What to do when you don't hear back from clients or prospects…

If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while then you know that I love telling people to put themselves out there. For instance, if you ask me what’s the best way to find clients, I’ll say that you need to approach companies yourself and pitch your services. Or, if you’re looking to build your portfolio, I’ll tell you that you have to proactively approach blogs and pitch them your guest post ideas.


But what if you’ve already done all that and you’re still not getting the responses that you want? Or worse, what if you’re not getting any responses at all?


If that’s the case, here are a few suggestions on what you can do:


1. Recognize that it may not be about you

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes people don’t respond because they’re busy or they missed your message. Recognize this possibility before you tell yourself that you suck.


Instead, keep calm and follow-up after a week or two.


A quick tip about following-up by the way: Don’t do it in a confrontational manner. Don’t say stuff like “I SENT YOU AN EMAIL AND YOU DIDN’T RESPOND. WHAT’S UP?!?!”


Instead, be polite, and say something like “Hi, I emailed you last week, but didn’t hear back. I just want to send a friendly reminder that… {your message}”



2. See if there’s anything wrong with your approach

Let’s say you already followed-up or you sent tons of emails but you’re still not seeing results. The next thing you should do is to go back to your messages and see if you’re doing anything wrong.


Some of the common mistakes that writers make when pitching include:


a. Typos- This may sound basic, but it happens a lot. I write all the time, and I’m not immune to typographical errors. So go back to you work and read it again. It would also help to have someone else read it and make sure that it’s error-free.


b. Self-centered – Your message shouldn’t be all about you and YOUR interests. Remember that people reading your emails are asking the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Your email should be able to answer that.


c. You didn’t personalize your message – Canned messages are a turn-off, so just don’t send them. Personalize your emails. Your messages must contain the name of the person or company that you’re reaching out to and they should include things that are specifically about them.


3. Make sure you’re reaching out to the right people

Sometimes you’re not getting a response because your message didn’t make it to the right person.


Sending your email to a general mailbox like info@example.com should be your last resort. Always try to find the right individual to contact.


If it’s a small business, then it’s usually the owner that you should reach out to. If you’re emailing a bigger company, find someone in the marketing department or maybe someone in the PR or content team.


You can also check the site’s FAQ page. Sometimes they include a section that tells you the best way to get in touch, and you may find the contact info that you’re looking for there.


If you’re reaching out for a guest posting opportunity, read the blog’s guidelines. Some blogs have a separate email for guest posts, so make sure you’re sending your message to the right mailbox.



What do you do when prospects don’t respond to your messages? Comment below.


Image: “Silence” by Sean MacEntee on Flickr

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Francesca Nicasio

I'm a freelance writer specializing in blog posts, web content, and press releases for Internet companies. I also love helping aspiring freelance writers build their portfolio and find clients. Download my free ebook 25 Types of Writing Gigs that Pay Well (and How to Find Them) here to get started.