I recently posted about how I am seriously going after good freelance writing assignments, especially in insurance, asset management / mutual funds, and business.
In my book, Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less, I recommend aiming for 1,000 reach outs (also known as phone calls) in a one-month period.
I know that this is quite a large number and many freelancers won’t set their goal that high. This is perfectly understandable. Anyway, even a small, consistent effort is better than no proactive activity at all.
Not that I’ve never done a 1,000 call campaign. I’ve always hit capacity before that point and slowed my outreach to a more reasonable number that allows me to carry out the assignments I have landed.
So now I’m doing exactly what I recommend that others do. I’m phoning for assignments. (It’s erroneously called “cold calling.”)
I am consistent in my effort but not going all out in daily quantity due to other responsibilities and lifestyle choices.
I make at least one phone call every workday that I am not already scheduled out of the office for every moment of the day. And if I miss a day on which I was somewhat available, I simply start again the next day with at least one call.
I never add in days missed in the past to the upcoming day’s list. It’s too discouraging and demotivates me towards the point of giving up.
Now here’s the problem: Slow and steady wins the race if, like the tortoise, you can hang in there long enough.
But slow and steady postpones success, making it much harder to stay engaged.
The good thing but jumping all in and doing lots of daily marketing activity, such as phone calls or emails, is that positive responses and even actual assignments come in faster. You start having results before you get discouraged.
This time around I have a problem
I find it more difficult to identify people to phone (or otherwise contact) for business assignments than it was years ago.
It used to be that established professional associations had substantial membership lists. Pay your dues and there you were with an instant list including names, titles, and phone numbers.
Now most markets are fragmented. LinkedIn encourages everyone to start his own Group. Many are small, some are poorly managed, and many have more of our competitor service providers than corporate leads. Plus LinkedIn doesn’t uniformly provide phone numbers, email, and such.
MeetUp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have similar problems. We can’t simply pull up a list that is right for us and dig right in.
It takes work to identify and put our initial lead generation ideas into play. No matter how strong our preparation, this element of our marketing will evolve as we test it and improve it.
I am confident that the leads I have generated to date have put me on the right path.
If I had a more aggressive marketing plan in place, it would be more demanding time wise, but it would be easier to maintain a positive attitude.
What about you? How do you maintain momentum in your marketing?
Here’s what I have written about this in the past: