Freelance Blog + sources

Why It Pays to "Have People"

I could blame my recent airline debacle for pushing me behind schedule. But really, it's more a case of my chronic tendency to overschedule myself. At one point, I had four articles due on Friday and another due on Monday (totalling, oh, like 4,000 words), but I've managed to shuffle deadlines a bit.
For one of the articles, I didn't start contacting expert sources until I was back in town. This was deliberate because I didn't want people to email me back during a week when I didn't have time to schedule interviews. But then I started emailing new-to-me sources in an attempt to broaden my network of sources and it was a collossal disaster. I don't blame these people (after all, this is prime vacation season) and I might try contacting them again in the future, but it's a major bummer when you're on deadline and need sources.
So, I went back to drawing board and decided to simplify. True, I could have used HARO or LinkedIn instead of selectively emailing people, but I knew that with this particular topic, I would be inundated with more responses than I could ever use. I wanted to be able to handpick people who had the right conversational style. So, I went through my email contacts and reconnected with sources I've used in the past for other publications. Both sources agreed to interviews within a few hours and were happy to help. It was so easy, it almost felt like cheating. But that's why it's a good idea to build your network NOW!
PS Once things calm down, I'll work on finding more new-to-me sources, but this time I was just glad to have any sources.

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Why It Pays to "Have People" + sources