As a freelance writer, professionalism is important. You want to be sure you never agree to deadlines that you can’t keep but once in awhile, an emergency might happen. It happens to all of us from time to time and if something happens and you cannot keep a work deadline, there is a proper way to handle it. While missing a deadline may send you into a panic, when done properly and professionally, it doesn’t have to cost you a client or your reputation.
Here are some options to do when you think you are going to miss a deadline:
• If you know something happens and you will miss it, tell the client as soon as possible
• Ask for an extension and explain the situation- remember you don’t have to be overly personal or sound like you’re making excuses; just state the facts
• Tell the client when you will have the work ready instead of being vague and saying you’re going to miss deadline
• Offer a discount or other alternative to compensate for your lateness
• If you need to cancel a project, offer a refund and a good explanation as well as maybe a discount on a future order
• Suggest another writer who may be able to help if you know someone qualified
The most important lesson to learn from this is to try to prevent missed deadlines in the first place. Prioritize your time and don’t take on more projects than you know you can handle, even if the money sounds good. Write down deadlines in a place where you will see them often and keep track of each day so nothing creeps up on you. When you prioritize your time and manage it well, you won’t have to worry about missed deadlines unless real emergencies happen.
Now that you know what to do when you mist miss a deadline as a freelance writer, you can take the proper steps to try to avoid missed deadlines but to take proper action when situations call for it. Your clients are human too and they will understand when emergencies happen. As long as you are mature and upfront about it, your clients can understand when situations happen. And as long as these situations aren’t happening on a regular basis, they shouldn’t affect your business negatively.
Overall, the point is this: you wouldn’t want someone that you’re depending on lying to you or stringing you along. If an accident occurs, you want to know the truth as quickly as possible so that you can take the steps needed to correct the problem. Give your clients this same courtesy and you can maintain a professional experience at all times.