Phoning, like any other marketing for freelance assignments, requires large numbers. 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.
On May 23 I launched a new marketing campaign for my freelance writing services. I am testing how prospecting phone calls are received now that nuisance phone calls are so commonplace. I’m finding that by my criteria, phoning works just fine.
In creative fields such as writing and graphic design, it is quite possible that the people we freelancers are calling for assignments are introverts, just as we freelancers are quite likely to be introverted. This has implications in how we phone prospects for freelance work.
Eight ways to improve your phoning for freelance assignments
Today it’s rare for a writer to get a rejection. An actual rejection, whether by email or the rarer postal letter, is so unusual as to be taken for encouragement. Wow, someone cared enough to reject me actively!
Live phone conversations are the way to go in 2016. Email lists are likely to fail.
In an initial marketing conversation, you want to get the other person to talk about themselves, especially their business and their business problems. You are using their talking to learn what they are doing, to see if there is an interface between the problems they face and the problems you solve, and to hear the language they use to frame these problems.
The big trend in marketing is toward relationship marketing. And to me, the best way to initiate a two-way relationship is to pick up the phone and call someone likely to purchase my services. Why not start a conversation? As a freelance writer specializing in the insurance industry, I have found that phoning is an authentic way to connect with those who may need my work.
Cultivating a request for information into an actual paying assignment requires time and effort. Before you take the time to write up a full proposal—or even give a price for a specific assignment—make sure they are worth the work by qualifying the prospect.
Phoning to drum up assignments is only “cold calling” when we phone people who have no relationship with us whatsoever and no need for our services. Only a dummy would phone someone who is highly unlikely to use his freelance or consulting services.