A travel writer signed up for the AWAI’s newsletter and received many tips and tricks with regards to writing. After all, writing is writing; it makes no difference if it’s travel writing or writing copy for the web. Your writing must be engaging and hold a reader’s attention! What’s in your travel writing?
Anyway, this travel writer was very talented. However, when it came to pitching to new clients such as hotels and resorts, she froze. Picture a deer that stares into headlights! She knew she had to get over her fear of pitching to clients and publishers if she wanted to push forward with her career.
The travel writer took the bull by the horns to discover what was holding her back. “Aha,” she said to herself. “Of course, I’ve been going about this all wrong. Why didn’t I see it before this moment?” This travel writer finally realized that she had to separate her personal self from her professional self. She developed an attitude of “I don’t care.” Her perspective was this: “if you realize how good of a writer I am, you’ll want me to work for you, and we’ll go for it. On the other hand, if you expect me to negotiate, be broken down, and hustle for the work, then it’s not for me. My time is very precious, and I’ve got higher uses for my time!”
This travel writer adopted the above professional persona and ended up with more work than she knew what to do with! She now makes $10,000+ per month and is involved in many endeavors. She moved to L.A., “the City of Angels,” to be closer to the ocean, artists, and to live in the “city.”
- Send an email or letter to your potential client or publisher. Tell the client/publisher what you are going to do for them.
- When you receive a response to your inquiry, phone or email the client/publisher. Tell the client/publisher what you’ll bring to their magazine or website. Suggest other travel articles that could be written and the different styles and tones. Mention that photographs make a difference to travel articles and websites.
- The client is on board and wants to know the cost! Do not give this answer right away. Tell the client you’ll work up a proposal based on confirmation (from the client) of the work that is to be done. This will give you time to think about how much time you will spend on the project. Here’s a tip for pricing: Write your first price point, $500 on a piece of paper and place it by your laptop or keyboard. Then say to yourself “yeah, I don’t think so.” Change the price to $800 and look at it. Then say to yourself, “did you forget that your time is very valuable?” Change the price to $2,500. That’s much better. The project could end up at $4,000 and the client will pay it. They will pay for quality work. In fact, most people will pay for quality work no matter what it is.
When dealing with a publisher make sure you understand the payment agreement. Read and re-read it.
- The budget for the project is $3,500. If you know you can complete the project in the same amount of time without any strife, then accept the offer. On the flip side, if the client says we only budgeted $800, walk away from the project.
- Collecting the fee. Either collect 50 percent up front and then the other 50 percent upon completion or break it up into “thirds.” If a client messes with you, it would probably be on the third payment. If you break up the payments into thirds, at least you’ll have collected a portion of fee.
Publishers will outline the payment and collection of it in the payment agreement. Make sure you are clear about the terms. Ask questions if you’re unsure about anything in the agreement.
- Make sure your agreement is solid! When working with a client, put items in your agreement such as a change order. If the client takes a project in another direction and all of a sudden requests additional work that was not stated in the original agreement, you must get paid for the additional work. If the client makes a fuss, tell them you will complete the project per the agreement terms.
Also, if a client refuses to pay your last payment, decide if it’s worth fighting for. You can probably find another, better client who’ll pay you without all of the drama! Walk, no, run away from the client. Let someone else deal with them.
Pitching to clients and publishers will be easy from this point. When you pitch to clients and publishers, put your professional persona on and take off your personal persona. Have confidence in yourself and your writing. This will come through when you speak with people.
When you pitch clients/publishers and they say no — do not take it personally. They are not rejecting you, they’re rejecting your proposal. Release the fear of pitching to clients or submitting your work to publishers. You’ll know what to expect and handle it. Get out there, write everyday, and land publishers and clients with confidence.