Friday, January 9, 2009
Fresh Starts- How to profit from rejection.
What happens when a client turns you down? Apart from your ego being delivered a great big bruise?
It happened to me just last week. I had a client who loved the job I did for them. I got paid for it and then they came back to me with 4 new projects and a very quick deadline date. So, I spent my weekend working on them (and note, I usually don't work too much over the weekends as that is designated family time) and submitted all 4 drafts; only to have the client come back and say they hated them! Not just one or two of them; but all 4! So, I re-did one, and re-submitted it; and they still said it 'lacked enough to keep the readers interest going'!
Now you must wonder why I'm blogging about this. After all, no one wants to admit writing poor copy. But this is my point- is my copy poor? Or is it just not in synergy with what the client feels she wants? Did I completely miss the brief? Or was I not briefed clearly enough?
I know I'm a good writer, and to prove it to myself (sometimes even good writers need a bit of ego-boosting, especially after situations like this!); I spent the rest of the day applying for jobs. And when I opened my inbox the next day, I had 4 jobs waiting- an ebook/blogs to be written, an article for a business writer, editing a business book and an article for an IT company; a total combined worth of more than a couple of thousand dollars. And I could afford to turn down two projects and still be in profit. Besides which, there's nothing like a few great projects to cheer you up!
There are a number of ways to react to rejection; but by turning it into a learning experience, you will ensure you still profit from it.
1. Don't take it personally! It's not about you (unless you've been totally obnoxious to the client), but about what the client needs.
2. If you do get rejected, note that it's nothing new to writers. ALL writers get rejected from time to time, even the literary greats!
3. Decide on a course of action that's best for you. If you do want to re-submit, then do so, but only after taking some time to learn what the client really wants. Call him, email him or do some more research. Otherwise, you will be wasting both yours and their time.
4. If you are going to call/correspond with the client, always WAIT to cool down before doing so. Sending off a hasty note when your emotions are high is never a good idea and you cannot undo the words you've written or spoken. So take some time to relax, let off some steam, put it aside and do something else, and return to it only when you can see things objectively.
5. Even if you believe you have a strong synergy (as I did in this case), you can sometimes have a writing style that is totally different to what the client wants. It's okay. You don't have to conquer every single project and trying to do so is going to be frustrating for you and your client.
6. Believe in yourself. There are thousands of projects out there. If you're new to freelancing and need more jobs, then losing a client can feel devastating. But using this newly acquired concentrated energy and channelling it into more productive sources (like searching new job banks, applying for jobs etc) will result in positive results; so use your time wisely.