The Real Reason to Keep Prospecting

We tend to think of prospecting as something we do to land client work.

And while that’s true, there’s another equally important reason to prospect:

Choice.

Sure, prospecting for clients regularly ensures that you have a steady stream of projects coming your way. We all know that.

But continuing to do so, even when you’re booked solid, is like having an insurance policy.

It buys you choice and freedom. And it buys you self-confidence.

Should something not pan out, you have backup.

Should a client suddenly put a big project on hold, you have backup.

Should a client start questioning your fees or the way you do your work, you have backup.

Your client will sense your confidence. They’ll realize that you have a choice. That you won’t jump through hoops if you don’t think their request is fair.

That alone will give you great leverage in a discussion or negotiation.

Not sure what to do with all those prospect inquiries you can’t handle? Start a referral network with trusted colleagues. Send work their way and ask for either a finder’s fee or a reciprocal arrangement.

Peace of mind and self-confidence. You can’t put a price on that.

But it comes from continually marketing yourself and your services.

From prospecting even when you don’t “need” to.

 

 

  • Jan Hill

    So true! I try to discipline myself to prospect for new clients a few hours each week. Sometimes it takes a while – I recently landed a new client that I had initially reached out to nearly nine months ago! You just keep sowing seeds, and you never know when they might sprout!

    I also try to regularly get educated in something related to freelancing so that I never feel like I’m “out of the loop” as far as niches, current trends, etc. go.

    • edgandia

      For me, that’s when this idea really reinforces itself — when it bears fruit unexpectedly. Thanks, Jan!

  • Kathryn

    Such a great reminder! Even when we are swamped with work it is so important to keep marketing — even for just a few hours. It sure helps to curb those income ebbs and flows. Thanks Ed!

    • edgandia

      Absolutely. Even just a few minutes per week is better than skipping it altogether. 🙂

  • You know what, this is a great tip Ed!

    I’ve been struggling to earn the equivalent of a full-time income for quite a while, and this year, for the first time, I’m on track to do so. The trouble is, now I’m swamped! So swamped I haven’t been able to get to my marketing, which has been frustrating. And although the work is coming in regularly, it’s at a rate of pay that has me working too many hours. Now my goal is to shoot for higher paying stuff so I’m working smarter, not harder. But for that I need to market! Having choices would be lovely. :o)

    (Side note: I’ve been feeling so swamped I haven’t even had time to read my email newsletters, but you sure caught my attention with the “73 seconds to read this” comment. Ha, ha! ;o)

    • edgandia

      Ha! Glad I added that bit to the email copy. 🙂

  • Totally true advice! I thought that by turning off my marketing machine when I was overloaded was a good idea. Totally NOT! Turning it back on again when I was ready for new work didn’t quite give me the consistent flow I needed in the time frame necessary. Now my new trick for when I’m overloaded is to see if a prospect is open to letting me schedule their project out a few weeks.

    • edgandia

      Good idea!

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