Tuesday, May 11, 2021

How Not to Fumble Future Clients and Other Opportunities, Part II

 Now if you're wondering what happened to Part I, this is actually the final part of this post.  To summarize, I got a message from someone via LinkedIn who acted as a representative for a blogging service.  Initially, I thought this was a list of leads but it was actually a solicitation of services by a freelance writer.

While this seems like a big oops, the truth of the matter is that I sometimes have a need for a subcontractor.  All I need is someone with a unique voice that respects deadlines.  However, after looking at the many emails that would flood my box, I knew this was going to be a hard pass.

Here are a few pointers from the initial communication - 

  • Be clear about your objectives.  The writer went through several names before coming out with their intentions.  If they hadn't kept referring to LinkedIn, I'd have blocked everyone associated with this person.
  • Make your communication consistent.  This was actually the deal killer.  While their sales letter had a nice, long list of bylines written and formatted clearly, the email was another story.  One said professional and the other said the ESL classes hadn't started yet.
  • Call me by my name.  Imagine getting a business email that opens with 'Hello,   ' and nothing else.  This person wants me to spend money on their services but didn't take the time to acknowledge who I am.  
Some new freelancers feel they need a bunch of fancy stuff to sell services but often that's a waste of resources.  Just invest in stationery that's neat and easy to read.  Also, learn to read more than job titles.  My title is marketing assistant but if you were to study my profile, you'd see that I deal with creative services.  

So while mistakes happen and sometimes the receiving ear can be distracted, putting your best foot forward can pay off in the long run.

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