Have you ever lost a client because you missed a deadline? Well, then freelance writers, you need to read about 9 full proof methods to never miss a deadline.
Last year, there was a time when I stayed up for 20 hours because I needed to finish my deadline. I had taken over more work than I could handle, and I only realized that when it was 3 in the night and my brain was giving up on me.
But I couldn’t stop because I had committed to a deadline, and I was a professional.
Does it sound familiar to you, too?
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1. Make an Editorial Calendar
You know you are a human, right?
If you answered the question above with a yes, then that means you have limits. You can only work for a number of hours in a day.
That is why, it is important to make an editorial calendar keeping your limits in mind. With an editorial calendar, you will also be able to give clients a more realistic deadline for new projects.
2. Don’t commit on a project you can’t do
Bulk projects might sound great for your bank account, but can you really handle it?
If you have a habit of doing only 2-3 pieces a day and you are about to take a project which would need 4-5 pieces done every day, then you really need to think hard before saying yes to it.
3. Ask every question before starting the project
Do not wait until the last moment to ask any questions about the project, because it will only delay your work.
Review your project within 24 hours of it being assigned and as ask any questions that you might have about the project.
4. Mark deadlines according to the client’s time zone
This is a very important hack that I often use with my international clients.
Now, I have a client based in Australia, and another in the US. If I need to submit work to both of them on a Monday, then I would start on the Australian client’s work first.
Because Australia is 4 hours ahead of India, by the time, I get up on a Monday morning, half of the day would already be over there. So, I try and submit my Monday’s work by Sunday night.
Whereas US is 12 hours behind India, so even if I start work on Monday morning and deliver it by evening, I would still be on deadline according to the US time.
That is why, before delivering any work to your client, you should always ask his time zone.
5. Prioritize your work
There are some clients who might need work on an urgent basis, while others might not need the work until two weeks. That is why, you need to prioritize your work (Again, an editorial calendar, would be a great help for this)
You could also choose to charge clients for rush hour if they want a quicker turnaround.
6. Use the right tools to always stay on track
Without the right tools, you would only be writing deadlines on a sticky note and that can prove to be deadly, trust me, I learnt it the hard way.
7. Never ignore client emails
So, you missed a deadline and the client has sent you a reminder email. Are you going to ignore it?
Unless you can avoid it for an hour and send the work along with your reply, I suggest not ignoring it because it’s downright unprofessional. Also, it’s very easy to know when someone has read your email and chosen to ignore it.
8. Making up unbelievable lies will only get you in more trouble
So, you have missed a deadline but you do not want to apologize, instead you have this master plan for lying your way out of it? Let me save you some time – it ain’t gonna work.
I have worked as an Editor for several companies and I have had many writers work under me. The kind of excuses I used to get from writers when they missed deadlines were hilarious and horrible at the same time.
Of course, I didn’t say anything to them straight away, but I knew they were lying and I made sure to keep their unprofessionalism in mind. Here are some of the most common lies I have encountered:
- Your mail went into trash/ spam
- Someone died in my family
- The rains have destroyed my wifi
May be these will help you come up with some fresh excuses?
9. Take out time to proofread
Always take out time for proofreading, always. The only thing worse than missing a deadline is sending content full of typos.