Have you ever been on the short list for a freelance writing job and the client decided to hire someone else? It’s happened to all of us. No one likes being rejected, especially when they have made the effort to update their freelance writing resume, choose relevant samples and craft a cover letter. When you add a bit of back and forth communication about the gig before the client makes a decision, it is disappointing to find out that you aren’t going to be working on it.
When you hear the words, “Sorry, we have decided not to hire you…” your next move is important. It’s human to want to retreat and lick your wounds for awhile, and probably the last thing you want to do is to talk to the client again. After all, they didn’t want to work with you….right now.
Notice the last two words that I added? Keeping in touch with the client means that you can put yourself in a situation where you still have a chance at being hired later on. The person who got the gig you were turned down for may not work out for whatever reason. An emergency could come up, they could get sick, or something else could happen that means the client is looking for someone else to do the work. If you have checked in periodically with the client, you have put yourself in a position where your name is on his or her radar when they are looking for a freelance writer.
If you have been turned down for a freelance writing job, respond politely and respectfully. Thank the client for having taken the time to consider your application and ask him or her to keep you in mind should their needs change in the future. The fact that you responded to the “thanks but no thanks” communication at all will set you apart from other applicants.
When you do get in touch again, don’t make the message about, “Will you hire me?” If you come across an interesting article or blog post that has something the client will find relevant to his or her business, pass it along. When you send the link or the clip, tell the client that you came across the item in your travels (you don’t have to share the fact that you were specifically looking for something to share with him or her) and that you thought they would find it interesting. Then include a link back to your web site or blog, or list your area of expertise in your e-mail signature. The client may not immediately remember that you are a content writer, technical writer, copy writer, or whatever. It doesn’t hurt to give his or her memory a nudge.
When a client needs to hire a writer, they are more likely to contact someone they have worked with in the past or who they have a relationship with. When you check in every so often, you are keeping your name in front of someone who can send work your way.