Enlist Your Family and Friends
Last week we published 101 Ideas to Get More Freelance Work and Generate New Client Leads, and promised that we’d cover every single tip in detail. So without further ado, here is our first tip for how to get more leads:
Enlist your family and friends to spread the word about your services…
Most people will contact their friends and family when they first dive into freelancing, but it’s easy to forget what an incredible resource they can be. It is rare to come across a client who will be dying to talk about your skill and talent to those they know, and yet most of us have a ready-made team that will talk you up despite themselves. I’m talking about your family and friends.
Now I’m not suggesting that you do the hard sell on your Great-Aunt Moira, but instead simply make it easy for your family and friends to spread the word about you (even if they’re not really sure what it is you do). I found when I started freelancing that supportive friends and family offered to mention me to anyone who might be interested. What held them back was not knowing how to describe what I did or it being a bit of an effort on their part. So I did a bit of work that made it easy for them to promote me.
I’ll remind you again that I don’t think you should harass everyone in your address book and expect them to find you leads (or worse, give you work). Instead, help those friends and family who have expressed enthusiasm and support of your freelancing career. For these lovely individuals, you can consider doing the following to make it easy for them to support you:
- Create a warm and professional email and send it out. Your email should list what you do, your contact details and look great. I found a celebratory announcement rather than a hard sell worked best, and you’ll feel comfortable sending it to a broader range of people in this case. Then, if your sister-in-law knows someone who might be interested in your services, all she need do is press that forward button.
Make a stack of business cards and give them to any close friend or relative that want to spread the word. Don’t give them one – give them fifty. The worst case scenario is you may find your grandma has given all of hers out at her bridge club meeting (“look what Terry can do on the computer – he’s a real catch you know”). But you really can’t lose because you never know where those cards will end up or who might just happen to need your services. Of course the best case scenario is that your best friend just happens to be talking to someone in a big company who needs your service. And the great news is that you’ve just made it mighty easy for her to give them your contact info.
- If they do find you a lead – be really grateful. Buy them flowers, take them out to dinner or just gush a little if you’re broke. They went out on a limb for you and they deserve a little praise and attention in return. Not only will they be more likely to try to find you work again in future, but it’s a good excuse to thank the people that truly support you.
Watch out for the next installment of our New Leads series: Emailing to Source New Leads.