Client Connections FAQ
Our next event will be held at the spring 2022 ASJA national conference in Jersey City.
Details will be announced soon.
Who can participate in Client Connections?
Only ASJA professional members who are currently in good standing can register for Client Connections events. If you are joining ASJA to participate in an upcoming Client Connections event, you must apply for professional membership at least six to eight weeks before the event. Only new members who have been accepted and paid in full three weeks before the event are eligible to participate.
Whom might I be able to meet with?
Client Connections attracts the top clients, editors, publications, and agents in the industry. These individuals are looking for journalists, content marketing writers, and authors who write in a variety of fields. Six months before registration opens, a list of participating clients will be posted on the ASJA website.
How will I meet with clients?
For in-person Client Connections, meetings take place the hotel ballroom. Details will be sent to you before the conference begins.
All meetings for Tele-Connections take place by phone. At your assigned meeting times, clients will call you directly at the phone number you entered at registration.
Registration and Signup
How do I register for Client Connections?
Registration for Client Connections will be announced a month before meeting assignments are made. Registration and payment for the conference is required in order to register for Client Connections.
Once you register and the signup period opens, you can peruse the list of clients available during Client Connections.
Why is there a fee for Client Connections?
Client Connections and Tele-Connections require lottery software and staff hours. For Client Connections, the fee also helps pay for room space and conference staff.
Can I contact clients before Client Connections?
Absolutely not. Our clients are promised that they will not receive correspondence or phone calls from our members before the Client Connections event. If this happens, clients may pull out of the event altogether. Members who violate this rule may be prevented from participating in future Client Networking events or may have their ASJA membership revoked.
What is the signup period?
Once the signup period opens, you will have a week to make your client selections. At the end of the signup period, the lottery assigns meetings. You can sign up or make changes to your selections at any time during that window.
What is the best way to select clients I’d like to meet with?
You can make up to 12 selections from the full client list. Remember, the more selections you make, the greater your chances of getting appointments. Also remember, if you only choose clients from well-known publications or agencies, you are competing against a larger pool of members for appointments. Members who select both well-known and more specialized clients (perhaps from smaller publications or agencies) are more like to get appointments.
Please do not request meetings with clients if you are completely unfamiliar with the market or do not have the qualifications they seek. Before making your selections research each client you are interested in. Make sure that you are qualified for that particular publication or agency. If members sign up for appointments they are not qualified for, it becomes difficult for ASJA to find clients to participate in future Client Networking events. Editors will only sign up if the writers they meet are a good fit for their needs.
Why are there some low-paying publications invited to this event?
What is low-paying for one writer is adequate for another. Established writers may decide to pursue lower-paying gigs if they are in their wheelhouse and easy to write, with a low “PITA” factor, making their hourly rates worthwhile. Some established writers will accept lower rates if an assignment allows them to branch out into a new specialty or an interesting topic.
It’s also worth noting that editors move frequently. Talented editors at low-paying publications often go on to positions that offer better pay, so writers may decide that networking with editors is a wise use of time. You are free to choose not to meet with any clients whose fees are too low for your business model. We work hard to assess the benefits of each client who is invited to ASJA.
What if I miss the signup period?
Registration will be open for a full week, and will be promoted many months in advance. We strongly encourage you to make note of the dates, because we cannot honor sign-ups after that window closes. Registration fees cannot be refunded to members who miss the signup period.
How do I find my list of appointments?
You will receive a list of your meetings and times via email.
Am I guaranteed to get the appointments I want?
No. Client Connections is a lottery program. Clients are available for a limited time during the event, and certain clients are in high demand. The lottery is conducted via computer so that it is as fair and as impartial as can be.
Am I guaranteed to get some appointments?
There is no guarantee that your picks will result in an appointment, though members typically receive at least one appointment. Members who choose 12 clients are more likely to receive at least one appointment.
Are my editors/agents guaranteed to be available for my meeting(s)?
We do our best to confirm all participating clients several times. Unfortunately, clients may have medical, family, or work emergencies that force them to arrive late or even cancel at the last minute. We will make our best effort to reschedule meetings either later that day, or at a later date via phone.
