Reading about goals for freelance writer queries in Carol Tice’s post today I decided I should share the article with my readers. I can relate to some of the anxiety provoked when an editor responds to an article submission with a request for some changes – I’ve been there! – but I was somewhat surprised at some of the reactions Carol describes in her article.
Her take is that the competition is not as fierce as freelance writers might fear! She says:
Mediocrity is the norm in much of the freelance-writing world, and there’s plenty of opportunity to stand out. If you don’t believe me, go to your Chamber of Commerce, get a copy of all the brochures out of the display, and go home and read them all. You’ll see they’re not all exactly Shakespeare.
Besides simply writing competently — which in itself can make you stand out in some industries — what else can you do? Here are my top five favorite easy ways to win clients over
I feel sure that many writers will feel reassured by following at least one of Carol’s suggestions for winning over new clients. This number 2 seems elementary:
2. Proof your work
I know — you’re thinking, “Doesn’t everybody?” No. They don’t.
You’d be surprised how many writers think the first thing they jot down should be turned in, or emailed off to an editor as a pitch. If you’re bad at proofing, try to swap some writing with a friend and get them to catch your typos.
Well-proofed work makes editors less suspicious that your article is sloppily researched and reported. Instead, they’ll think you’re brilliant.
Three of the points made focus on emotional reactions to perceived rejection and they touch on areas that really matter to people who feel they’re putting themselves out there in a vulnerable position.
The fifth suggestion seems most important to me because it involves improving my skills! I think improving our income by specializing in a particular area is always worthwhile doing and writing sales letters is one of those skills.
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