Virtual Client Connections
Client Connections’ little sister, Virtual Client Connections offers even more opportunities to land new clients.
Client Connections offers one-on-one meetings with top magazines, publishers, and agencies, which can lead to long-term successful business relationships.
Only professional members can register for Client Connections, which includes a series of nine-minute meetings with clients, editors, publications, and agents. Participants pitch story ideas, book proposals or expertise—and sometimes walk away with assignments, though follow-ups are par for the course. The event occurs on one afternoon of our in-person conferences or over selected days before or after virtual conferences.
ASJA’s signature event is offered during in-person spring conferences (held on even years) and regional conferences (held on odd years). Meetings take place during one afternoon of the conference and may coincide with panels and speaker presentations.
Virtual spring conferences are held on odd years, and Client Connections becomes Tele-Connections, offering professional members the opportunity to meet with clients on the phone. Meetings take place outside of conference sessions.
A list of participating industry representatives is published well in advance of each Client Connections event, and registered professional members are given the opportunity to select with whom they’d like to meet. Meetings are determined via a lottery system. There is no guarantee of an appointment, and the number of meetings offered to each participant is based on the number of participants, number of clients, and number of selections made by participants.
Associate, student, and retired members are not eligible to participate in Client Connections events.
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.
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. Starting about two months before the ASJA conference, a list of participating clients will begin posting the names of the outlets participating in Client Connections.
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 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.
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.
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.
You can make up to 8 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.
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.
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.
You will receive a list of your meetings and times via email.
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.
There is no guarantee that your picks will result in an appointment, though members typically receive at least one appointment. Members who choose 8 clients are more likely to receive at least one appointment.
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.
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.
Appointments are assigned through a software program used for Client Connections. The software provides everyone an equal chance of getting their selection.
No. There are some outlets sending multiple editors, but you cannot meet with more than one editor from the same outlet. Please only pick one editor. If we see that you have chosen more than one, we will remove the second choice and ask you to choose someone else from a different publication. The editors work together and have complained in the past when writers sign up for multiple editors; therefore we make sure not to make editors angry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Connections’ little sister, Virtual Client Connections offers even more opportunities to land new clients.
Pitch Slams are exciting opportunities to share your ideas with editors or agents—and learn effective pitching techniques.