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In this episode of Sound Design Live, I’m joined by the world leader in marketing education for freelancers and consultants, Kai Davis. We discuss the biggest mistakes new freelancers make, how to start your first outreach campaign, a simple process to conduct market research, and the Outreach Blueprint.
The most impactful marketing tool is repeated direct personal contact.
- All music in this episode by The Riot Professor.
- Two of the best decisions Davis made to get more of the work he really loves:
- Being clear with himself about who his ideal client is (industry, field, problem, solution).
- Being ruthless about letting go of projects that are not a good fit.
- Biggest freelancer mistake: You are undifferentiated from your competitors.
- You need to specialize. “I have 5 years of experience solving this issue.” This will help make the value clear for your clients. Can you narrow the market so that you are one of the top service providers just by shrinking the pool of people you are marketing to? Try to specialize until it feels a little uncomfortable. You can always adjust from there. When we reach that level of specialization, ideas start coming to us. You’ll know when you are starting to have the right positioning when someone responds positively with understanding and action ideas.
- Outreach: Any mode of communication that helps us stimulate a conversation and build a relationship with a prospect or a past client or referral source in our target market. Alert them that you are available and here to help.
- For the price of lunch you can set up a market research interview with someone who is in charge of hiring people exactly like you.
- Can I take you out for lunch or coffee near your office and just learn more about the events you’re producing?
- What sort of events are coming up over the next 6 months?
- What technologies or equipment are you looking for people to specialize in?
- Where do you hire consultants? Where do you need help coming up?
- Now you’ll be able to reach out and continue that conversation in the future.
- Steps you can take now
- Make a list – Start small so you can experiment in a confined area. Past clients, colleagues, and industry contacts.
- Use a schedule – When will you reach out?
- Plan what you will say – Assume that people will not respond to your first email. What will you say in your second, third, and fourth email?
- Repeat. Change the list of people.
- Email humans to start conversations with them about their business, their pains, and their problems.
- Outreach to maintain your relationships doesn’t have to be hard. You need a list of people, a schedule, and to know what to say.
- I discovered Seth Godin’s blog and read the entire archive twice.
- Every time I become more clear on who my ideal client is, I’m able to get more of the work that I really love.
- Clean your client list and over time you are able to move from where you are today to where you want to be in the future.
- Just by having that metaphorical shingle out there that says, “I work with this specific kind of client to get the best results,” people would start approaching me and I would start getting more referrals.
- The people who emailed me once and never followed up, that signals to me that this isn’t really a priority on their side.
- If someone isn’t responding, it’s not because they hate me. It’s because they are busy. So let me find a way to follow up that finds value.
- Continue following up until you get a yes or a no. Otherwise, we don’t have any data with which to move forward. No response is not a no.
- If it’s a coin flip, what are ways I can use a weighted coin? What are things we can do to maximize our luck surface area?
- Asking for the No lets us get to the objection. Once we understand that objection we can refine our marketing to better address it.
- I credit a large majority of my success over the last four years to mastermind groups that I have joined.
- Working with a business coach is an incredibly valuable experience to help you set goals, understand what you want to achieve, and move towards that as a destination.
- Nobody accomplished it on their own. The truth is, everyone is a little bit broken and that’s ok.