When You Look for New Prospects, Don't Miss These Sites
You know daily prospecting is necessary to fill your writing calendar.
But finding at least one new prospect each day can seem daunting until you realize the many resources you have available to you through your professional and personal networks.
Even if you think you are a hermit writer (especially in this last year), a little bit of thinking will help you to realize the depth and width of your connections.
Sometimes It’s Who You Know
Start with making a list of all the organizations you are associated with — business, volunteer, your children’s school, your church — and you begin to recognize just how many people you know.
One uncomplicated way to add to your list of prospects is to ask everyone on your list what they do, or how their job is going, or what they are doing in their community. Most of us really don’t know what our friends and their friends do for a living! Or what they do in their spare time!
Send an email to your list of contacts telling them about your newest venture into copywriting, describe your skill set and areas of preference, and ask if they might know someone who can use a copywriter.
Listen hard to what people are saying about their jobs and volunteer work. Ask questions (people love to talk about themselves) and let them know how you might be able to help — either now or when they are ready. I was introduced to one client while having drinks at a local restaurant and another was recommended by a woman from my bible study group.
Connect Locally — Online
If the last year of being ‘restricted’ has squashed your ability to physically gather with others, Alignable is a great platform to use to connect with local business people. According to their website, Members use Alignable to get the industry answers they need, connect within their local business community or across the country, and increase buzz for their business.
Since the start of the pandemic, I have gained three new clients through this resource. Connecting to other local businesses, answering questions, and asking other business owners about their pain points provides an opportunity to introduce yourself and your skill set to others.
I’ve found Alignable to be a comfortable online community, especially if you like to write for small to mid-sized businesses. And honestly, I only log in once or twice a month to interact. Imagine if I was active weekly!
A Site Just for Women
The Mom Project is a digital talent marketplace and community that connects professionally accomplished women with world-class companies. Their mission: Helping women remain active in the workforce in every stage of their journey, and we’re proud to work with employers who are committed to designing and supporting a better workplace.
There is no cost to join their community. You fill out a profile, upload your resume, and can search open positions in their Marketplace. You can also opt to receive emails when open positions match your skills and goals. I receive one for a copywriter, SEO specialist, or content manager almost daily. The postings are transparent in wages offered and hours expected, so you can make decisions immediately about whether to move forward or not.
Never Forget to Leverage LinkedIn
According to TopResume.com, 77% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn as a resource for finding candidates. Don’t ignore this platform because, “I’m not looking for a traditional ‘JOB’,” because many companies are open to working with freelancers and/or remote workers.
Use LinkedIn to show your work in your posts, in articles, in groups specific to the industries you want to write for. Optimize your profile with words describing your specific skill set — UX Copywriter for Health and Wellness or Email Marketing Copywriting for Financial Investing, for example — and how you can solve their problem. You will be found by the people who really do need you! This will save you hours of talking to people who aren’t a good fit.
No matter where you are searching, be willing to ‘stretch’ sometimes in agreeing to do work that you may not want to do long-term. I recently agreed to help someone set up their MailChimp account and templates (for a fee, of course!). She intends to create a monthly newsletter to be sent to her clients.
In our introductory conversation, she told me how busy she was, how she never has time for social media or writing, etc. Her hope is that by having a template she’ll be encouraged to write articles regularly. My hope is she continues to be busy and will ask me to draft those articles for her.
At minimum, I’ve made some money during a slower time and have made a new connection who could recommend me to others.
I’ve also had conversations with recruiters to discuss ‘full-time, in-office’ positions to understand if the company would consider a contractor. Sometimes the people looking to hire don’t know what they don’t know! Be an educator about your skills, your knowledge, and your ability to support their business need.
A Simple Strategy for Reaching Out to a New Prospect Every Day
Bottom line is, talking to a new prospect each day shouldn’t be overwhelming. The best way to write for a living is to talk to people first.
- Find out who you know and develop a plan to connect with them.
- Ask, listen, and then let everyone you speak to know you are a copywriter.
- Use online platforms to reach new markets and network with those who seek the work you do.
There are far more people looking for copywriters than there are copywriters! Don’t be afraid to reach out to your network, to respond to ads, and have honest conversations with your current clients about their needs. Nearly everyone you talk to is or knows someone who can be your next client!
This article, When You Look for New Prospects, Don't Miss These Sites, was originally published by B2B Writing Success.
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