It would be great if prospects contacted you every day to become clients and use your writing services. Some people are that good, or that well known, or that effective at lead generation (or that lucky). If you build a great lead system and website, you can get prospects to come to you.
But for most freelancers, you have to find clients through prospecting. It’s essential for keeping yourself busy and replacing clients that pay poorly, stop using your services or that simply disappear. So, how can you get better at prospecting?
- Make prospecting an automatic process. You can use automation or simply schedule it into your calendar. However you do it, turn prospecting into a habit, and that will lead to success.
- Think in terms of small actions. Big goals and projects – especially when they are your goals and projects – can be daunting. Work on prospecting goals little by little, day by day. Focus on the small wins instead of trying to get it all done at once. Take a small action today. What can you accomplish today, or in the next hour? Find something that you know you can do in the next 15 minutes – send an email, look up a prospect on LinkedIn, check out their website and write a few notes down. Book that 15 minutes (or whatever time period you can commit to) into your weekly schedule so that you do it every week. Then build up your frequency and time commitment.
- Focus on action, not outcomes. Take concrete actions to make them your goals. Do not state an outcome, such as number of leads that you need to get. You just want to complete the action, rather than concern yourself with the result (at least for now). Be consistent in those actions, and commit to the system you develop. The goal is to take the right action at the right time.
- Treat prospecting like a recurring project. It’s your client work (not yours), and the client expects you to do your work regularly. Schedule prospecting into your day or week, and make it a priority. Put a deadline on it and add it to your TO DO list. You already know that you have to complete your clients’ projects on time, so treat prospecting like that regular client. This will help to build discipline into your prospecting habit.
- Create a theme for each prospecting day. Focus on one theme – research, outreach, follow up, content marketing, etc. Do not try to do everything at one time. Do research only for your one day, and put all your research into one file that you can attack the next day. Write the theme days into your calendar, so you know that Monday is your research day, Tuesday is your outreach day, and so on.
Keep your prospecting goals simple and manageable, and you’ll develop a winning habit that will produce dividends. Again, focus on the action over the outcome.
Do you need help with creating a prospecting plan? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.