Tuesday, February 22, 2005

2 Easy Ways to Increase Your Client Roster as an Editorial Freelancer

If your client list is pretty skimpy -- for whatever reason -- here are two things you can do to increase it.

1. Instead of quantity, focus on quality. What do I mean by this? Many freelancers make the mistake of trying to reach as many prospects as possible. But, contacting the same prospects over and over again can yield more qualified results.

Most clients have to see your name 7 to 28 times (depending on the source you read) before they will contact you. So, instead of doing a mailer to 1,000 different prospects every three months, try contacting the same 250 once a month. This is often enough to be top of mind without being a nuisance.

Tip: Send the same postcard, sales letter, brochure so that your name/company name will become recognizable to the prospective client over time.
2. Create a campaign. What I mean by this is, create a series of messages with a linked theme that you can send out every month. Humor (appropriate humor, of course) works great for this idea.

[Disclaimer: I'd be kicked out of any advertising agency because I am no creative genius (and I know this and can accept it!), so forgive the text you're about to read. BUT, take note of the idea I'm trying to get across.]

For example, if you were to do a series of postcards for every month of the year, January could read:

July sizzle in January! We defrost your clients with our red-hot copy. Use ABC firm for all of your sales copy needs.

February could read:
Make your clients fall in love with you all over again: XYZ Logo Design -- a look they'll never forget!

And on and on.

Obtain a targeted list of clients you know you have the experience to work with/for and send them a postcard every month. At 23 cents a postcard (current rate for mailing a standard, 4x6 size postcard), that's only $115 month to contact 500 prospects -- a doable amount for any small business.

If you did this every month for a year with only a 1% response rate, at the end of the year you will have garnered 5 new clients. Say each client gave you $2,500 worth of business over the course of a year. That's $12,500 a year with just 5 clients.

Most freelancers do not have the patience to wait for their business to take hold in this manner. It takes 2-3 years (yes, years) to build a solid base of clients to sustain you. Even then, there will be times when work will just seem to dry up. BUT, if you market consistently in this manner, the dry spells will be easier to weather.

No matter what type of business you have, you must market to be successful. The Small Biz Owner's Complete Marketing Kit!, an e-book by Inkwell Editorial, outlines 7 free & low-cost, easy-to-implement marketing techniques. Learn how to increase sales w/very little or no money (samples included every step of the way). Read an unsolicited testimonial at this link: http://www.inkwelleditorial.com/marketingkit.htm.

Tip: Try tripling your mailings, following them up with sales calls and/or upselling your clients on more of your services and really watch your freelance business grow.

What's your opinion, experience, comment, feedback? Click on "comments" to leave a reply, or the envelope graphic to email this article to a friend. You DO NOT need to be a subscriber to reply; you can also post anonymously.
Looking for freelance work, but don't know where to start? Coming Soon: Mailing list of 1,000 Companies to begin your search! (Magazines Publishers, Printing Houses, Graphic Design Firms, Advertising Agencies, Public Relations Firms, etc.)**********************************************************************************
May be reprinted with inclusion of the following, in full: © 2005 InkwellEditorial.com: THE job and information portal for and about the editorial industry. Visit our informative, up-to-date editorial blog at http://inkwelleditorial.blogspot.com/ for first-hand information on how to start, grow and/or maintain a successful freelance career.

No comments: