This isn’t a super flashy topic, but if you’re going to make a living as a freelancer, there’s no way around the issue…
You need leads, so you can turn them into customers… ideally, customers that you’d be happy to call Ideal Clients for the rest of your career.
Last week, I talked to a freelance writing friend. She said that she still has one of her very first clients.
They’ve been working together for 10 years.
Of course, there are pros and cons to a long-standing relationship like that…
Pro: The money is steady, the client is nice, and the work is easy.
Con: She still works for the original rate she started at all those years ago.
You might be thinking, “Why doesn’t she raise her rates, or get a better client??”
I hear you.
Normally, I’m all for raising your rates when your calendar gets booked 8 weeks out. But in this case, why say no to easy cash and a good relationship?
But if you’re just starting out as a freelance writer, here’s what I did to get started…
Brain-Dead Simple Lead Generation Strategy
Managing lead generation comes down to 2 things:
1- How to get leads
2- What to do with them once you’ve got them
To get leads, I’ve always relied on networking, plus content marketing.
(I’ve got to warn you, this isn’t the fastest way to build a business, but it is the most reliable in the long-term.)
I needed to build a business that would generate money for me and my family for at least 10 years. So, I gave myself 22 months to ramp up to my full income.
With that kind of ramp up time, I was able to lean into my strengths:
1- I’m a great listener.
2- I’m a clear thinker.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), neither of those strengths lend themselves to get-rich-quick schemes.
So, I did 2 things:
1- I found the best event for my industry… and I attended it! (That’s not a redundant comment, btw. You’d be amazed how many people will do the research, but never take the action.)
2- I found an amazingly talented mentor who was putting together his first mastermind group… and you guessed it… I joined the group.
So what happened?
At the industry event, I met a woman who is at the top of her career and works with top businesses… and I said, “Hi.” That’s all.
Then, I kept saying hello to her at that event every year… for 7 years. Until finally one day, we bumped into each other in the hallway and she said, “Oh great! I’ve been looking for you! I want to do a project and you’re the only one I know who’s qualified to take it on.”
My brilliant response?
“Okay, sure. Let’s talk next week.”
(I warned you this wasn’t a flashy strategy. 🙂 )
How are things now?
We’ve been happily working together for almost a year, and I expect that we’ll work together for years in the future.
So, what about strategy 2… the new mastermind group?
I’ve got to tell you, hitching my wagon to that new mastermind group was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.
There’s something magical about a new group.
The kinks aren’t all worked out yet… the worksheets are a mess… the curriculum is happenstance… Zoom links don’t work… but none of that matters, because the energy is so high…
… your mentor is fully committed to helping you get the result no matter what it takes.
And that’s what he did for me.
Within 22 months, I had met my starting income goal and I was freelancing full-time.
Looking back, I’m amazed that it all came together the way it did. But that’s the magic of hindsight… you can draw a linear path from Z to A and say, “See? It was easy!”
Of course, that’s not exactly real… it was a lot of work… but that doesn’t take away the sensation of magic.
1- Raise your rates when your calendar is consistently booked 8 weeks in advance.
2- Prioritize relationships and easy-fun-just-challenging-enough-for-you work, but never sell yourself short.
3- Go to network events and meet people.
4- Get a mentor and follow their advice!
What to do now: If you’d like to know more about how a former 9th grade Algebra teacher helps multi-million-dollar businesses increase sales with simple “teach for action” techniques, then go to www.9BuyerSystem.com