By Joe Dyton
Well, I rang in the New Year with a cold, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from putting up a post today. As I wrote yesterday, my aim is to write a post every day (fingers crossed) to chronicle what I did to help get my freelance business started. Today, I got back into the swing of reaching out to potential clients. This has always been the thing that’s kept me from going full steam ahead with pursuing this venture. I call, email or snail mail companies and the best response I’ll get is “Thanks for reaching out; we’ll keep your information on file if the need should arise”, and then I’ll never hear from them again. After a few weeks of that, I see my marketing efforts slow down.
I’ve read several (good) books about freelance writing and how to go about finding clients, but I never seem to find the success that the authors had even as I follow their steps. The books make it seem so easy; I always think about that scene in “Swingers” when Jon Favreau’s character who’s a New York-based comic now living in LA says, “They make it seem like they’re handing out (TV) pilots at the airport.” I understand what he’s talking about; the books make it seem like if I stick with it, the clients will come. But, the clients don’t. So, this year, I’m going to see my marketing all the way through; no more getting frustrated and giving up. My goal is to reach out to 10 to 20 potential clients each day. I am a journalist and a marketing copywriter, so I will be reaching out to publications as well as corporations. In the past, my strategy is go to on job boards and search for companies that are looking for writers and send them my resume and let them know I’m available on a freelance basis. I’ll still do that this year, but I also want to look up companies that aren’t on job boards. We’ll see how it goes.
That’s what I did today; I emailed five commercial real estate companies (I used to work for a commercial real estate magazine) and three design firms and let them know I’m a freelance writer looking for work. It’s a little below the number of companies I want to reach each day, but I’ll step it up going forward. I’ll have to if I want to hit my goal of at landing at least six steady clients by the end of the year. Let the games begin!
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Today I emailed potential clients; I may try calling some tomorrow and send some snail mail over the weekend. How do you like to reach out to clients? Do you have a recommended number of people to reach out to each day? Comment below!
Joe Dyton is a freelance journalist and marketing writer in Washington, DC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter; @dyton99.