After I successfully pitched hundreds of ideas to publications and agencies, getting local businesses signed on as clients should’ve been easy. After all, I knew how to bring in writing assignments so I had everything I needed to sell my copy-writing services to small businesses.
Or…so I thought.
Two years quickly passed and I failed to bring in any local clients. It wasn’t until I began making several strategic shifts that things began to happen. I went from zero dollars in writing income to thousands per month!
Here’s how I did it:
Change in Mindset
I was trying to sell to small businesses without leveraging one fact to my advantage: I’m a small business too! That shift in mindset led me to think of how I, myself, choose companies and make purchases; what I like, dislike, and what makes me take action. I acknowledged my own tendency to forget responding to a vendor, even if I’m interested in their offer. Now, following up with a potential client until a decision is made has become my top priority.
Having limited funds to invest into my own business is another factor that helped me become more empathetic of business owners. I soon created different “packages” of my offerings, instead of just offering fixed pricing, which has allowed me to work with smaller budgets and, as a result, win more local business.
Outreach and Follow Up Strategy Tweaks
My failure to prospect consistently brought me inconsistent results. I had no schedule set up in which to email or call new companies, or follow up with those I’d already contacted. Days or weeks would often pass between my cold outreach efforts and, for that reason, I wasn’t reaching many people.
To play the “numbers game” more advantageously, I began sending a minimum of 10 to 20 cold emails per day, followed by a subsequent email every 7 to 10 days. After sending the second email, I call the decision maker to inquire if I could answer any questions he or she had regarding the emails I’d sent, and then continued to contact them with a mix of phone calls and emails until one of these things happens:
1. I’m asked not to contact them again
2. They become a new client
3. I learn they’re not a good match for my services
Build My List, and Prospect Daily
Choosing the right companies for my services was no problem as I was accustomed to spending time researching the market, and figuring out my ideal buyer personas. However, I wasn’t building my list of prospects on a regular basis. For example, if I wasn’t in the mood do “sales” work, or if I was too busy, I’d put it off. And, since many companies on my initial lists are deemed unqualified and later removed, I didn’t have enough businesses listed to contact a minimum of 10 each day.
For every 100 decision makers I contacted, I’d get a response from at least two of them, and sometimes as many as five would engage. Setting aside the time to add no less than 20 businesses to my list daily has allowed me to reach my quotas, and acquire one new client or more, every single month.
When I disciplined myself to start performing all of these tasks on a regular basis, my writing business soared!
Do you have unique strategies to help build your clientele? Tell us about it in the COMMENTS section below!
- Grab The Helm! Creative Prospecting Will Make You The Captain Of Your Own Salary! By Matt Gallus
- Prospecting for Markets By Larry Tritten
- Are You Cold Pitching? – Learn From My 5 Mistakes! by Jane Fazackarley
- Cold Calling: Seven Strategies to Take Away the Pain By Freya Shipley
- ONLINE BOOK MARKETING THAT WORKS – Part X: Pitch Yourself as an “Expert” or Interview Source to News Services/Syndicates
Jarvis Edwards is a sales copywriter and co-founder of AYIAM Digital, a digital marketing agency. When he’s not busy helping his company’s clients get more business, you can find him reading about self-help, entrepreneurship and business development. You can check out other posts written by him at ayiamdigital.com, or follow him on Twitter @jarvis_edwards.
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