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Multipurpose your freelance and consulting marketing

It’s well known that when we write content for a business with an internet presence, we should aim to multipurpose our work.

What is multipurposing?

This means that if we write an article, it can be posted to our website and our blog and our newsletter. It can become the core of a signature speech or part of a giveaway report or compiled into a for-sale information product. It can be made into an MP3 and a video for posting on multiple sites.

It can be posted to a LinkedIn group or a Yahoo group or Facebook and can be publicized via Tweets on Twitter.

And these ideas are just starters.

To an extent, the same approach works in using our prospect research to go after freelance and consulting assignments.

To step back for a moment, I don’t favor lots of preparatory research before contacting people and companies I’d like to work with. This research generally should come later in the game.

Assessing needs is a thoughtful, time-consuming process that is better handled in the preparation of a requested proposal. In some cases, needs assessment is the assignment itself and is done for pay.

Nor do prospects who do not yet have any relationship with you appreciate all this work. If you introduce yourself by listing what’s wrong with their company and why they need your help, they may be offended. And if you do not have their cooperation in this assessment, you may simply be wrong except for surface-y cosmetic issues.

Simply finding companies and individuals to contact can require substantial effort and sometimes even a financial investment.

So why not multipurpose the contact?

Some people prefer using only email because there’s no sense of “rejection” when the recipient deletes. It feels nice and sanitary.

However, if you’ve gone to the effort to obtain contact info and perhaps do other research as well, it only makes sense to communicate with prospects through multiple channels.

I start with a phone call. And if they don’t answer, I always leave a complete message.

Then I send an email. The email comes second because if I talk to them, I tailor the follow-up email to their interests.

I can’t fathom why someone would send an email without phoning as well if you have contact info for both.

If I made a lot of effort—which I generally don’t—I would also ask for a meeting in their office if that makes sense. I would consider postal mailing them a letter and perhaps even FedExing if they merit the expenditure.

Maybe I would even email or mail them relevant work samples of my own or articles by others that are of interest. But they had better really be of interest, seeing that most of us feel overwhelmed by the junk that is coming our way.

And then I would schedule a few follow-up calls on my calendar within the next few weeks, always accompanied by emails at the same time.

I never skip the phoning step if I have the number. I select the people I contact with care so they are worth the small additional effort this involves.

Originally posted 6-15-11

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