blogging and to focus on white papers instead (what she loves writing.)
Here’s the deal…
Many of us put pressure on ourselves to be a one-stop shop for our clients.
We write print brochures. We create website copy. We blog. We write PPC ads.
It’s a lot.
We don’t do it because we like writing all these things. We do it because we’re afraid we’re going to lose our client if we can’t be their everything.
There are a few problems with that mindset:
- We’re probably VERY good at writing some things, and not good at writing others — so the writing quality is inconsistent.
- If we don’t like doing something, we won’t do as good of a job.
- If we don’t like doing something, we probably aren’t as efficient — so our most hated tasks take the longest to write.
- Writing stuff we don’t like to write makes us miserable.
- The more we’re forced to do the writing tasks we don’t like, the more we’re pulled away from what makes us real money (and makes us happy, too.)
Yes, you read that correctly. Directly providing client services that you don’t love creating can cost you thousands of dollars a year. Every year.
So, what can you do instead?
“But Heather,” you may say. “I’ve signed contracts and get leads to provide X service. Aren’t I stuck?”
Nope. You’re never stuck. In fact, you have a few options.
- If being a one-stop shop for your clients is important to you, why not subcontract the work you don’t like? The client still has you as her main point of contact, so there’s no change. And it lets someone who loves blogging (or keyword research or PPC ad writing) work in their zone of brilliance. In this case, you’d pay the subcontractor directly, check his work, and manage the process (and yes, your time managing the process is billable time.)
- You can stop providing that service and refer the business elsewhere. This makes sense when the client is looking for services outside your main core competency. (For instance, your client needs PPC campaign management or web design, and you focus on writing.) You may even be paid a referral fee.
- If you feel like YOU need to provide the service AND keep it in-house, consider charging so much money that it balances out the pain. (You’ll hear this called a PITA charge for “pain in the ass.”) That way, your client can go elsewhere if she wants a better price. Or, if your client does choose to work with you, the higher price point makes the job worth your time.
There’s always something you can do.
Plus, there are inherent benefits to specializing in a freelance service.
For me, the thought of blogging multiple times a week for a client makes me want to stab my eyes out. No matter how much money they’d throw at me.
I’d rather do what I love doing.
People turn to me for SEO content training, because that’s what I’m known for and where I excel.
People turn to Gordon Graham, “That White Paper Guy” for — you guessed it – white papers. He’s laser-focused on providing one service and doing it well.
If you know you’re a kick-butt email writer, why would you focus on anything else — especially when you can charge a premium for having specialized skills and awesome case studies?
Even if it feels like you’re limiting your options, specializing can make sense.
Plus, you can always take on side gigs where you do things slightly outside of your normal day-to-day. You’re not stuck.
You’re just marketing more efficiently.
So yes, it’s OK to stop providing that service you hate. Bring on a subcontractor. Refer it to someone else. You have options.
Life is way too short to write copy you don’t want to write.
What do you think?
Are there some writing services that drive you nuts to do? What would YOU subcontract? Leave a message and let me know!