I’ve recently started to actively look for freelance clients. I told myself that when I my business blog had 50 posts and I was comfortable that it was adequately, if not “firmly”, situated then I would begin to aggressively seek out clients.
Thus far, my story hasn’t been like Tom Ewer’s over at Leaving Work Behind or Bamidele’s at Young Pre Pro. Most definitely, it hasn’t been like Sophie Lizard’s or Carol Tice’s. These are the people that I consider to be the “big boys and gals” on the freelance blogging campus right now.
I haven’t had clients seek me out yet.
Why? I don’t know. I’m a new kid on the playground and I might be the smelly one, at that. The portfolio that I have rocking on the Content 4 Blogs leaves more than a little piece of me saying “what the hell have you been doing for 5 years?” And, lastly, I just haven’t marketed enough yet.
So, I’ve decided to aggressively, in-person, market my services by going to businesses, checking out their business website and blog and then asking to talk to the person in charge. Here are a few tips that I can pass on, so far:
- Small Businesses Rule
When it comes to actually speaking to the person in charge of websites and blogs, then small businesses really do rule the roost. In most cases, you’ll be able to speak the person in charge of the business’ online presence immediately. Try doing that with medium and large businesses.
I like to do this while I’m actually at the business. Restaurants and bars work out great but you can actually do this with any small business as long as you have a phone or tablet with a data connection.
- Immediately Offer a Way to Help:
Don’t just say that you’re a freelance blogger, content strategist, social media expert or whatever else you’re calling yourself. Find something in the blog or website that you know you can help out with immediately.
- Have Business Cards:
Nothing says amateur like a scrawled out note on a bar napkin. Go to a website that makes business cards now and order some. Brand it with a logo and offer every possible way for someone to in contact with you; phone number, email address, Twitter name, LinkedIn profile and every other thing you can fit on the card.
If Army recruiting has taught me anything it’s that the follow-up is the largest part of the sales process. After your discussion with the business and you’ve handed over your business card, thank them for their time and promise to call back within a 3-4 days. Then, actually do it.
Not all prospective clients are going to hire you on the first follow-up. During your initial follow-up, I recommend sending them an email with your resume and some sort of free gift or report. If you offer an eBook on your site then that might be suitable.
Always remember that there is a difference between aggressive follow-ups and annoying. (Just think of all the sales calls you’ve gotten over your life!) And although there’s a difference, the line between the two is very fine and will be different for each client.
Also, understand that these small business owners and workers are usually just as busy as you are. Keep interactions and follow-ups short and sweet.
My goal, like every other freelancer out there, is to have inbound leads coming in via my blog and website. That doesn’t always happen right away, though, and until then you need to pay the bills somehow. Take the bull by the horns and start actively seeking out your freelance clients.
Ken Muise is a freelance blogger with insomnia. He writes late at night, usually. During the daylight hours he is an active-duty Soldier and father, husband and parrot owner.