By Joe Dyton
“Insanity: doing the same over and over again and expecting different results.”–Albert Einstein
I thought about Einstein’s quote recently. I have been reaching out to companies and publications looking for freelance work since the start of 2014. Over the last six weeks, I’ve sent out the same letter of introduction along with my resume. I haven’t landed any clients with that letter; just a few “We’ll keep your info on file” or “We don’t use freelancers” type of responses. And unfortunately, a lot of non-responses. Those are the worst.
After all of this time with no results, I thought it might be time to change things up a bit. I looked at my current LOI, and realized it was just asking companies if they were looking for freelancers and then listing my experience. I didn’t spell out what I could do for a company if it hired me. So, I went back to the drawing board. I kept my intro about the same, but rather than just list what I’ve done, I listed what I could do for my potential clients. I kicked myself for not thinking of this sooner. I mean part of my day job is writing direct mail letters, which mostly explains how a product will benefit the reader. That’s exactly how my LOI reads now.
I don’t know if the new letter will trigger more responses, but it’s worth a shot. It would have been insane to keep sending out the same letter and expecting a different result. At least according to Einstein.
Angela Booth lists four things you can do to increase your freelance writing income.
Jennifer Mattern presents 20 things you can do to market your freelance writing services.
Heather Llyod-Martin offers suggestions for anyone who has ever thought about closing down their freelance writing business.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders explains how to delegate when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Joe Dyton (@dyton99) is a freelance journalist and copywriter in Washington, DC. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.