Boss Responses

#21: How to Handle Changes in Point of Contact with Amy Ragland

December 18, 2023 Treasa Edmond Episode 21
#21: How to Handle Changes in Point of Contact with Amy Ragland
Boss Responses
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Boss Responses
#21: How to Handle Changes in Point of Contact with Amy Ragland
Dec 18, 2023 Episode 21
Treasa Edmond

Has your point of contact with a client ever changed? We've been there too. And we know the situation can cause tension when the new person is more difficult to work Join host Treasa Edmond special guest co-host Amy Ragland as they give insights on how to handle changes in point of content with established clients. They also discuss when it's best to make the hard decision and let the client go.

About the Hosts

Treasa Edmond is a content strategist and consultant, best-selling ghostwriter, and podcast host. On Boss Responses, Treasa and her weekly guest hosts explore how freelancers and small business owners can navigate the sometimes tricky path of client management and communication. She also teaches content professionals and small businesses how to create SEO-optimized content strategies so they can grow their businesses by connecting with their audiences.
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Amy Ragland started freelancing in 2002, when digital marketing wasn’t a thing yet. She started her freelance journey writing copy and content for old-school hard copy materials like brochures, magazines and physical newsletters. Over the next 15 years, she freelanced part-time on the side while working and raising her young daughters. She decided to make the jump to full-time freelance in 2017 and hasn’t looked back. Today, she writes content and copy for the financial services industry, crafting content for wealth management firms, banks and WealthTech providers through her company, Luminary Financial Content LLC.
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Buy your copy of the 2024 Planning Guide for Freelancers, Coaches & Consultants
Connect  with Amy on LinkedIn
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Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Has your point of contact with a client ever changed? We've been there too. And we know the situation can cause tension when the new person is more difficult to work Join host Treasa Edmond special guest co-host Amy Ragland as they give insights on how to handle changes in point of content with established clients. They also discuss when it's best to make the hard decision and let the client go.

About the Hosts

Treasa Edmond is a content strategist and consultant, best-selling ghostwriter, and podcast host. On Boss Responses, Treasa and her weekly guest hosts explore how freelancers and small business owners can navigate the sometimes tricky path of client management and communication. She also teaches content professionals and small businesses how to create SEO-optimized content strategies so they can grow their businesses by connecting with their audiences.
Connect with Treasa on LinkedIn
Follow Boss Responses on Instagram

Amy Ragland started freelancing in 2002, when digital marketing wasn’t a thing yet. She started her freelance journey writing copy and content for old-school hard copy materials like brochures, magazines and physical newsletters. Over the next 15 years, she freelanced part-time on the side while working and raising her young daughters. She decided to make the jump to full-time freelance in 2017 and hasn’t looked back. Today, she writes content and copy for the financial services industry, crafting content for wealth management firms, banks and WealthTech providers through her company, Luminary Financial Content LLC.
Subscribe to the How I Freelance Newsletter
Buy your copy of the 2024 Planning Guide for Freelancers, Coaches & Consultants
Connect  with Amy on LinkedIn
Find Amy on Threads

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Treasa Edmond:

Welcome back to the Boss Responses podcast. Our special guest host this week is Amy Ragland, a financial content marketing writer. Make sure you join us every day as Amy brings her experience and insights to the table, as we answer reader questions, and then on Friday, we're going to learn more about Amy, her business and how she started doing what she does. Today we're talking about an interesting situation when your point of contact changes with one of your clients and you have issues with the new point of contact. Do you let the client go? Do you attempt to solve the problem? Let's go ahead and jump into the question to see how we responded. If you're a freelancer, business owner or anyone who deals with clients, you're in the right place.

Treasa Edmond:

I'm your host, Treasa Edmond. I've been dealing with clients and running my business for nearly two decades and in that time I've dealt with my share of doubt, imposter syndrome and not knowing what to say when a client asks a question. I wasn't ready for. I created this podcast to empower you with the boss responses you need to grow your business. Each week, my guest co-host and I will bring you five episodes packed with practical insights. Monday through Thursday, we answer your questions, and Fridays, we dive deep to explore how our co-host embraced their role as the boss of their business. Welcome to Boss Responses, Amy. Thank you for being here with us this week. We appreciate you.

Amy Ragland:

Thanks, Treasa, I'm glad to be here.

Treasa Edmond:

All right, so what is the question we're looking at today?

Amy Ragland:

So this freelancer says they've got a problem that they've never faced before and they're not sure how to deal with it. She says I've been working with a client consistently for about a year and so far it's been great. Two months ago, though, the primary contact changed and they have somebody new working with contractors, and unfortunately the new person is difficult. She questions every design choice, wants to make changes, just to make changes, things like can we just move this line just a bit to the left and she always wants to make revisions to the final version after it's been approved. Up until this point, I've always worked with the owner of the company and she loves my work and rarely had revisions. Now my projects with them take twice as long and the frustration level is through the roof. I don't want to have to let this client go, but something has to give. What would you suggest?

