As a Content Writer cum Digital Marketer, I enjoy helping clients accomplish their projects’ objectives in the best way I can. You know, clients are very common but rare species! Can you believe that? They are everywhere but nowhere, and they’re being tracked by everybody! So, whenever I smell one, I smell with both my heart and soul! Sometimes leaving my brain behind! That’s my hunting culture. Shocking? Hahaha.
I call clients my partners, and that’s exactly what they are!
To succeed, I always need their support, always! And I strive to handle each task as I would my own. I endeavor to deliver “gold”. But a few times this turns out to be either “silver” or “bronze”!
In this world, you can’t always be a winner, but you’ll always be a learner! And learning I love! I had to learn from the culture shock I’m going to reveal here, and now.
Happy Bidding Process
On this particular morning, I logged into my Upwork Account. And on scanning through the jobs on offer, I got this one that grabbed my attention. I was sure this was a project I could nail! I just finished working on similar tasks a few days ago for a client. The client was happy. I was happy. This was a happy client-in-waiting!
So, I religiously read all the juicy requirements. Inwardly, I was smiling, eager to click the Submit Proposal button to start crafting my cover letter. Instructions were many. Almost covering the entire page. I skipped no line.
I always avoid clients who give such exaggerated instructions with tough conditions that they themselves know cannot transform a poor writer into an award winner! This, unfortunately, didn’t cross my mind. I was simply unarmed!
I already knew exactly how to mold my bid letter. When you get the right project, there is this sweet natural feeling that swells and yells inside you.
You appreciate how God works in a mysterious way, bringing projects that are customized just for you! All you need to do is bid to fulfill a formality! I’m kidding! Think this way and your bids will surely be rejected! 🙂
First Big Culture Shock
Then I got to the last line. My first big shock. I wonder what inspired the client to put this line last. But my biggest last shock came thereafter.
The last line read:
“Only bid for this job if your rate is not more than $ 1.5 per hour”. Eeeh, please don’t torture your mind; there is nothing wrong with this sentence!
Let me explain…
There was simply no link at all between the tasks that clearly required lots of skills, and the rate being cast in stone!
Secondly, this was to be an hourly job. This meant my activities would be monitored real-time by a special desktop tracking software, and images of my tasks captured every 10 or so minutes. The client will, therefore, follow every task I perform.
Since I have no permanent and unlimited supply of WiFi, I rely on purchased data bundles for my online activities. This client’s rate, therefore, could barely cover for the hourly data consumption. Now you know where I’m coming from. That was then though, I’m lucky to be currently WiFi-enabled!
So I closed my eyes briefly and adjusted my laptop’s screen position. As a writer, your eyes can sometimes poke fun at your screen intelligence!
Opening my eyes, I put my eyeglasses down, moved closer to the screens for a closer look. You see clearer when you move closer, right? The words were still there, starring at my stary eyes!
Biggest Final Culture Shock
So, I told myself,
“Wait a minute! Can’t you guess where this client is coming from before you check his details?”
Do you know there are certain things we do or say not because we want, but because that’s how we were brought up? I had to know where this client was brought up! Remember: We are all where we come from! Talk of cultural intelligence!
And I did just that…I made a guess of the writer’s origin.
Then booom! My last big shock. I was very right! The client was from….well, this is for you to guess. Some of my valuable clients come from this country. It will, therefore, be wrong to spoil the country’s good name just because of a few among millions who unknowingly, and harmlessly spread the culture shock!
Let me just say that from Universal experiences, many clients from this great country are known to love haggling, and the lesser you charge them, the more qualified a writer you become!
We have many from that country, here in Kenya as permanent residents. Awesome businessmen, I must say! Good hagglers, I must add! Nothing wrong, it’s their business culture and practice. Using less to get more! Willing seller, willing buyer! Haggling is part and parcel of their business culture. And it pays. They thrive!
I smiled as a champion, inwardly blaming myself for not reading client’s profile before reading the whole damn page of the project’s details. I took full responsibility for my mistake!
So next time, before you bid, check region, hiring rate, past reviews, everything you can put your hand and eyes on! These are free “Analytics Tools” that can determine your bidding success.
By the way, I love Indian lecturers and academicians
Hey! I’ve not said the client above was from India! India has many nationals, you know! But still, I’ll not accuse you of being wrong! I’ll still be fair enough to give you a 5-star rating for an intelligent guess!
Indian academicians will help you l learn faster than most Kenyan tutors or professors will, and for free! They are never “jealous” when it comes to sharing their tech skills.
Check this out:
Now, on writing bidding letters or proposals, remember that no matter how well you write, most proposals will actually be rejected! You’re just being taught how to fight to win or lose with a smile because you gave your best. And your best you must always give!
To escape unnecessary shocks, go for clients you’ll partner with, and whose rates are partnership-inspired, and are in harmony with what you’re offering. All must win, and win happily!
Learn to accept your mistakes even if you are in shock! Don’t be quick at passing blames! Who is perfect? I’m always reminded of Steve Harvey and Miss Universe 2015. Did you watch the event? If you didn’t, you should.
He NEVER blamed the designers of the Miss Universe Cards who would have done better! And he NEVER blamed the tense condition he was in during the announcement.
Instead, he took the blame… accepted his mistake…& Learned his Lesson. Yes, he owned up.
Remember this again: You can’t always be a winner, but you’ll always be a learner!