Following Up 101: What to Say and When

success is in the follow-up


Hello, my dear readers! I hope this post finds you well.

At some points throughout the month, work slows down, which gives me the chance to apply to jobs again. This brings up a question, though.

How do you handle the follow-up process?

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on how you can make the most of the art of the follow-up.

The key to effective follow-ups is knowing when to do it.

Generally speaking, I don’t find it especially productive or useful to follow-up on every single job application you put out. Then again, that depends entirely on how many you put out in the first place.

I could feasibly place hundreds of job applications per month. It would take more hours than are in a day to follow up on each an every single one.

I recommend placing the job applications in three categories:

1. Interest confirmed: If someone responds to your inquiry letter or application asking for a quote, send them one as soon as you can. If you don’t hear from them in, say, a week (maybe less if you deem it appropriate), it’s ok to send along a quick note asking if they have any questions about the quote, your work or just the status of the decision. It doesn’t have to be anything long; just something to reinforce the fact that you’d love to work with them and aren’t rushing them so much as doing what you can to gently nudge them your way.

2. Shows promise: This is really two kinds of client-freelancer interactions. First, this can mean jobs described as gigs that fit closest to your specific abilities. It can also mean clients who have expressed interest in your services – either you found them or, even more promising, they found you. If the client does not immediately ask you for a quote, follow up within a few days to see if they’re ready for more information.

3. General: If the client hasn’t yet confirmed interest or otherwise reached out to you, it’s ok to let it fall into this category. I find quite a few applications fall under this area, and I suspect you’ll find much the same. Please don’t let that discourage you! I’ve been a full-time freelancer for a bit more than a year now, and that status came after sending application after application after application. Keep at it!

Thanks to the Upwork team for the prompt!

Upwork is a great place to find clients and professional collaborators all over the world. I got my start on Elance and oDesk, and Upwork takes the best from both sites into one, tidy package. Their website also features guides for freelancers to help them advance their skills and connect with potential clients.

If you haven’t yet signed up with them, check it out today!

How do you follow up on job applications? Discuss in the comments below!

Be sure to check out my portfolio and professional site here

My freelancing e-book, Dip Into the Ink Pot, is now available on Amazon by clicking here!
Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to the blog if you like what you see, and I’ll talk to you next week!

– Adam


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One thought on “Following Up 101: What to Say and When

  1. […] to have some more visitors to the site recently. For those of you who don’t know, one of my articles has been featured on Upwork. So thank you, Upwork, and you, my new […]


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