Rejection is a bitch.
My number one entry on my task list for Monday was to “email a potential client.” Well, I did. In fact it was the first direct contact I’ve had with any potential clients towards my dream of being a copywriter.
What high hopes I had! Though for no real reason. Yeah, I think I’m great. But what have I to show for it? Especially in a new industry that I’ve written about academically before, but never in this kind of role.
I’ve read elsewhere that other freelancers have the same problem starting out. They court a client who pops the question:
“Can I see some samples?”
How am I supposed to handle that? Send some copy that’s on a completely different subject matter that isn’t really copy at all? Send some papers I wrote while in school that is definitely not copy?
I sent back what I thought to be a clever and shrewd offer: the first few jobs are free, just give me a shot.
That’s not verbatim what I wrote, but I’m sure that’s how it came across, if not more desperate. I actually did the best I could to incorporate my copywriting skills into my offer email, working in the Promise, the Picture, the Proof (actually the promise of proof via my future jobs if my offer was accepted), and the Push.
I thought surely a client wouldn’t pass on an offer like this: a freelancer who can deliver such a well-crafted email who will work for free.
Little did I know that thoughts like that were just setting me up for a bigger fall.
The email came back: nice try, but we still need some samples.
It’s not a total rejection, but it might as well be. Once people are in the habit of turning you down, it’s even harder to get them to say yes. I imagine that now even if the “samples” I have are the best copy this client has been provided in years he would still have reservations.
So, now what?
Of course my pride is hurt, but I’ll just have to get over that. There is an abundance (or so I hear) of other fish in the sea. This isn’t the only potential client out there, and giving up on the dream and resigning my self to a life of servitude to a corporate slave driver won’t cut it.
It’s time to try again.