What happens if I select just one or two clients in the lottery?
If you make just two choices, then you get two chances in a random drawing for the people you picked. We would advise you to choose the maximum number allowed to increase your chances of receiving appointments.
How are appointments assigned?
Appointments are assigned through a software program used for Client Connections. The software provides everyone an equal chance of getting their selection.
What if I change my mind after I receive my list of appointments?
We strongly encourage members to make sure they really want to meet with the people they pick. If you decide to drop any of your appointments, let us know so that we can assign it to another member. We cannot exchange appointments after they are assigned. Registration fees cannot be refunded if appointments are dropped.
Before and During Client Connections
What happens during a meeting?
Please take the time to read the information provided by participating clients to learn what they’re looking for. Often during the meetings, clients simply want to learn a little bit about you, your background, and your expertise. Some are seeking writers with a platform and a following. Others want to hear specific pitches and ideas, and, of course, you will want to present a book idea or two to a literary agent.
How long are the meetings?
Meetings are only nine minutes long, and time limits are strictly enforced to ensure that the client can meet with their next appointments. You must conclude your meeting at the end of the allocated time. Please be kind and considerate of the editors and agents and your fellow members by honoring the time limit.
How should I prepare?
If you are meeting with an editor, research his or her publication to get a grasp for what they cover. When we hear complaints from editors after an event, it is often because writers arrived unprepared. Read editors’ descriptions carefully before you register and before your prepare your pitches.
If you are pitching, practice so it can be delivered in the time allotted, making sure there is also time for introductions, questions, and follow up. Your meeting must conclude at the end of nine minutes, even if you have not finished delivering a pitch.
For Tele-Connections the client will be calling you. Check your phone to make sure it is charged and that you have good reception. If you are using a headset, ensure that it is in good working order.
Please do not take Tele-Connections meetings in busy areas with a lot of noise or distractions. Put barking dogs, children, and significant others in a remote room, outside, or away from your office to minimize noise and distraction. Minimize background noise as much possible so the person on the other end is not straining to hear you.
What happens if a client is unexpectedly unavailable at the appointed time?
From time to time, clients are late for appointments. In that event, we ask for your patience grace, and courtesy. Clients may be stuck in traffic or in a meeting that ran long. If this happens, we will let you know. We encourage you to use this time to breathe deeply and prepare for your meeting. If clients have to miss a meeting with you, we will do our very best to arrange an alternative time for you to connect.
What do I do if I cannot make my scheduled appointment?
We know that emergencies can come up. If that happens, you must let Client Connections co-chairs know as soon as possible, so that your meeting can be assigned to another member. If you cancel an appointment, you cannot reschedule, and we will not replace your appointment with another or refund any part of your registration.
Why did the writer’s fee change between the editor’s written description and our meeting?
Editors fill out the descriptions about their publications and their pay rates themselves; we do not interview or fact-check them. Sometimes a publication changes its pay rates or editors mistype their information. Mistakes happen, and situations change. Both are out of our control.
Is there a code of conduct governing the event?
Yes. By participating in Client Connections, you agree to act in a courteous and professional manner. This is a fast-paced event that must run smoothly to allow for successful meetings. Deviating even slightly from the rules (trying to remain at your meeting longer than the allotted time, for example) is very disruptive and unkind to both your editor and your fellow members. Anyone who violates the rules outlined here will not be allowed to participate and may even be prohibited from participating in future events.
How can I help make Client Connections or Tele-Connections better?
We are always looking for clients to invite to Tele-Connections and other Client Connections events. If you work with a dreamy client, please consider sharing them with fellow members by inviting them to take part. If you want to meet someone from a particular dream publication, we warmly welcome your help in inviting them to participate! We are always looking for volunteers to reach out to editors, agents and content marketing managers in advance of our signature events. Contact the co-chairs with your suggestions or if you’d like to join our team of volunteers.
Client Networking Programs
Connecting with potential clients isn’t easy. ASJA’s Client Networking programs are here to help.