Treasa Edmond:

This is a difficult situation because she obviously enjoys or he one or the other enjoys working with the client. I would I'm brutally honest in these situations, but brutally honest in a very professional way. So if this was me, I would have a conversation with the new point of contact and just explain that you understand, everyone has a different working style, but some of the choices that person is making is directly impacting your ability to complete the projects on time, and that would be a big thing for me. And then see what they say, because it might just be that they don't know, or this is their first time working and managing contractors, and they're being a little bit overzealous which aren't we all at one point or another. So don't assume that she's being malicious. This is always my thing Never assume that they're being malicious.

Treasa Edmond:

If she slaps back at you, though, then that is the point where I would take and have a conversation with my primary client and just say I've loved working with you. This has been great. I'm having some communications difficulties with so and so, and I just wanted to talk through that with you and see if we can find a solution or if maybe there's someone else I can work with If you want to keep the client, which you say you do. So that's how I would handle it. What would you do, amy?

Amy Ragland:

You know, I totally agree. I would. That's how I would approach it as well, and I think sometimes you have to understand that some people come into a new role and they want to put their stamp on it and they want to make their mark immediately instead of waiting to kind of assess the situation and see where things are. I would also have an honest conversation about here's how I work. Here are my processes, here's how I think through things, how I approach the projects. How can we find a middle ground of working together to where we're both satisfied with our working, like approach and styles? How can we line up our styles to make sure we're both happy in this situation?

Treasa Edmond:

You will always have an editor or a primary contact that wants to put their stamp on things. I had an editor that it was probably about midway through from when I started my business to where I am now and she would send me back things and say there's way too many typos in this. But it was word preferences, it wasn't typos. There were no typos. It was words that she thought should be used instead of the words I used and, quite frankly, a lot of times the words she chose they weren't the right word. She obviously picked up a thesaurus and thought I'm going to change 20% of this because it's what the contract says.

Treasa Edmond:

I had a very frank conversation with her and I explained the difference between typos and preference and I said I am the expert in writing this type of content and I hope that you'll respect that. And she's like oh yeah, yeah, I absolutely do. We love working with you, you get everything on time. And I was like then what I would ask is that you do not change words unless it's a brand voice issue. And after that we had a really good working relationship and I worked hard to form a bond with her so that we never had that problem going forward and I think that's part of our job as freelancers is to form that connection. It's not up to our client. They have a lot to do. They're doing a full-time job. I mean, we are too, but part of our job is forming that client relationship and finding the middle ground.

Amy Ragland:

Absolutely, and I think sometimes too there is a possibility where you're initially working with someone who's used to working with freelancers, who has experience, who kind of knows how to manage that relationship, and you get somebody new in there who may not have as much experience in that area. So there is an educational component there too, I think. Sometimes I know they said that they don't. This freelancer said they don't want to have to let this client go. But I think sometimes too we have to know when to cut losses and figure out when it may be time to separate from them, and that's always a hard decision to make too, and that's probably a whole other question.

Treasa Edmond:

I do that by my stress level. If I dread seeing an email or a phone call from them, then that's my sign that it's time to start weaning that client off. How do you handle?

Amy Ragland:

it Me too, and I think it's when you see that email come in and you see their name in this form line and you immediately think oh, or say a not nice word. I think that's when it's a sign that it may be time to move on to something new. And you know, that too is a frank conversation about maybe I've just grown this relationship and just being honest with yourself about maybe it's time to do something different or pursue another client.

Treasa Edmond:

Yeah, absolutely. In this case I would, before I made that choice, talk to the initial client yes, and I would say because they really enjoyed working with them, just to see if it is salvageable. And I would just be honest and say if we can't make a change, then I'm going to have to leave this relationship. And that's really hard to say when you really like someone, but sometimes it will spur the change and if not, then their business is always going to be more important than you and that's something we have to accept.

Amy Ragland:

It's a sad thing.

Treasa Edmond:

But if that's their business choice, then that's it, and you have to make your business choice.

Amy Ragland:

And I think too, talking to the primary contact, sometimes it may be enlightening about things that may be going on internally that you don't know about, and so maybe that will give you a little bit more insight on how to work with a new person or maybe some changes coming down the pike later and with that company. Maybe if you just hold on for a couple three months, maybe things are going to change. It might give you some additional insights into how that relationship might proceed.

Treasa Edmond:

Yeah, so there are lots of positive outcomes to this, and actually even leaving a client that causes you stress is a positive, so I think this is going to be a win-win. Whichever way they decide, you bet. All right, that was day one with Amy Raglan. We will come back tomorrow with another question.

Navigating Difficulties With New Client Contacts
Benefits of Communication With Primary Contacts

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