How to Introduce Yourself to Prospective Clients in a Professional Way
When I first started my freelance writing business, I remember going to area Chamber of Commerce events and telling people I was a “copywriter.”
It was 2012 and mostly, I got blank looks.
They were polite, but had no idea what I was talking about.
Then, since I focused on the Web, I tried something like “I help businesses get found online.” And that got a lot more interest (and clients) because I was speaking to something they were worried about.
That’s a key.
What problem does your target audience worry about and how do you solve it?
Don’t know quite yet? That’s okay.
The thing is, explaining what you do succinctly and in a way that makes someone perk up and take notice isn’t always easy.
Honestly, there were some events where I tried out 2-3 different versions of my introduction in the same night trying to gauge what “worked.”
As we like to say in our market, “Know your audience.”
Ideally, your introduction includes something that’s results-oriented and leads to follow-up questions.
Depending on who you’re talking to, you may opt to keep it super simple, “I’m a freelance business writer.”
Or, if you’re at an industry event, it makes sense to be specific. “I write business-focused blog posts for pet companies, so they attract more clients.”
In this article, I’ll share a “cheat sheet” with formulas from simple to specific, so you can create a memorable introduction for yourself and your business. When you know what you’re going to say, you’ll sound more confident from the first hello.
What Do You Do Again?
If you’re a teacher, then it’s easy to say, “I’m a teacher.” Maybe you add your grade level or school district, but it’s easy to understand because everyone has a common reference point.
If you say you’re a “freelance writer,” many people will ask if you write books. Unless you’re at an industry event, people don’t think of writing as a “real” job. Which means, it’s up to us to describe it as such by showing the benefits.
Besides, the more people who understand what you do and who you do it for, the easier it is for them to hire you or recommend you to someone who can hire you.
Which is why you want to focus on the benefits you provide.
For example, if your niche is fitness and you work with gym owners, you can say, “I work with gym owners to help them attract and retain clients.”
That is language that makes it easy for someone to refer you to a gym owner.
However, if you were speaking to the gym owner, they’ll want to know more specifics, so you might say, “I write websites, emails, and social media content that attracts and retains your ideal clients.”
Even better if you can share a result like, “One of my recent clients saw a 21% increase in renewals within 4 months of working together.”
Don’t you think that type of language would get a gym owner’s attention? Of course it would.
From Simple to Specific
Family gatherings, local networking events, industry networking events, social media, even the grocery store are all places where you have the opportunity to meet potential clients.
Depending on who you’re talking to, you’ll want to adjust your answer, but ideally, yours will focus on your benefits/results like I did in the gym owner example above.
But what if you have limited experience and aren’t ready to declare a niche?
You could say something like, “I help businesses attract and retain customers.” Or, “I’m a freelance business writer.” If the person perks up and asks for more information, then you can give more detail. (Hint: Pick something specific so you can tell interested parties that you blog or write web copy or annual reports. Use simplistic terms, though, not a lot of insider lingo.)
If you focus on writing web copy, then you can say, “I write web copy for businesses looking to attract more clients.” Then, once you have more experience, you can add the results, “A recent client doubled their sales once I rewrote their content.”
The Power of Practice
Before I went to my first networking event as a freelance writer, I was all nerves. I got up early, showered and did my hair, put on professional clothes, and practiced my “commercial” over and over until I could say it without stumbling.
I recommend the same thing. Practice in the mirror. Practice on a friend or spouse. Then, go out and say it to someone new. The more you say it, the more confident you’ll sound (especially after a client or two).
If you can attend a nearby networking event, do it. It’s great practice and you may even get a client out of it! You can also make an announcement on social media.
Prepare your introduction now by answering this question: What problem does your target audience worry about and how do you solve it?
Don’t be afraid to try out different iterations of your introduction using the examples as a “cheat sheet” … Everything from, “I’m a freelance business writer” to “I help the ______ (niche) achieve (result).”
Create and practice a few options for different scenarios until you’re comfortable saying them to prospective clients.
Don’t worry about getting it “right.” Just focus on communicating your value. Remember, as a freelance business owner, it’s up to you to let people know what you do.
Do you have any questions about sharing what your writing business can do to help others? Please let us know in the comments so we can guide you.
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Very good article with good advice. The only thing I can think of that might help readers is to add a “list” for the cheat sheet. I often look for (or add to my own) a bulleted or numbered list of “cheats” to go by.
Good article. It helps me focus on how to introduce my copywriting services to potential clients most effectively.