Dealing With Freelance Writing Rejection Positively
July 17, 2019
One of the most exciting things
you can experience as a new writer is landing your first client. They send over
a contract, submission guidelines, and a template. You’re ready to research,
outline, and write your first draft. Once that is complete, you polish the
final draft and send it to the client.
Then, you can move on to
targeting your next lead. You may do a little victory dance first or
congratulate yourself in some other way. After all, this is a significant
achievement. The confidence you’re feeling is enough to provide momentum toward
securing another contract.
However, there’s a glitch. Twenty-four
hours after you submit your content, the client returns it stating they’re
rejecting your piece. Instead of asking for revisions, they’re moving forward
with a different writer. That’s it, no further communication.
Your confidence is deflated.
Is there a way to deal with this
kind of freelance writing rejection positively?
Strategies for Dealing with Freelance Writing Rejection Positively
Strategy #1: Don’t Throw in the Towel
Under these circumstances, any
freelance writer would want to give up. Don’t do that! Instead, fight harder. When
you’re a solopreneur,
rejections like that one sting. However, they happen, and you must prepare
yourself for them. It’s within the client’s rights to change their mind. You
can give yourself protections in the contract with a “kill fee.”
Crunch has an excellent article outlining everything you need to know about
kill fees here.
Strategy #2: Why Did the Work Receive a Rejection?
Take a step back and assess why
the work received a rejection. Don’t listen to your inner-critic. It’s going to
say things like, “the client didn’t like you,” or “that the work
wasn’t written well.” The client isn’t thinking on a personal level.
Instead, they’re looking at things from a business perspective.
There are many reasons why your
work may have received a rejection, including:
Not adequately reflecting the business’s message
Your writing quality didn’t represent their
message or brand.
The overall content you presented (facts, ideas,
statistics, tips, etc.) didn’t represent their audience.
Many other reasons could be the
culprit as well. For example, did you make the client question your credibility
by asking too many questions? Did you turn the project in late? Or, sometimes
the client isn’t a good one and is looking for a free sample.
Always go back and look at the
client’s website if they hired you to write a blog post. Are they hiring other
writers? If so, how do those writers differ from your writing style? Make a
note of the discrepancies and see where you can make improvements.
Strategy #3: Move on Quickly
Learn from this freelance writing
rejection fast, and then move on to securing new leads. Instead of dwelling on
what could have been, research who you can work with next. Use this as a learning
experience. You can build from it, write about it on your website’s blog, and
develop methods for finding clients who will value your writing.
After that, you’re ready to
implement the following strategies:
Strategy #1: Sell it On a Content Publishing Platform
Now that your piece is polished,
you know its value. There are thousands of companies out there thirsty for
high-quality content. Position yourself as a writer who is selling the content
they’re seeking. Use content publishing platforms like nDash and ContentGather to sell content. Publishing
on these sites allows you to pick topics, load your content, add images, and
Strategy #2: Pitch the Piece to Another Target
The piece is ready to go. That means
the prospective client won’t have to wait. That’s a win-win for both of you. It
can be pitched to companies, magazines, or another freelance writing job. Here’s
an example where cold-pitching to businesses comes into play. Use the piece you’ve
written as the base of your query letter, and send it to as many leads as you
can. I wrote about cold-pitching here.
Strategy #3: Use it as a Pitching and Portfolio Sample
When you’re sending out pitches,
many clients request a sample. Convert the piece into a .pdf document. Add
headings, images, your byline, and author biography at the bottom. Then, each
time a client requests a sample of your writing, and it matches their niche,
send it along. Upload this document to your portfolio, as well. That way,
prospective clients have many opportunities to see examples of your writing.
Being a freelance writer means
our words are representative of our business and our brand. Therefore, it’s
difficult to separate personal feelings from business sometimes. However, it’s
critical to do so when dealing with rejection positively. In doing so, you’ll
be able to turn those rejections into freelance writing jobs!