Plant the Seeds of Your Success with Great Marketing
Many freelancers get discouraged when marketing doesn’t immediately bring in new work. But few clients will contact you until they need freelance help. Great marketing ensures that you’re the first freelancer who comes to mind when a prospect you’ve been marketing to does need that help.
Market Now, Land New Business in the Future
This week, a communications manager from one of the top hospitals in the country contacted me about writing for her magazine. She was responding to a targeted email that I sent her 5 months earlier. Now I’m working on my first of what I hope will be many assignments for this hospital.
One of the clients I’ve been working with for 17 years contacted me nearly two years after receiving a series of direct mail pieces from me. Other clients have contacted me after my second or third marketing contact.
Create Top-of-Mind Awareness
Targeted follow up—contacting your best prospects often enough that you’re the first person who comes to mind when they need freelance help—is a key part of great marketing. While some prospects will naturally remember us, most need to be reminded that we exist. Otherwise, they’re likely to only think of the most recent freelancer who contacted them.
Keeping in touch with hot prospects about 4 to 6 times a year is enough to remind them you’re out there without annoying them. Use a combination of email and mail to create the most impact.
6 Ways to Stay in Touch with Your Best Prospects
1. Email prospects about twice a year. Let prospects know about your freelance services with a short, professional email. Research each prospect and write a personal email targeted to the person and the organization.
2. Develop an e-newsletter. A quarterly e-newsletter is a great way to show your expertise and provide useful information and resources. But only send this to prospects who’ve responded to your marketing in some way.
Read more about how to develop and use an e-newsletter in the FREE report Top-of-Mind Awareness
3. Send holiday cards. Buy professional business holiday cards and get them in the mail early (right after Thanksgiving) so they make an impact. To really stand out, consider sending Thanksgiving cards.
4. Write a buzz piece. Develop a well-written, well-designed article or report that shows your expertise and is relevant to your prospects. Mail it to prospects with a handwritten note. Short numbered tips articles, with about 4 to 10 tips on a topic, are very popular now and fairly easy to develop.
5. Develop one or more direct mail postcards. A clever, well-written and well-designed direct mail postcard is another great way to create top-of-mind awareness. And direct mail really stands out from all of the emails we all get every day.
6. Find and send personalized information and resources. Look for information and resources that are valuable to specific prospects, such as a report about industry trends or a newspaper or blog article about the prospect’s products or services. Send the prospect an email with a link to the information or resource–and your marketing message. Include marketing information in your email signature too, along with a link to your website and LinkedIn profile.