As a freelance writer, you have more to your job than just putting words on the page—a big part of your day is often spent making connections with new customers. This means that as a writer, you spend more time than many people do learning how to “sell yourself.” If you are not thick skinned, you will find this part of the job harder than those nights you spend writing until dawn to make a deadline. When you feel shy about contacting that potential client, or pitching a great idea to your editor, the most important thing to remember is this: The worst they can do is say no.
Pump Yourself Up!
So, you just read about this great new writing job that sounds right up your alley. The job is based around a topic that you love to write about and it seems like it would be a great fit. However, we all feel nervous before we take that leap and apply. I spend a moment or two reminding myself that even though I may not always feel like it, I know I am the best content writer I can be. I may look back at feedback former clients have given me on my work, as that always makes me feel good too. Then, I remind myself—the worst they can do is say no.
One common issue for writers is that there are jobs out there that seem to be a great opportunity, but they have a requirement that is a little out of reach. Perhaps the client wants someone who has a journalism background, or maybe he or she wants someone who has written for a national magazine. Whatever the requirement is, it is something you do not have. That does not mean you have to give up. Pitch yourself! Be completely honest and upfront and tell this customer about your shortcomings. While you are doing that, take the chance to tell him why you would be a great choice too. Maybe he or she is willing to work with you, or will at least keep you in mind if another better fitting job comes along. Remember—the worst they can do is say no!
Fear of rejection is common, even among writers who have been in the business for years. However, if you ever want to grow as a writer you have to learn to face these fears. If the client does not want to hire you, or your editor does not like that idea you pitch, what will happen? The sky will not cave in. You will not be blacklisted as a writer. Nope—the worst they can do is say no.
Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.