getting to “thanks” #2: the power of appreciation

This afternoon I e-mailed a client, the editor of a bimonthly national magazine, with an update on an article I’m writing for her. She promptly wrote back to thank me, and also to let me that she’s been receiving many compliments on another article that I wrote that is about to go to press. “I SO appreciate your valuable contribution to [the magazine],” she wrote. “And I haven’t forgotten that you would like to do more.”

Not surprisingly, for this editor I am willing to walk through fire.

Sure, the assignments are always interesting, the deadlines reasonable, and the pay terrific, but it’s the professional appreciation she bestows that makes me happy to drop everything and write anything for her.

Ego stroking? Of course. As the great William Zinsser said, “Writing is an act of ego and you might as well admit it.” Admit it I do, wholeheartedly. But ego alone doesn’t pay the bills — well, at least, not my bills. Writing words that sell my clients’ products, services, or messages pays my bills.

This particular editor shows her appreciation in other ways, too. She is available all the time and replies promptly to my queries. She prepares as thoroughly for each article as I do. Every assignment comes with background reading material, lists of potential interviewees with topical details, even ideas for interview questions. Everything I need to hit the ground running. In other words, she treats her writers like professionals. She knows that I can pick and choose my assignments. She wants to earn my business.

And she will always have it.

Looking to build up your stable of freelancers? A little appreciation goes a long way.


Author: Paul Lagasse

Paul Lagasse provides expert-to-expert communications services to nonprofit, business, and government clients in the metro Baltimore-DC area. Specialties include science and medical writing, technical report editing, and content marketing.