Friday, March 28, 2014

Increase Your Chances of Success by Making Smarter Attempts

When you've been freelancing for a while, you become more adept at pacing yourself, meeting deadlines, and negotiating with clients. You tend to make mistakes less and less frequently over time.

And one of the best ways of increasing your success as a freelancing professional is not to try harder, but try to market yourself better

There will be times when, in your attempt to make yourself and your services known to your target clients, you'll make several phone calls, send out emails, polish your cover letters and organize your credentials, or even make a few tweaks here and there in your website and other marketing materials.

And yet, some potential clients will turn you down. But what about those instances when you weren't exactly turned down, but for some reason, your prospective client sees no need for your services yet?

It could also be because you didn't do enough research to slant your sales pitch to your target clients. I'll give you several examples and what could possibly be done.

Case Number One: The not-quite rejection letter

If you're trying to make it as a contributing writer to magazines and other periodicals, you may have started submitting manuscripts online first, or to publications with a limited circulation. Since you will need clips to prove your writing ability, getting an article or two published in your community or church newsletter is definitely an advantage.

One time, I gathered enough guts and emailed a query to a monthly magazine that specializes on health, raising awareness about preventable diseases, as well as deciding to switch to more healthful lifestyle practices.

My query had something to do with an article proposal about a psychiatric disorder that has plagued a considerable number of children, teens, and adults in the United States, and is also given a good amount of medical attention by health practitioners here in the Philippines.

After a couple of days, the magazine's editor-in-chief sent a reply, telling me that "without an M.D. affixed to your name, you're not in a position of authority to write about medical topics. And you would need to cite facts given by two to three medical or health practitioners in order to prove your claims."

And yet, having said this, the editor told me that I may be interested in writing about a non-medical or non-health-related issue, and provided me with the procedures that first-time contributors must go through when attempting to break into their magazine. 

So, simply put, the editor rejected my idea for the article, but he was welcoming the possibility of me being a future contributor to his magazine.

For my part, making a smarter attempt would mean immediately proceeding to brainstorm possible topics that are non-medical-related and can be developed into an article, and query the editor again.

There are other instances, so stay tuned as I talk about them in my next posts.

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