Rejected Freelancers

Think about this scenario:

You’re a freelancer, and you see a gig that you want.👨‍💻

So you apply…

Taking the time to write a unique and engaging email to the client…📧

And you even craft a few custom samples for them too.

You hear back from the prospective client.

They want to get on a call to discuss the position further…📞

So you two schedule the call…

And when the time comes, you chat about your background and experience, while the client shares specific requirements for the gig.

Then a week goes by…

And when you send a follow-up email to the prospective client (because you’re a good freelancer who ALWAYS follows up)…

The client tells you that they really appreciated your conversation, but they decided to move forward with a different candidate.

What happens next?

If you’re like most freelancers, you take it a bit personally.

You feel dejected. Rejected. Your imposter syndrome might even kick in some. It hurts.

And then you go on with your life, and about 97% of the time, you probably never talk to that prospective client again, right?

Well, here’s a thought:

Currently, you’re turning the gig-seeking business into a zero-sum game.

Either you “win” the job, or the entire thing was a waste of time.

But what if your perception didn’t match reality?

What if instead, you thought of it differently:

  1. There’s the obvious stuff about how each “no” gets you closer to a yes. And that’s true. The only way to succeed is often by first failing.

  2. And of course, if you learn something from each “failure,” then it’s not a failure. So if you learn why you didn’t get the gig, and where you had a weak-spot according to the client, then you can address that in future opportunities. This means you're gathering feedback, incorporating that data into your process, and then improving.

Those are great…

But even more importantly…

In this process, you’ve now formed a relationship with a prospective client.

​​They know who you are, and you know who they are.

​​This actually creates endless new opportunities for you.

How many of you freelancers reading this now routinely follow up with prospective clients who “rejected” you?

Probably less than 5% I would guess.

You feel like, “they rejected me,” but then you extend that to mean they don’t like you, or don’t think you’re worthy.

​​Am I right?

That's almost certainly not the case though.

You just weren’t the right candidate at that time.

So anyways, why don’t you follow up?

If it were me…

​​I’d send the clients an email every few months checking in and saying “hi” as well as asking how things are going.

​​If you’ve got new or updated samples, you could share those and mention how you’ve improved a lot, learned a lot, and have a new confidence.

​​You can mention how, by the way, if they are hiring more copywriters in the future, you’d love to chat with them and get another shot at working for their company.

That’s one way you follow up, but it’s not the only one.

What else can you do to be of service to that prospective business owner?

Maybe you read an article that’s super interesting and relevant to them…

Forward it over and let them know that it made you think of them and their business, and here’s why.

Even better….

​​Maybe you meet another business owner, service provider, or potential Joint Venture Partner that you think could compliment that first client’s business.

You could reach out, tell them you have a potential intro for them, and ask if they want you to make it.

​​If they do, you’ve now done them a favor, and they are more likely to want to return it in the future.

There are countless ways to leverage the relationship with the prospective client who “rejected” you while creating value for both them and you.

And so frankly, the clients who rejected you are often an untapped resource.

If you’ve been rejected 100 times in the last year…

That means you’ve got 100 clients who know who you are and who you have at least the kernels of a relationship with.

I bet that’s 97 more business owners than the average person is connected with…

So what if you start looking at the ones who rejected you as members of your rolodex?

Your network is your net worth.

Each client who rejected you is now part of that network…

And the best part is, when you reach out to them and just send updates, or provide real value to them without asking for anything in return…

Or just make them laugh occasionally…

They start to think of you as a friend and peer…

Instead of thinking of you as this person who wants something from them.

Oh and finally, there’s a huge psychological aspect to this too.

It has to do with the concept of familiarity.

Essentially what’s going on is that humans tend to know, like, and trust people that we’re more familiar with. The more you see someone, the more favorably you’ll tend to view them.

This is one reason why when going to a new event for the first time, you might make a few friends but not feel fully like you belong…

But the second time, you find that you suddenly like more of the attendees and have a better experience…

And by the third time, you basically love the event and feel like you're part of the family.

It’s not that the people got any “better” or changed compared to the first event…

Instead, it’s simply that you’re more familiar with those people and they’re more familiar with you…

And so now you all like each other more and are more comfortable.

Well that applies everywhere…

In marketing to be sure…

But also in the follow-up.

If you’re reaching out to these folks who rejected you in the past regularly…

Then, as I mentioned, they start viewing you as a peer and a friend…

And they’re more likely to want to work with you in the future…

Or, you may even find that they start sending referrals your way too.

So stop taking rejections so personally…

And start leveraging this incredibly underutilized asset that you possess.


P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link


© 2022 SPG Educational Resources LLC
Stefan Georgi

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