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Staying In Touch With Clients – A Story I’m Telling On Myself

Be yourself when you writeI talk a good game about self-confidence and the truth is I have a whole lot of it. At least I do compared to when I started writing oh so many years ago.

But (gasp) I’m also very human. Here’s what I mean.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read that it’s a good idea to contact old clients and ask for testimonials, referrals and new work. I’m sure I’ve made the same suggestion more than once here. It’s an obvious thing to do.

However, I’ve always had trouble doing that.

Even when I’ve put it on my to-do list, or told others I was going to phone, email, or otherwise contact past clients I’ve rarely done it.

Those few times I have asked for testimonials and or referrals or more work it’s been because the relationship has somehow gone on beyond the original work. I don’t’ mean that they’ve hired me to do more writing, although that too has happened.

There have, however, been a whole group of clients I’ve never contacted after we’ve finished the project. And not because I’ve had any reason to think they were dissatisfied. 

I’ve been aware that I should, and finally I stared to actually send them emails.

You know what? In every case they’ve been glad to hear from me and in most cases they’ve been happy to provide a testimonial or let me use them as a reference. And one is actually contacting two people on my behalf.

It turned out to be easy once I’d actually started.

I began to really examine why I’d put it off so lone – in one case literally years, and he was perhaps the most helpful and glad to hear from me.

What I discovered is that at some unconscious level I’d been unwilling to risk being told ‘no’ or being ignored!

That’s classic self-worth stuff.

It feels healed now and I’m grateful.

The Take-Away I think is this. When there’s something I know I should be doing to promote my writing and I keep not doing it I can either beat myself up or dig around in my psyche until I figure out what’s going on, and let go of it. It’s not always easy, and sometimes can take real time, but it’s always worth it… didn’t someone say something about an un-examined life not being worth living?

How do you undo self-confident issues that get in the way of your writing and your business?


Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • I have the same nagging to-do lists about clients, as well as contacts who might be able to refer me to future work. I’m going to take a page out of your book this coming week. Thanks for posting!
    Anne Woodman recently posted..Not Interviewing MandelaMy Profile

  • Astrid Sanschagrin

    I wish I have the courage to ask for testimonials and referrals. It is a good thing that my employers already provide me good testimonials whenever I finished a work from them since it was required for them to do that. My only problem is I am not assured on how much will I get paid if the job is fixed rate. Anyway, thanks for tackling on how to deal with self-confident issues regarding clients’ testimonials.
    Astrid Sanschagrin recently posted..Acheter banc de musculationMy Profile

    • Astrid, take it one client at a time… the easiest to ask and try it. You may be pleasantly surprised.

  • Love this, Anne. Procrastination usually has a cause; if we identify it we can decide whether to move on or get off our butts and do something!

    • Thanks Sharon. It’s always interesting to go public with my faults… I always always get support.

  • Mary Emma Allen

    So true, Anne. This is true of businesses other than writing. Keep in touch with former clients/customers. Update them on new services and products. Simply send them a note to let them know you remember them. You never know where it will lead.

    • Yes, you never know… true about many things it seems.

  • Ann – your comments bring to mind something I just recently heard someone say about how long it took him to complete a certain new task => it was something like a total of 500 minutes: 30 minutes to do the task itself + 60 to revise it + 410 minutes in the middle, spent worrying about whether he was worthy enough!

    Thanks for not only your transparency but also your encouragement to us to continue working through our own challenges.

    • Sounds almost Zen, Mary Elaine – 410 in the middle, spent worrying about… great story. Thanks.

  • Oh, I feel afraid, scared, terrified – and then I go ahead and do it, just because it has to be done.
    I do many things this way.
    Helenee recently posted..Find A Good Writer updated Wed Jan 11 2012 3:16 am ESTMy Profile

  • Good notion to just leap and not worry about how long it’s been. They don’t care – they’re probably thinking “Wow, she still remembers me!”
    Lori recently posted..Your Online Business Planning Session: Part FourMy Profile

    • LOL! Never thought of that “they’re probably thinking “Wow, she still remembers me!”” Great reframe and yes, I see that it might be true.

  • Love this post, Anne. It’s always amazing to me when we actually tackle things that have become so huge in our minds how we deflate their power. I love the idea of letting go of it.

    I have always loved the Nike tagline Just do it. I often use that as my mantra for something I am resisting.
    Cathy Miller recently posted..7 Social Media Strategies for Strangling the Shoulder SatanMy Profile

  • Wonderful timing considering this is something I have been pondering this week. I may get to a point where I want to reach out to clients and have done so.

    I allowed myself to take a major hit on self-confidence this week. So I am now working to turn that into regaining whatever confidence I have lost while gaining more in the long run. I have a book that I’m trying to get in the hands of the right people, so dusting myself off and moving on.
    Dann Alexander recently posted..Tea & Sandwiches at Grand CentralMy Profile

    • Yes, dusting off and keeping going is part of it. Good luck, and keep us posted.

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