This week, we’re looking at finding GREAT writing jobs... The BEST jobs ever. Keep this in mind: it’s who knows you. Therefore, your aim is to get known by as many people as possible.
We’ve discussed finding contacts via Google in “Find Writing Jobs the Simplest Way in 2013.” If you don’t have a list of contacts, do that first. Find at least five contacts.
Finding contacts is ongoing. Create a spreadsheet; it’s essential that you make notes on who you contacted, when you contacted them, and the results, if any.
Once you’ve got a list, you’ll contact them. You’ll start by introducing yourself. If you’re contacting a publication, you can also offer an idea or two. Don’t send any queries/ proposals at this stage.
I’ve talked about introducing yourself as a writer. That’s easy to do; low pressure. Send out as many intros as you can, over time. Start by sending intros to your five contacts.
Yes, you can use boilerplate text in your intros. But here’s a big tip: personalize your messages. That is, please don’t send JUST a boilerplate message to everyone you contact. When people to hire you, they must feel that you care about them and their business. So sending out 1001 messages, all the same, is just a waste of your time and bandwidth.
Therefore, while your intro messages can contain boilerplate text on who you are, what you do, and why you’re contacting them, you need to make some comments about the website, the publication, or the business for which you want to write. Your recipient needs to feel that you’re deeply interested, and you’d love to write for them.
Here’s what I’ve learned from editors and business people who hire writers: if they don’t feel your enthusiasm, and if you don’t come across as easy to work with, they’re not interested.
Introductory pitches are EASY. If you’re not over-booked, send out as many intros as you can.
If you’re brave, make phone pitches.
Telephone pitches work… if you do them
You can also make contact via phone. However, if you’re a typical writer, you won’t do it at the start of your career. Believe it or not, one day you’ll pick up the phone without thinking about it. You’ll find it easy to talk to people about their needs, and what you can do for them. You’ll come to love cold calling, because… IT WORKS.
Your task for today
If you have holes in your writing schedule, and need clients, this is your task for today.
* Find five contacts;
* Send five introductions.
How many writing jobs will you get from those five? Maybe none, the first four times you contact them. It’s very unlikely you’ll get a gig the first time you get in touch. Remember, it’s who KNOWS you. They have to know a little more about you than can be shared in one email message. Therefore, if you contact someone, decide that you’ll contact them again, and again. And again after that.
The more people who know you’re a writer, and know a little about you, the more GREAT writing jobs you will get.