One Follow-Up Attempt Is All You Need

By Katie Corbett


When you are looking for a job or for your next freelance project, it can be easy to get stuck in a cycle of following up with the same prospects over and over. Following up more than once saps time and energy, and it makes you feel like you are being productive when you are not actually reaching out to new people.


I read about only following up once in “The 2-Hour Job Search,” by Steve Dalton. Here are some reasons following up only once is preferable.


  • You won’t need to worry about annoying anyone.
  • You will be forced to focus on finding fresh leads.
  • You won’t keep contacting the same people over and over.
  • You will be getting work done that gets you closer to your goals.
  • You will be building relationships with new people.
  • The people you have been following up with won’t have to figure out how to get you off their backs.
  • People won’t feel obligated to work with you just to get you to stop following up.
  • You will find people who are ready to take action now.


I’ve set a rule in my business that I’m only going to follow up once with new prospects. I’m already excited about how much less stressed I will be as I implement this rule. This will be true, of course, unless more follow-ups are specifically requested. If someone explicitly tells you to follow up at a specific time, definitely do so. I got my first paying case studies writing client because I continued to follow up on the schedule that my prospect requested.


When you do reach-outs, try following up only once. Do you notice changes in how you use your time and energy moving forward? Do you notice changes in the number of people you’re able to contact as a result? I’d love to hear more about it, so leave me a comment.


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