I recently came to the conclusion that if I’m going to succeed as a full-time freelancer, I cannot limit myself to freelance job boards or just sending out resumes alone. I will need to employ other strategies and one of them is cold calling. Freelancers benefit from cold calling and while it might seem intimidating at first, with some helpful strategies you can succeed at it.
One thing you should do is research the companies you want to have regular contracts with. Sign up to be on their mailing list and read any blog posts on their website. This gives you an idea of the services they specialize in and which needs are not being met that you can fill. Once you do this, you can prepare your pitch.
You can also use social media but don’t become too dependent on these networks in cold calling. If you’re using LinkedIn, search for target groups that match the kind of services you wish to offer. For example, if you’re a parenting writer, you would seek out groups on LinkedIn who are editors or publishers of parenting and family magazines. Another idea is to visit the websites of certain industries that you are familiar with and have experience in.
Since you can learn from other freelancers, it would be a good idea to develop professional friendships with others in your field. Join local freelance support groups and get the members’ names, addresses and phone numbers. Talk with them on a regular basis and get advice on cold calling in order to boost your client base.
Your pitch to potential clients should be simple and straightforward. Include a link to your portfolio of past work you’ve done so that the potential client can see it for himself. Talk about what you specialize in and the rates you charge per hour or per project. Then request a meeting from the potential client and the times you are available for the meeting.
Once you landed some good leads, you need to follow up. If they request some materials, send it to them quickly. If they want to meet with you on a certain date and time, make room in your schedule for them. When you follow up, you increase chances of getting permanent clients. Even if certain persons do not accept your services, continue to be persistent but not desperate to land them as clients.
These strategies can assist you in making successful cold calls to gain clients long term.