LinkedIn can be a useful platform for freelance writers to find clients, meet PR people with interesting pitches, and connect with others in the industry. But that doesn’t mean everything in our inboxes is useful. Far from it.
From the recent college grad begging for a job to the editor with an “exciting opportunity” to produce free content, freelancers’ profiles can attract some presumptuous and outright ridiculous people.
Here are ten of the most annoying LinkedIn messages freelancers receive, along with some polite responses to file away for future use. You’re welcome.
1. “A company I’m representing just launched a product that’s unrelated to anything you’ve ever written about. Could you write about it?”
Response: “As a writer who covers pop music, I don’t feel that your big data personalization platform would be the best fit for my audience, but feel free to reach out if you have any ideas that fall under my beat.”
2. “I’d love to offer you the exciting opportunity to contribute to my publication for free!”
Response: “I don’t accept unpaid work, but you’re welcome to get back in touch when you have a budget for writers.”
3. Here’s a poorly written article I submitted to one of the publications you write for. Could you tell me why they didn’t accept it?”
Response: “If you’d like to get a better idea of what they accept, check out my author page at this link.”
4. “I just graduated college and am looking for a job at one of the publications you write for. Could you get me a job, please?”
Response: “I’m not involved in their hiring decisions, but my best advice would be to freelance for them so that if a job opens up, they’ll already know you.”
5. “I just emailed you 13 pieces of horror fiction I’ve written. I look forward to your feedback.”
Response: “Here’s what I charge.”
6. “Since you’re probably broke, would you like to make some extra income as a personal shopper?”
Response: “That’s not my profession, but if you ever need help with your promotional content, perhaps I could work with you.”
7. “I just wrote an essay I’d like to submit to a publication you write for. My friends all say it’s really good. Could you introduce me to your editor?”
Response: “I’m afraid I don’t have a say in that decision. [Editor’s name] will get back to you if she likes the essay. Best of luck!”
8. “Could you please offer me some free advice on publishing my novel?”
Response: “I’m not involved in fiction, but I have a friend who’s an editor. Here’s what she charges.”
9. “I just reached out to you over Twitter, email, and Facebook and you didn’t respond, so I thought I’d try you here.”
Response: “The best way to reach me is over email. If I don’t respond, I’m not interested. Thank you.”
10. “Hi, remember me, that classmate who talked to you twice in college? I want to be a writer, and I see that you’re a writer. Could you tell me how to do what you’re doing?”
Response: Nothing. Do not dignify this with a response.