I Not Only Built My Freelance Career Using My Tried-and-True Systems — But Also I Just Rebuilt It!
Six months ago today, I made my first prospecting cold call in five years to find new freelance clients.
If you’ve read my story, you know that after working for one single client for five years, in late 2012 I found myself in the position of having to rebuild my career from scratch.
I’d been out of the normal freelance world for so long that my career was now dead in the water.
I had no clients, no fresh contacts, and no new prospects.
Six months hence, I’m happy to report that I’m back in full swing! My freelance career is once again thriving.
How did I resuscitate my freelance career so fast? I credit my tried-and-true freelance writing secrets work.
Everything I did to rebuild my career since the 1980s is everything I did to revive my career now.
I’m happy to report that my systems and processes work.
I’ve just proved it to myself again.
My Freelance Writing Secrets in Action
Here are the actions I’ve taken in the past six months that netted the greatest impact on my freelance writing career:
- I created a prospect list of nearly 350 companies, and began cold calling the. I have not yet reached them all, but I will eventually — either through cold calls or cold emails.
- I’ve got almost 100 “hot prospects” — these are companies that showed some level of interest in my work (from “send me some info for my files” to “I’ll have a need for a freelancer soon”). I’m staying in touch with these prospects via follow up emails and LinkedIn connections.
- I’ve attended five networking events — netting a few high-quality contacts with whom I’ll stay in touch.
Four New Clients in Six Months
My efforts have produced four new clients in the past six months.
Here’s how I got them:
- New Client One. I am writing a series of white papers for a technology company (this is the company I wrote about, where the marketing vice president immediately said “Yes” when I asked if they needed a freelance marketing writer).
- New Client Two. Two weeks ago a BtoB agency that creates landing pages, emails, and press releases for businesses hired me to write these marketing tools for its clients. What’s more, it also hired me to rewrite its own website. I cold called this company in January, stayed in touch, and was hired by the marketing vice president in early May.
- New Client Three. I reached out to an old former client and, to my surprise, found out he has created a new product and needs some marketing. I have already written the product brochure and will be writing a white paper for him.
- New Client Four. I wrote a blog article for a man who runs a technology website. He was referred to me by a contact I made on LinkedIn. At first he begrudging agreed to pay my hourly rate — until he posted the article I wrote and got a bunch of links to it. Now he wants me to write more articles for him.
Plus, I still have over 90 “hot prospects” to continue to pursue — and hopefully even more soon.
Lessons Learned in the Past Six Months
- Cold calling works — I don’t care what anyone says.
- When you have hot prospects, stay in touch with them. You never know when they’ll be ready to hire you — and you don’t want them to forget about you. (Note: A contact of some kind once every six to eight weeks is about right.)
- Reach out to past clients. You never know what they are up to. They could have a new job, be starting a new company, or launching new products.
- Use LinkedIn! It’s a fantastic business networking platform that lets you easily make connections and stay in contact with them.
If my secrets worked for me, they can work for you!