Why an Index Card is the Key to Keeping Your Prospecting on Track

If you’re like most semi-established freelance writers, you’ve probably spent some time thinking about what you need to do to find new clients.

And you might have even mapped out what prospecting strategies to adopt and how to schedule them into your week.

But somehow the transition from planning your prospecting to getting it DONE hasn’t happened yet.

What you might be missing is a constant, simple visual reminder of the plans you’ve made.

Which is why I recommend to my coaching clients that they write down their prospecting action plan on an index card and post it where they can see it.

The Value of a Simple Index Card

“But I already have this information in a spreadsheet/in my notes/in my head!” you might protest.

That’s fine. You still need to put it down onto an index card.

Why? Because it forces you to condense your plan into an easily absorbable form. And it provides a simple visual reminder you can use to keep yourself on track.

What should that card look like? Here’s an example:

 

 

Title the index card with the timeframe it covers. Generally, I recommend working in quarters because I find that 90 days is a nice chunk of time.

Anyone can wrap their arms around a 90-day window. A year, however, feels like an eternity. It’s too long a time horizon for this kind of planning.

In the left column, write down your baseline prospecting mix. List the three or four strategies you’re starting with.

In the right column, write down your prospecting schedule, indicating what prospecting activity you’ll do on which days.

As you get started with this, begin with smaller, micro-actions of activity of about 30 minutes in length. You want to keep this doable until it becomes a habit.

As you get more experience, you can increase the amount to an hour or two on some days.

By plotting out your time in this way, you’ll be more realistic about the impact to your week’s work capacity.

Once you’ve completed the index card, put it somewhere highly visible, such as your office bulletin board. Or tape it to your monitor.

Need More Prospecting Help?

If in reviewing this index card you realize you need to spend more time developing your prospecting action plan, I encourage you to check out some of the resources on this site.

For example, for more information on micro-actions and plotting out your week, check out my podcast episode #134: Surprisingly Simple (and Effective!) Tips for Getting Your Prospecting Done.

For more on your prospecting options, check out my article, How to Keep Your New Business Momentum Going.