By Paul McCormack
I wanted more clients, and more revenue.
My sales in 2012 were respectable, but nothing spectacular. Unfortunately, since launching my freelance writing business in 2005, I really hadn’t figured out how to market myself.
In order to grow my business, I needed a plan.
Would cold calling work? How about direct mail? Neither approach appealed to me.
If I was to do something on a daily basis, I needed to pick a cost-effective process that I could sustain, and didn’t make me nauseous (I hate cold calling).
After careful research, I selected just two marketing strategies that I felt comfortable using on a daily basis.
Here’s what I did…
Letters of introduction — they really work!
In October, I spent about two weeks in the Freelance Writers Den learning all I could about letters of introduction (LOIs).
The Den includes a forum where other writers post their LOIs for review. I’m not ashamed to say that I read all of them, and made notes on what I liked and didn’t like about each one.
Later that month, I started sending my own LOI to prospective clients.
Since October 2012, I’ve sent 120 LOIs. The response rate so far is around 45%.
That’s approximately 50 responses to a “cold” sales letter.
From those responses, I’ve landed ten new clients, with at least another ten prospective clients that will likely engage me in the next 6 months.
Sure, I made some mistakes along the way, but I learned from them!
If your emails don’t generate responses, revise and try again. I constantly refine my LOIs.
They’ll never be perfect, but it doesn’t hurt to focus on improving your approach.
Also, remember that LOIs arrive uninvited. Make it easy for prospective clients to read and take the next step.
Don’t sweat it if they don’t respond immediately, they’re likely buried under all the work they may end up sending you!
Existing clients like your work — ask for more!
In addition to sending LOIs, I revisited my existing client roster in order to pitch new writing projects.
For example, after reviewing an existing client’s website, I found out that they had launched a new blog two months prior (shame on me for not noticing sooner).
I sent a quick email asking if they would like me to write for their blog. They immediately responded asking me to write at least one, possibly two posts a month for the rest of the year.
Never overlook the chance to “up-sell” existing customers.
Since you’ve already written for them, you understand what they like and don’t like – use that information to your advantage.
By contacting my existing client with pitches for new services, I landed five new projects. What’s not to like?
No more complicated than picking just two approaches that didn’t give me hives, and I could commit to on a daily basis.
Since I joined Freelance Writers Den and began using these two strategies, I’ve landed 20 new projects, all of which paid at least $1 a word.
You can’t control if or when a prospective or existing client will respond to your marketing efforts.
However, if you take the time to learn and implement just two marketing strategies that you believe in, good things will happen.
Paul McCormack is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in anti-money laundering, banking, cyber security, fraud, and intellectual property theft. Visit McCormack Writes to learn more.