If you’re working as a freelance copywriter, here’s how I’d suggest you think about each of your client companies:

Everyone at the company is the CEO, and every writing assignment you take on is your first for that client.

Say you’re working as an outside freelance copywriter for a large company’s marketing team. One day you get a call from someone in the customer service department. She got your name from the marketing manager, who says you’re a great writer and easy to work with. Can you help her draft a short phone script for the customer service reps?

An inexperienced writer thinks: This project is a waste of time. It’ll probably take me less than an hour, so it won’t be worth more than a few bucks. Plus, I probably won’t ever speak to this customer service manager again. And besides, I’ve got other, more important work to do for this client (my real contacts in the marketing department). I’ll just dash something off in a hurry — doesn’t need to be perfect.

Big mistake.

Your reputation as a freelance copywriter within this company — which will affect how much work they give you, and for how long they keep you around — could depend on what any employee in the company thinks and says about you. If your marketing department contacts all like working with you, but then the customer service manager tells them you didn’t take her project seriously or turned in shoddy work, that might make marketing re-evaluate you.

The lesson: Treat every person in your client’s company whom you do any work for as a copywriting critic, who’s going to write a “review” of your performance the next day in the company’s newsletter for everyone to read. Might never happen that way. But why risk it?

(And hey, be glad they think enough of you to recommend your services to their co-workers!)

If you value your clients… and want to continue doing good work for them… you’ll treat every assignment, from anyone in the company, as the great opportunity it is. That’s how copywriters become indispensable.