Prospecting is an essential component of being an effective freelance content writer. Unless you have mastered inbound marketing or you have clients beating a path to your door, you must prospect. You must do the work to find and reach out to potential clients. It’s one of the key components of successfully marketing your freelance writing business.
However, prospecting is more effective when you follow up. It’s not practical to expect great results when you only reach out to prospects once. How many times you follow up is your call, but you must follow up at least once.
Why should you follow up to be more effective at prospecting?
- It is necessary! Everyone is busy these days. Reminding a potential client that you can write their articles, blog posts, case studies and other content – or provide an essential service – is useful to your prospect, and a professional use of your time.
- Things happen. Your clients might get busy or something could distract them to cause them to ignore or forget about your initial message.
So, how do you prospect more effectively?
- Make it easy to get permission from your prospect to follow up again. Set a date for reaching out the next time, and the next steps at the end of your prospecting email or call.
- Don’t force it. You cannot manufacture urgency that does not exist. Do not force motivation for the prospect to move forward.
- Have a plan for long-term follow up. They might not be able to respond or buy right now, but they might buy in the mid-term future. Follow up over several weeks and months by sending something of value to show you are thinking of them. This could include links to an article, blog posts, ebook, web site, etc. This is known as lead nurturing.
- Spread out your follow-up attempts using a defined process (calendar apps, scheduling software, CRM tools, etc. are good for this). Set your own rules for when and how you follow up. Adjust your methods when you learn what works and what doesn’t.
- Be graceful and professional if the prospect says they’re not interested. A “No” now does not mean a “No” forever, and they could still become helpful down the road.
Other blog posts on prospecting
- How to write effective cold emails to prospects
- How to get better at prospecting as a freelance writer
- Three-step system for finding new freelance writing clients
- Adding humour and personality to your prospecting emails
- Two tips for using email marketing to turn prospects into clients
Need help with writing prospecting emails? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.