1. Know exactly what you want before you hire me. One client wanted me to tell the story of how she climbed the corporate ladder in a male-dominated field. A few weeks later, she decided she wanted her story to sound as if she were sitting around the table with her grandchildren, reminiscing and giving advice.
Both of these are fine, of course, but they are very different. Know what you want your story to achieve, and who it’s for, before you hire a writer.
2. Treat this like the business relationship that it is. Be professional. While we will get to know each other very well, I am not your best friend or therapist. My sole focus is on making this one project the very best it can be.
Don’t ask me what to do about your son who’s flunking out of college, or if I think your wife’s cheating on you. Not only do I have no way of knowing, but getting off course wastes valuable time and disrupts the work flow.
3. Be responsive. Our contract specifies how much time I have to write, and how long you have to respond. When you delay, or say the speech or blogpost or book chapter is ready to go and then backtrack with more changes or a different direction, the whole project suffers. Stay on track.
Interrupting the flow frustrates your writer and risks making your product uneven and disjointed. And believe me, your audience will notice.