People hate being told “no.” There’s just something about rejection that makes us want that “thing” more. When you get contacted about a new freelance gig, saying “no” might just be what you need to get more work.

Last night, I watched American Hustle for the first time (I know, I’m way behind on my movies.) What I found so interesting was that when they wanted to scam someone, they would tell the person “no,” a lot. They would continually say that they couldn’t help them, which only made the person want them more.

The same can be applied to freelancing work (although we aren’t scamming anyone.) However, simply telling a client “no” probably won’t get you more clients. You have to tell them “no” in the right way.

You need to create a demand for your services. You need to show the person that you’re rejecting that you’re just too busy at the moment. This will get their mind wondering why you’re so busy. They’ll begin to think “What does this person offer that everyone seems to want, and why can’t I have it?!”

Freelancers Union offers some really good tips on how to say no in a way that will get you more work.

2. Create Demand

And whyyyyy can you not take on their no-doubt-thrilling assignment? Because you are very, very busy with other work that you have committed to.

Saying “no” to a gig because you’re committed to other clients signals several important things to your would-be employer; that you’re valuable, that you’re in-demand, and that you take your commitments seriously. That puts you in a prime position to negotiate down the line. Everybody wants what they can’t have; let them know that if they want you in the future, they probably have to make an extra effort.”

See the full article at Freelancers Union.