Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Follow Up!

For anyone trying to get a little freelancing under his/her belt the follow-up is crucial. As someone who works daily on both the pitching side and the editorial side I’ve learned the importance of sending that short e-mail or placing that quick phone call.

As an editor, there are days when I see hundreds of e-mails; those include PR pitches, assigned stories, freelancers seeking work and general spam. Of course I try to respond to each e-mail but there are things that get lost or put aside till later. I’ve had several writers over the years who I’d be happy to have write more for me, but I don’t have the time to go back through months of e-mails to find their name and email address to contact them about that.

I’d much prefer a writer send me a reminder e-mail. Something short and nice. For example, “Hi. Last month I sent along a pitch on XYZ and I just wanted to follow up with you about the idea. Will it work for your publication? I could have the completed article to you by the end of the week if it is something you are interested in. Thanks.” This will get an automatic response from me.

As a writer I’ve gotten a number of assignments via the follow up. Editors are busy. They’ve got a lot on their plates. A simple nudge helps. Sometimes I get an assignment the same day I send a nudge. Sometimes it’s a month later and the editor writes back with an apology and an assignment. Sweet.

Tips to the follow up:
  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Remind him/her when you sent the initial e-mail.
  • Restate your pitch. (An editor is not going to want to waste their time to go back and look up your original e-mail.)
  • Don’t lose heart.
  • If several weeks have gone by without a response to the follow up. Try one more time.
  • Don’t send an e-mail every day. That’s sure fire way to tick someone off.

No comments:

Post a Comment