How Freelance Writers Can Ask For And Get Referrals – Ask Anne

by Anne Wayman

Hi Anne, I was wondering if you a suggested format on referrals. Do we just let our editors write whatever they want to write, however they want to write it?

Pinar Tarhan who blogs at

writers testimonialsHi Pinar,

I’m not sure I understand what you mean when you ask about format. Let me tell you what I do; that may answer your question.

When I want referrals I just ask the client or the editor for them.

If I’m on the phone I might say something like “who else should I be talking with about writing this sort of thing?” Often I’ll get two or three names and contacts right then.

Another way is by email. I usually wait until we’re at the end of what we’re doing – or almost. Assuming they say that they are happy with what I’ve done, I may first ask if I can use that email as a testimonial, and then ask they who they know who might be interested in the same kind of writing, or in having me write for them.

Some successful writers I know send their ex clients some sort of a newsletter once or twice a year. The idea, of course, is to let people know you’re still in business and to ask for repeat business and referrals. Some are bold enough to ask directly; others do it more subtly and by implication.

My experience tells me that most people are delighted to help – you only have to ask them.

How do you ask for referrals?

You may also find 8 Top Freelance Writer Business Problems worthwhile.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman freelance writer



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mac July 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Hi Anne, thanks for your posting on this subject.

As you know it’s an issue that many professionals face, and don’t like. For some, asking for a referral is akin to begging for business. Of course, it need not be like that, and your post makes this clear.

Clearly it’s a subject that is of significant importance.



Carol Tice | Make a Living Writing June 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Maybe Pinar means when you ask for a letter of recommendation?

Otherwise, I quite agree…editors know other editors. And they do hear when others are looking for writers.
Carol Tice | Make a Living Writing recently posted..What Would the Ultimate Writer Community Look LikeMy Profile


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