Think about it: if you're an editor and have your choice of freelancers who have similar writing/reporting skills, wouldn't you rather work with someone you like? Or at least helps make your job a little easier?
Here are five things every editor would love to hear. Why not work some into your repertoire?
- "No problem." This is my standard response when an editor has a request, whether it's pushing up a deadline or asking me to revise a piece ASAP. As long as I can do it, I will. I may not be thrilled about having to do it, but I'm not sharing that fact with her.
- "Thank you." It's basic manners to express gratitude. I thank my editors and clients for assignments. I send a quick email to say "thanks" when a check arrives. I let clients know I appreciate them--and the same goes for PR people who come through with a source in a pinch, and the sources themselves.
- "Nice job." If I get to review galleys, I tell the editor the story looks great. Only in a few cases have I had editors butcher a story; almost always, their work makes my work read better. And I let them know that I recognize that.
- "When would you like this by?" When an editor assigns a revision or asks me to adddress a few TKs, chances are she needs it ASAP. Asking her about her timeframe lets me answer with my standard "no problem," and then bust my butt to get it done.
- "I understand." In some cases, when I ask for more money or to change a contract (say, from an all-rights one to a less restrictive version), the editor says no--because she's unable to pay me more or change the contract. I'm not going to chew her out over it--if it's not within her control, it's not within her control. I get it--so I let her know.
Get the idea? Taking a personable yet professional approach makes your clients happy--and that means they're more likely to become regulars.