Networking and Saying “No”

The more you network the more job opportunities you will come across. As a freelance writer, it is important for you to consider all potential gigs. At the same time, you must know when to say “no.”

Early in my freelance writing career I struggled with this. If you asked to work with me I said yes – no questions asked. While there is nothing wrong with taking in every bit of work that comes your way, this can definitely lead to a few issues.

Above all else, you may run out of time. The last thing you want is to find yourself working 15 hour days because you did not know how to turn somebody down.

Also, people may begin to take advantage of you if you are not careful. When somebody knows that you will agree to just about anything, it is tempting for them to test their limits.

It may be awkward the first time you tell somebody no on the phone or via email. But wait until you have to do this in person. Any face to face situation, especially as you network, can make for interesting negotiations.

There is nothing wrong with saying no. There is something wrong with saying no in a rude manner.

If you are not willing to work with somebody or accept a particular job, tell the person no and then explain your positioning. You could say something to the effect of, “I would really love to help with this project, but at the present time I am only taking on work that pays $1/word or more.”

This gets the point across, but also puts you in a position of power. If the person wants to work with you they will have to meet your payment requirements.

If you only remember one thing about this post, let it be this: saying no is not always a bad thing!

Profile image for Chris Bibey
Chris is a full-time freelance writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He specializes in web content, sales copy, and many other forms of writing. Chris has two books in print, as well as hundreds of articles in local and nationwide publications.

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