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Monday, May 14, 2012

Hot Freelance Tip of the Day: Customize your Message

Welcome back to the Hot Freelance Tip of the Day series. Today's tip comes from David Wilk of Creative Management Partners, who spoke on the Ghostwriter's Resume Workshop panel at ASJA this year. He receives hundreds of resumes from potential ghostwriters each year, and reminded attendees that to stand out from the pack, you must customize your approach. 


"Customize your message [to potential clients] so that they will recognize you as a possible writer [for that project]," saids Wilk. This may seem like an obvious tip, but I'm telling you that many writers overlook it. They'll see, say, a post looking for a ghostwriter and send their typical LOI


Sure, it's faster to use your usual template, but when you do so, you miss an opportunity to 1. make an awesome first impression 2. set yourself apart from the competition and 3. ensure that your letter actually gets read! (Remember you're likely one of dozens, if not hundreds, of writers contacting that person. Yikes!)


So make sure your LOI reads like it was written just for that person. If I'm contacting a lawyer who wants to write a memoir about her legal career, I'll open with the fact that I'm a former attorney. If I'm contacting a book packager, I'll mention that I've worked with packagers before. If I'm contacting someone whose name I was given, I open my letter explaining why I'm getting in touch, and then briefly explain why our mutual contact thought I should reach out. 


Which makes today's Hot Freelance Tip of the Day: Customize your Message. [See Secret 19, Market constantly, from Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success--you know, that new book I keep talking about.]


Stay tuned for more tips...plus I'll be answering some of the questions readers posted for the first giveaway. And announcing another giveaway this week, too. :)