Article by Wendy McCance
The beginning of 2014 was busy for me. With a husband out-of-town for work, I was home juggling 3 kids school schedules and extra-curricular activities on my own. Needless to say, I wasn’t prospecting for new clients as often as I hoped to, I was just too busy.
Once my husband came back home, I dove back into the task of throwing out feelers hoping to get new clients who needed a freelance writer or social media consultant.
As I was throwing out emails and getting back responses, I realized one word that was in the email I was sending out that was actually keeping me from getting more business.
I have a sentence in my email that reads like this: Are you in need of a freelance writer or social media consultant?
My theory was that as I sent out emails to small companies or individuals running their own business (think Realtors for example), these people might need help with their presence on social media. I have gotten a few clients in this manner who want to schedule a few hours of my time so I can show them how to become more relevant on the web.
The problem I was now noticing was that I was alienating myself from any company that had an in-house social media team.
Here’s my theory. I reach out to a company that has writers and people handling social media in-house. If I come across as a “social media consultant,” that one word, consultant will turn off the person I am writing to and an instant “no thanks” will be delivered.
By changing the wording ever so slightly, I had a better chance of gaining assignments from a business that has the staff to handle these assignments. The reason I had a shot is because sometimes there is a surge of activity and a company might need temporary outside help. Another reason is that the company might be in between employees who handle their social media or maybe the company wants to have a social media campaign, but they don’t want to hire another employee because they are trying to keep costs down. I am the temporary solution. I can help them get their feet wet. To test the waters of social media if they are unsure if it is right for them.
I changed that sentence to reflect the fact that I have a social media background, but I wasn’t coming in to tell them what to do.
Here is how the new sentence looked: Are you in need of a freelance writer with social media experience?
That change in wording worked wonders. My ideal clients are PR companies, Marketing groups and Social Media agencies. The reason is that the work can be steady and I enjoy the type of writing I do for these companies.
Once I had changed the sentence, and put out more emails, I got two responses from interested companies fairly quickly. One company wanted to discuss working on a newsletter. The other company is looking for someone to write some blog posts.
When you are in business for yourself, it is important to constantly critique yourself. Think about the response you are receiving when you advertise your services. Review ways to improve upon the how you can gain more interest when you send out inquiries.
I thrive on figuring out creative ways to improve my writing business. It’s exciting to see little tweaks made here and there that show significant results when implemented.
What about you? Do you have your own business? What have you done that has shown immediate results? Are you constantly trying to find ways to improve the way you do business? Leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to hear what your experiences have been like.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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