Getting clients is one of the biggest challenges for a freelancer. Unfortunately, 75% of freelancers can’t find new work immediately. That’s a problem if you don’t have much money set aside in the bank. Even if you are lucky enough to have savings, you still need new clients to sustain your business.
There are approaches you can take to find new clients for your business. This guide will discuss how to run an email outreach campaign that will help you secure new clients. With that in mind, here are five tips for effective email outreach.
The starting point for any type of sales or marketing campaign is defining your target audience. If you’ve been running a freelancing business for a few years, it should be relatively easy to create a customer persona. You already have information about previous and existing clients.
Use the data you have available to construct your customer persona. I recommend creating a customer persona that represents your best type of customer. You know, the customer who pays you the most money for your services and is the least hassle to deal with. You want more of these types of customers, so you should target these businesses through your outreach.
The customer persona will include a mixture of demographic information about your ideal client, interests, and pain points. If you’re a freelancer working with businesses, you also want to gather information about your ideal client company. The type of information you’ll want to gather includes company size, revenue, sector, etc.
Your goal should be to create something that looks a bit like the image above.
The customer persona will help you understand the type of business or person you want to contact. Having a clear idea of who you want to contact will help you build a list of suitable companies where you can pitch your service.
Whether you’re targeting small businesses or large companies, there’s someone (or a group of people) who makes decisions about hiring or freelance arrangements. These are the people you need to reach out to if you are to have a shot at landing a job.
To find these gatekeepers, you’ll need to do a bit of research. Going to the company’s LinkedIn page will allow you to look at the list of people working there, along with their titles. For example, if you’re looking for someone in the marketing department, you can use the search term “marketing” to bring up everyone in the company who’s involved in that field.
You can end the search right there and message the prospect through LinkedIn, but it’s not going to be as effective as an email. Many users post their email addresses on their profiles, but for those who don’t, you can use an email finder to get their work email addresses, phone numbers, and social media details.
If you want to convince your prospects to hire you as a freelancer, you’ll need to send them an email designed to generate a response. The decision-makers you’re reaching out to have tight schedules and don’t want to waste time reading emails that are either vague or poorly written. Your emails should stand out from the rest of your recipients’ inboxes.
Here are a few things you need to consider as you draft freelancer outreach emails:
Here’s a sample outreach email used by a freelancer who mailed Inc. 5,000 companies with an inquiry. It’s a nice template that is direct and to the point.
The email above is succinct. In a few sentences, the person introduces themselves, explains how they can provide value, and offers a way to take the conversation forward and arrange a meeting. Try to create a similar template for your freelancer email outreach campaign.
Before launching your campaign, read your email thoroughly and check for grammatical errors like singular vs. plural nouns. Poor wording can drop your credibility.
Nothing beats email marketing for sheer reach. Email is an important communication channel. Approximately 58% of people say that the first thing they do as they start their day is to check their email inboxes.
While email is a great communication channel, it’s all too easy for your message to get lost in a busy inbox. That’s one of the major problems of email outreach.
Effective digital marketing involves engaging with people across multiple touchpoints. Using more than one communication channel will help improve your response rates.
The more people who respond to your outreach, the more likely you will land a new client.
There are various marketing channels you can use in conjunction with email outreach to contact clients. The best channel is arguably cold calling. However, if you feel uncomfortable directly pitching on the phone, you could use social media. LinkedIn is going to be the best marketing channel for most freelancers.
Not all recipients will get to read your email the first time. It’s something that you just have to accept as you learn how to do email marketing. It’s also the reason you should send some follow-up messages to try and get the person to respond to your inquiry.
At this point, I’d like to emphasize that following up on an email doesn’t mean sending them a “good morning” message every day or messaging them, “I know you’ve opened my email – you just don’t want to message me back”. You wouldn’t want to be known as that freelancer who sends annoying messages.
Instead, your follow-up emails should take a slightly different angle from the first message. For example, if you used an email similar to the one above for your initial outreach, you might share an example of the type of content you’ve produced in the second message.
Then, you could send a final follow-up email to check if they want to arrange a meeting.
Sending a series of messages will help improve your response rate. Don’t send too many messages, though. There’s a fine line between being persistent and being annoying.
As a freelancer, it’s always challenging to get work from clients. Proper email outreach helps you to do that. First, create a customer persona to know the type of companies you want to work with. Once you’ve done this, build out your list of prospects.
The next stage in the outreach process involves identifying the right person to contact. It’s pretty easy to identify the right recipient as long as you use LinkedIn and an email finder.
However, it’s more challenging to write an email that they will want to open and respond to. Using a personalized subject line will increase your email open rates. Finally, while email is effective, it’s best used in conjunction with other communication channels, like social media.
These tips are by no means the only ones you need to know. However, mastering these methods will help you upgrade your email outreach strategy dramatically, resulting in more clients for your freelance business.
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