Making assumptions—that is, formulating beliefs without solid evidence—can lead to trouble. Just ask the investor who put his money in the wrong place because he didn’t do enough due diligence, or the hiring manager who accepted the wrong applicant because she didn’t check their references.
Freelance writers are no different. When you make the wrong assumptions in this business, you risk missing out on great clients and gigs. In this post, we’ll be discussing the the top writer assumptions that could be costing you some sweet revenue opportunities.
Check them out below. Are you making any of these assumptions in your freelance writing business?
1. “I’m no expert.”
Erase this statement from your vocabulary. Remember, whoever you are and whatever your background is, you are most likely an expert at something. Do a bit of self-exploration and ask yourself the following questions:
- What are you good at / interested in?
- What are your hobbies?
- What did you study in school?
- What types of jobs did you have?
You’ll likely find your expertise in the answers to the above. And whatever it is—whether it’s astrophysics, gardening, tattoos, or music—there’s someone out there looking for a writer to cover that particular topic.
Still don’t feel like an expert? Read this post on Be a Freelance Blogger to find out the steps you can take to up your level of expertise.
2. “This company isn’t looking for a writer.”
And how do you know that? Did you even ask them?
Look, you won’t know for sure whether or not a company is hiring unless you approach them and ask. Just because a business isn’t posting job ads for writers doesn’t mean they’re not looking.
In fact, one of the most common things I hear whenever I approach a prospect is “Thanks for contacting us! We’ve been meaning to add a blog / do content marketing / update our website / [insert content job here] for quite some time now.”
Don’t assume that a business doesn’t need a writer. They almost always do (even if they don’t know it yet). So touch base with them and offer your services.
3. “The prospect didn’t respond so they’re probably not interested.”
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I can’t even count the number of times that I landed a client just because I took the time to follow-up.
People are busy. They’re bombarded with emails. So there’s a good chance that they missed your message or they meant to respond but didn’t get to do it right away. Don’t miss the opportunity to seal the deal with these people. Send them a follow-up email after a week or two. Or try reaching them through other channels such as Twitter or LinkedIn.
And if they still don’t respond? That’s okay, at least you know you did everything you can to reach a prospect. Let it go and move on to the next one.
(Note: if you REALLY want to work with this particular client, keep their contact info and re-connect in a couple of months. Also try looking for a different point-of-contact and pitch that person instead.)
Have you made any of these assumptions? Can you name other writer assumptions that are costing them clients and opportunities? Comment below.