No matter where you are in your freelance writing career, there’s a proven strategy you can use to land more work.
You’ve probably heard about it, maybe you do it yourself, but the fact is that most freelance writers don’t do it nearly enough.
Practice it consistently and you’re sure to land more work. It’s not difficult to do, and it won’t take you long. But it will take planning and persistence.
The proven strategy to land more freelance writing work I’ll be discussing today is: systematically following-up with prospects and clients. Read on to find out more…
Following-Up With Prospects
Prospects are the people you’ve identified as being a good fit for your services. It’s beyond the scope of this post to go into detail about the process of identifying prospects, but in a nutshell, you should track down decision makers in businesses that have a need for the services you provide.
The LinkedIn people search tool is ideal for this task. For more information check out my post How to Find Freelance Writing Clients on LinkedIn (A System That Works).
Make sure you have a good-sized list of prospects to market to. A list of at least 100 prospects is enough to get started.
Once you have your list, you’re ready to start your marketing campaign. LinkedIn marketing is my preferred method, but there are lots of alternative marketing methods to choose from such as cold emailing, direct mail or cold calling.
Choose the one you like best, and stick with it long enough to get results.
Start your marketing campaign by crafting a solid pitch and sending it to everyone on your list. If you decide to go with LinkedIn marketing, be sure to delve into my recent post, A Deep Dive Breakdown of My Winning LinkedIn Pitch.
When you’ve sent your pitches, don’t make the mistake of thinking your work is done. To give yourself the best chance of success, you need to put an effective follow-up strategy into play.
The 3-7-7 Formula
The WriteWorldwide team are big proponents of Bamidele Onibalusi’s 3-7-7 formula. It’s designed to significantly boost responses to your pitches using a simple system anyone can implement.
The ‘3’ in the formula means you should send your first follow-up 3 days after sending your initial pitch. The first ‘7’ represents the timing of your second follow-up – 7 days after the last, and the next ‘7’ means you should send your final follow-up 7 days later.
Of course, once you receive a reply to any of your messages you can stop following-up and start a conversation with the prospect!
This approach works because people are busy. Too many freelance writers make the mistake of believing that if they don’t get an answer to their first pitch the prospect isn’t interested. Never assume this is the case.
Lots of business people mean to reply to your email but get side-tracked and forget. Try this follow-up formula for yourself and see the results it brings.
Keeping Track of Your Follow-Ups
Make sure to keep track of your follow ups with a spreadsheet or calendar app. If you prefer, a paper planner works just as well.
Simply record the details of the first contact and the dates you’ll need to follow-up according to the 3-7-7 formula. This will make it much easier to keep track of when to follow-up with prospects, so you don’t miss out on any opportunities.
In the second part of this post I’ll share some strategies from my own marketing campaign that have helped me win more work by following-up with existing clients. I’ll even provide the scripts and screenshots to show you exactly how to do it!
Check back next week for part 2 when I’ll be sharing the way to follow-up for the best chance of success – you won’t want to miss it.
Do you use a follow-up strategy and has it landed you writing work? Let us know in the comments.