Freelancers: Keep a contact journal

January 16, 2009

Yes, this is another blog entry about networking, or at least about getting your foot in the door. Here’s a tip that has helped me immensely through the years: Keep a log of contact activities. It can be paper based or electronic, but it should include:

  • Company name
  • Contact name
  • Position/title
  • Referred by
  • Phone
  • Extension
  • E-mail address
  • Office address
  • Action taken and date

contact_log Dowload a PDF example of a contact log. Use your log every time you talk to a business contact or contact a new business for potential work (this is also a great idea for job hunters). Keep notes. If they asked you to check back with them at a certain time, write it down and then do it. Often, they will say something like, "I know we have a project coming down the pipe in a month, call back then." Note what you talked about … maybe they are leaving on vacation. If you wrote it down, you can ask them how their vacation was next time you call them looking for work. Also, note if you sent them a resume or PDF of your portfolio. That way, if they ask for more samples of your work you know which pieces they have already seen. Keep a positive attitude. I have found that consistency and eagerness sometimes gets you in the door when nothing else will. It usually takes more than one point of contact to break through as a new vendor. Keeping track of your contact activity will help you look professional and be more successful at getting that project. Share your experiences with us.

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