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Are You a Freelance Writer? Benefits of Instant Messenger Communication

January 24th, 2013 by

170 - Typing

As a freelance writer, you know how important it is to communicate with prospects and clients on a daily basis. From phone calls to in-person meetings to email, there are many ways to get in touch and stay in touch. What is your preferred method?

For most freelance writers, email is the preferred method of communication. This is quick, simple to use, and easy to organize. Along with this, it is safe to say that 99 percent of people in today’s day and age – especially those in the business world – rely heavily upon email.

Phone calls and in-person meetings are not quite as common for freelance writers, however, you may rely on both types of communication at some point.

What about using an instant messenger? This is something that has taken off in the world of freelancing over the past few years. A growing number of independent contractors are beginning to realize the benefits associated with using an IM application to communicate with others.

Three Benefits of Instant Messengers

  1. Real-time communication without picking up the phone. If you can type, you can use an instant messenger. Unlike email, you are communicating in real-time.
  2. Show when you are available and when you are not. No matter which instant messenger application you decide on, there are ways to show your network when you are available and when you are away from the computer.
  3. Additional features. There is no denying that basic text-based messages are the heart of an instant messaging program. With that in mind, there are other features to take advantage of. Did you know that most programs offer both voice and video chat? With voice chat, you can use your IM just like a telephone. With video chat, you can meet face to face without ever being in the same room. How cool is that?

Final Note

With all these benefits, you may be more excited than ever about the prospects of using an instant messenger. There is just one last thing to remember: your clients and prospects need to be using the same application if you want to communicate with them. For this reason, you may find yourself downloading multiple programs to ensure that you can communicate with everybody.

Many people who are new to the freelance writing industry don’t understand how important it is to keep an open line of communication with prospects and clients. With the help of an instant messenger, this is easier than ever before.

Chris Bibey is a freelance writer and social media marketing professional based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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10 Responses to “Are You a Freelance Writer? Benefits of Instant Messenger Communication”

  1. Jim says:

    So, Chris, what’s your IM client of choice? (Michael, too, if you also use it.)

  2. Tom says:

    Cheers Chris, I’ve been using MSN messenger for years, alas that is now being phase out so I’ll be looking at various alternatives.

  3. Ray Ebersole says:

    I use 3 IM apps myself, Skype, Yahoo and Windows Messenger. I also have Google+ messenger on my iPhone and have Facetime for folks with an iPhone.

    I prefer using Skype or Windows Messenger because of the features. I used Windows Messenger to fix a computer for Michael once because of the sharing feature for remote assistance.

  4. Betty says:

    Good article. I’ve always used the usual ones (Skype and MSN) but recently I’ve tried out QQ – which is the Chinese equivalent to our mainstream IMs in the West. All of this because I’ve started covering China and Asian affairs for a publication I work for. QQ is mostly used by Asians but it has an international version (www.imqq.com) that comes with live translation to 50 languages and I find it incredibly useful for my job. If you need to interview somebody in China (or Japan and Korea), or for instance you need to collect first hand information from Chinese people, make sure you try this QQ messenger because it has everything you need from video calls to screen sharing.

  5. Chris Bibey says:

    Hey guys, thanks for the comments.

    As crazy as it sounds, I use a few messengers. The reason is simple: every client has a preference. Most commonly, I use Skype, Brosix, and GTalk. However, there are others – such as MSN – that I dabble with from time to time.

    • Jim says:

      Doesn’t sound crazy at all. As you said, every client has a preference.

      Even for people who only IM to keep in contact with friends, you can’t always choose your client. You’ll use what the majority of your friends use. At the moment I’m mostly on Skype and Facebook, though I wish I didn’t have to use Facebook’s awful chat.

    • Ray Ebersole says:

      I forgot to mention that I would also recommend Pidgin for its cross platform OS/IM Client abilities.

      • Jim says:

        I wish I could use Pidgin and Adium (the Mac version of Pidgin), but unfortunately neither of them has Skype support. You can download pluggins in each case, but they require Skype to be running in order to work, which defeats the point, in my opinion.

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