I’ve talked many times about the importance of prospecting for new clients to keep your pipeline full.
It’s all part of a broader strategy to grow your business and land progressively better (and better-paying) clients.
Because there’s nothing like a full pipeline to give you the confidence you need to bump up your prices or let go of clients that are challenging to work with.
But all this begs the question… where to do you find prospects to target?
In this article, I describe the three steps for finding new clients and keeping your pipeline full.
Conduct a “brain dump”
Start by doing an initial “brain dump” of people to approach. Use this to compile your initial list.
Be sure to include:
- Current and previous employers
- Previous employers’ competitors
- Past prospects
- Prospects you’ve always wanted to approach
- Prospects in your network.
You should also check out:
- Analyst reviews
- Company rankings.
Once you’ve exhausted this list, you can move on to scouring publications and using LinkedIn as a feeder (and do these simultaneously).
Subscribe to business, industry and trade publications for the target markets you want to go after. (Get on their email lists and scour the online version of their publications. You don’t need to subscribe to print versions.)
Look at articles and advertising for ideas on businesses and organizations to target.
Once you’ve identified a few, find the names of people to target within those organizations on LinkedIn (as described below).
Use LinkedIn as a feeder
LinkedIn is a great prospecting tool. It contains a wealth of information about prospects and gives you multiple ways to search for them.
It also allows you to save your searches and have matches emailed to you every week.
Start by creating a search. Give it a name and save it. Then, periodically run the search and scan the results (or scan the results that LinkedIn emails to you).
When you find someone who looks promising, Google search the prospect’s company name and take a closer look. Is the company a good fit? Would you want to work with them?
If yes, return to the prospect and find the list of LinkedIn members who currently work for the same company.
Decide who are the best people to reach out to (pick two). To help you decide, check their LinkedIn profile, read their endorsements and check their Twitter handles for clues.
Once you’ve settled on whom to reach out to, hunt down their email addresses using Google or another tool.
Titles to look for:
- Product Marketing
- Marcom Manager
- Marketing Communications
- Technical Marketing Manager (for medical devices, healthcare)
- Director of Marketing and Business Development (in a small company)
Titles to avoid:
- Marketing Specialists (too low in the hierarchy)
- Marketing Operations (processes, analyses)
- Digital Marketing (online advertising, reporting)
- Field Marketing (in-person sales/account management)
- Marketing Automation (email management and reporting)
- Director of Marketing Analysis (reports, ROI)
- Director of Worldwide Marketing Communications (probably handles PR)
Prospects Are Everywhere — You Just Have to Look
Once you get started down these roads, you’ll find that prospects are everywhere.
Indeed, you’re more likely to be overwhelmed with possibilities than a lack of options.
However, if you do have problems, your next step would be to look at adjacent markets.
By the way… whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:
1. Grab a copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers.
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2. Download a free copy of my book for writers who are NEW TO FREELANCING.
I’ll show you the 3 things you need to do to get your business off the ground safely and land your first paying client faster. — Click Here
3. Join my implementation program and be a case study.
I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’d like to work with me to grow your income quickly with better clients (and become one of my new success stories) … just hit reply and put “Case Study” in the subject line.
4. Work with me privately.
If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Just hit reply, put “Breakthrough” in the subject line, and I’ll back to you with more details.