How to Overcome the Fear of Prospecting

The television show “The Amazing Race” has taught you some important freelance motivation lessons this week. On Monday, you learned the importance of having teammates. Then on Tuesday, you read about strategic alliances.

One of the highlights of the show is when they make contestants eat fried scorpions, bungee jump, or some other outlandish stunt.

What does this have to do with freelancing?

Well, I sometimes think I’d rather do ANY of those things than prospect for clients. It can be a scary but necessary part of our work.

But the good news is, once you make that leap and do it the first time, it gets a lot easier because one success can build on the next.

All you need to do is take that first step. You could …

  • Set up a simple website. It doesn’t have to look fancy or be a Webby Award winner, but get something started so people know you’re serious. You can always tweak it later.
  • See if friends and family (or people they may know) need website copy for their businesses, or help set up their site if they don’t have one. Offer to write up a simple flyer, brochure, or sales letter. If they don’t have a lot of money to pay you, ask for an awesome testimonial.
  • Or, get started on a contracted jobs site, like FlexJobs, Simply Hired or Virtual Vocations. While the pay on these sites is often low, the clients are open to newbie writers. Plus, it’s a great way to get your first assignments and build your experience.

After you’ve done some of these smaller assignments, you’re then in a much stronger position to go after your “big-fish” clients.

Rejections are inevitable, but remind yourself that they won’t stop you. Persist in your self-marketing, because you’re bound to break through when the right opportunity arises.

And never, never, never give up!

What have you done to deal with your self-marketing issues? Share them with me here.

Tomorrow, I’ll write about how you can smash through temporary slowdowns in achieving your copywriting goals.

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Published: October 9, 2013

5 Responses to “How to Overcome the Fear of Prospecting”

  1. In all honesty, I'm no different than most writers. I'd rather pull my own teeth than market my services.

    But Janice is right. Taking the first, small step to promote yourself leads to the next step. And before you know it, your business is off and running with unstoppable momentum.

    Very well done, Janice!

    RNin2013October 9, 2013 at 11:24 am

  2. This headline really got my attention! Made me laugh and made me read this. I decided that I'd rather eat the scorpions, myself! But you made great points and thank you! I always learn a lot from you folks and I've made a bit of money writing copy now. Thanks!

    Guest (Nancy Quatrano)October 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm

  3. I was a Guidance Counselor with children before retiring. They would talk to me about their failures in school and at home. I always told them to believe in their skills and not let anyone or anything keep them from doing your best to get what you want in the long-run. Always push forward and leave the little stuff behind. Get the skills to do whatever it is you dream of.
    Picture that dream whenever you feel down. Your dream will always be there to make you smile again and remember your way.

    Terri SmudaOctober 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm

  4. The way Janice was to lead me to FlexJobs.
    I've taken the AWAI course on Resume writing but I have no money so I can only advertize on Craig list (this went badly) so maybe Flex Jobs can help. If I earn money then I can pay for AWAI B2B course.

    Guest (Thomas Doyle)October 10, 2013 at 11:52 am


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