If you have sales experience, then you hold a power that can propel you to success. Selling is the key to operating a viable business. Unfortunately, creative people aren’t necessarily the best at selling their work or themselves. I’m in this camp, though I’m improving.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was raised to be humble, possibly to a fault. I don’t take pride in being proud. So when I start to talk myself up to a prospective client or editor, I feel like I’m being immodest. But then, how else are you going to get someone to listen to you? Making a polite request means jack squat in this world if it isn’t followed up with some trumpeting of your own credentials. After all, your client sees you as an investment. You are a cost. And he hopes to get a return. So you better deliver a pretty good prospectus.
You can coast on your credentials and let your resume speak for itself. But this doesn’t compare to actually making that pitch. You got to own what you’re good at. And that means you got to understand your strengths as well as your weaknesses. For example, I rock at writing about legal technology. It’s an area I have a ton of experience with. I also am a very strong comedic writer, which I know because I have a track record to prove it. I’m not good at writing about sports, unless its writing about not being good at sports. Then I’m a freaking pro.
So understand yourself. Study up on marketing techniques, and go out into the world with a certain degree of blind boldness. Self-doubt will creep in, but you just got to trust your abilities. And make that pitch. The worst response you can get is a “No.”