April 13, 2016

Reach out to people who already know you

Have you reached out to people who already know you?

Can you say something like “Hi. Some time has freed up on my calendar. Do you need any help with anything?”

I’ve had periods where I’ve had to hustle up a few clients to get my revenue back up to minimum levels.

The approach of contacting people who have already done business with me has worked very well.

Also, I deal a lot with agencies rather than end clients. So when they know I am available again, they can bring a few new clients to me in one go.

The beauty of subcontracting to agencies is that they do the selling for you, because they want to sell in their whole bundle of services, and you’re just supplying part of it.

Are there local agencies near to you? Can you connect with agency owners on LinkedIn and say you’ve just gone freelance and would like some advice on how to grow your business?

I know a guy who recently jumped from permie land to setting up his own agency and he’s done this. The absolute majority of marketing directors or agency owners he’s contacted have congratulated him on the move and congratulated him on reaching out. If they are free they have all accepted his request to meet for a coffee.

I met this guy for a coffee too.

When you meet people, be open, be honest, and listen to them. Take action, and let them know you have. Also, manners (please and thank you) go a VERY long way.

You need to specialise and have them remember you as “The XYZ Guy”. For me it’s “The AdWords Guy”.

Maybe you specialise in skillset (“The Guy Who Does Google Shopping Ads”), or maybe you specialise in vertical (“The Guy Who Builds Websites & Campaigns For Vets”).

Go into each meet with an open mind. Don’t push an agenda. Let them talk and try to find out what it is they need.

Try to break the “dance” of two people talking formally. Open up and converse with them as person to person.

If they know what you do, how you do it, what results you get (preferably by telling stories they can remember and retell to others), then your actual work is likely to come from THEIR network, not necessarily them.

Ideally, they leave knowing you as “The XYZ Guy” so when one of their friends or clients says they are having problems with XYZ, your name pops into mind immediately.

A few good relationships where you’ve met and know them is worth way more than 100 cold calls imo.

Business is all about relationships.

Hope this helps.