Freelance writer receiving feedback from a client

How to Give and Respond to Freelance Writer Feedback Effectively

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Whether you are the writer or the client, freelance writer feedback is crucial. It’s important to be able to give and take feedback effectively and fairly, as this can help improve the quality of your writing.

Freelance writer feedback requires regular communication, like responding to your client’s revision requests and questions. Client feedback is also a great tool for demonstrating your level of service and commitment to potential customers through reviews.

What is the best way to respond to your writing feedback? How can you use the client feedback to your advantage? Read on to learn more about giving and responding to feedback whether you’re the client or the freelancer. 

What Is Writing Feedback?

To achieve the best results with a writing project, effective feedback comes in handy to provide helpful observations and suggestions for improvement. These notes help lead the writer toward making the changes to finish a project successfully. Giving and receiving feedback is essential to growing in the craft of writing, and as a client, it helps you maintain clear project expectations.

The Benefits of Constructive Feedback 

Giving constructive feedback doesn’t have to be awkward. There’s a right way to do it so that the project is completed well and no feelings are hurt.

There are many benefits to providing honest feedback:

  • Increase the quality of your work
  • Save resources like time and money
  • Improve communication and trust between client and freelancer
  • Reduce stress and uncertainty by defining specific directions
  • Enhance positive change and learning

Used correctly, feedback is extremely valuable. But that’s why it’s so crucial to approach the conversation or notes respectfully and directly. Negative feedback can be interpreted differently if you don’t formulate your suggestion well.

How to Give Good Freelance Writer Feedback

When you’re ready to provide some feedback to your freelance writer, what elements should you consider without sounding too critical or being taken the wrong way? 

Client giving constructive feedback to a freelance writer while sitting at a table
Photo by nappy from Pexels

Effective feedback can empower both clients and writers. From the client’s perspective, giving freelancer feedback is fundamental to completing projects successfully. Similarly, from the freelance writer’s perspective, client feedback is a powerful tool to learn something new, demonstrate the professional writer you are, and show your commitment to your projects.

It can be difficult to give honest and constructive feedback. And when it comes to receiving feedback, many take a defensive stance. Consequently, giving effective feedback is an art. That’s why you need to use feedback as effectively as possible, following basic feedback etiquette. These unwritten rules can help you give and respond to feedback like an expert.

1. Prepare Your Feedback in Advance

Get ready for your meeting with your writer by preparing your suggestions in advance. To create your notes, prepare a list of questions beforehand that can serve as a starting point. This will give you a clear idea about the results you expect, and your feedback will be even more productive. 

Avoid phrases with vague, abstract, or ambiguous meanings. To provide excellent feedback, start with something good to create a positive environment and increase receptivity. Then, express the problem in positive terms – without judgment or name-calling. It’s better to say, “You can improve it this way” than, “You’re bad at this.”

The brain interprets these two approaches differently. One emphasizes an opportunity for improvement and the other, an error that can’t be changed.

Remember to remain polite throughout your feedback. Courtesy and kindness are at the foundation of strong professional relationships. As a consequence, even if you don’t like something, there is always a polite way to say it.

2. Provide Examples and Solutions 

Make sure your feedback is easy to understand. You should research the points on which you want to give feedback and provide specific examples to make your suggestions actionable.

Using a freelancer feedback sample can be crucial to helping you avoid misunderstandings. For example, instead of just pointing out elements to fix when writing a blog post, you can also highlight the solution with samples, indicating the appropriate source to find the information, or even give them ideas that may be useful to finish the project satisfactorily.

3. Look for Solutions, Not Someone to Blame

Bad feedback can have consequences that can spoil everything from project results to the working relationship. So, make it clear that you’re talking about the task, not the person. No matter what happened, your feedback shouldn’t be taken as a personal attack. It should be something constructive for the long-term relationship – or at least, learning for future projects. 

Both clients and freelance writers have the opportunity to grow with feedback. To evolve as a writer, you need to be prepared for feedback and editing requests. But getting feedback is reciprocal, as clients also need the freelancer’s expertise.

So, explain your suggestions the best you can. If you don’t explain why a mistake is a mistake, the feedback may be taken for blatant criticism. Remember that if the feedback is not reported with a solution approach, freelancers and clients may not know how to move forward.  

Writers: How to Respond to Feedback Professionally

Freelance writer receiving feedback from a client
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Similarly, responding to feedback is as important as giving feedback. They are two sides of the same coin, and it’s always better to clarify misunderstandings, eliminate weaknesses, and set expectations.

Responding to feedback can be challenging, or even embarrassing. So, it’s fundamental to do it the right way. Here are some basic guidelines to take feedback from your clients and continue with your project smoothly.

1. Don’t Take Feedback Personally

When listening to criticism about aspects of your work, analyze it from a pragmatic, non-emotional point of view. Don’t judge your counterpart. If you start making value judgments, it will create an uncomfortable atmosphere. If at any point, you feel belittled or humiliated, give yourself a minute to distance yourself and take control of your emotions. Think of them as judging your work, not you as a person.

In fact, self-evaluation is the hardest part. As writers, it’s normal to feel attached to your work. After so many hours invested in a task, it can feel belittling when you receive criticism. Most of us are not able to fully see our weaknesses, especially from the client’s point of view. But the only way to grow is with honest evaluations of your work.

For example, if you’re a writer and the feedback comes from your editor or client with a lot of writing experience, that’s an opportunity to benefit from their knowledge.

Being prepared to receive and respond to feedback as a freelance writer is the best way to identify your weaknesses and strengths. After you analyze the feedback, you can respond. Be open and own your mistakes. In the end, responding to feedback is a conversation to achieve a mutual goal.

2. Learn from Your Mistakes

Write down the thoughts and observations you received. Ideally, create a list of questions about how to improve your work. Review everything you discussed and underline what you can implement immediately. Think about the changes that will require more time and draw up a strategy to implement them. 

Take action quickly and aim to follow up appropriately. That will show your client that you are listening to their concerns and are working to make the necessary changes. By fixing problems on the spot, you can turn a bad situation into a good one, which opens the door for future business.

If you don’t receive feedback, ask for it. It’s essential to receive feedback to continue advancing in your career or keep your business running successfully

3. Be Thankful for the Feedback

Thanking your client or freelance writer for feedback is an acknowledgment of the effort it takes to analyze a task in-depth. It will help you reduce stress and get back to work. Besides, thanking your client for their time will keep the relationship on the best terms and shows your professionalism.

Remember that getting feedback is an opportunity to learn and grow, so keep a positive attitude, even if you’re expecting bad news. It’s critical not to get defensive or frustrated with criticism. Hold back the urge to defend your work. Instead, focus on the feedback itself and how you can use it to improve. Ask questions to get a clearer picture and thank your clients for sharing their ideas and thoughts.

Feedback Is Your Path to Growth as a Writer

The ability to give and respond to feedback is a must when working with freelancers and clients. It is a strategy that will substantially improve the results of each of your projects, and it is a habit that allows you to build trusting and long-term working relationships. 

No one likes to hear criticism. That’s why you have to make sure you use the right feedback etiquette to sound as professional as possible. When you have to give feedback, be careful about the way you express your views. Misunderstandings may happen at any time, but clear communication can resolve any issue.

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