This is a guest post by Josiah Choy from KickoffLabs. KickoffLabs provides landing page and email marketing solutions.
The hardest part for many freelancers and consultants is generating new business. Most freelancers would rather focus on perfecting their craft than to go out and get new leads. Unfortunately, how good you are doesn’t matter if no one’s heard about you. After all, you only get paid if you make the sale. Take for example, the New York Times bestsellers list – a list of books that sell the best. If it were a list for the best writers, it might be called the best-writer list.
If you’re a freelancer, here are 5 techniques to connect with your customers to generate more business.
Provide Instant Gratification
In the early 1970s, scientists at Stanford conducted a series of experiments around the subject of instant and delayed gratification. A number of children had a marshmallow placed in front of them and were told that if they were able to wait 15 minutes without eating it, they would given a second marshmallow. Well as the experiment came to a conclusion, the statistics showed that about 2/3rds of the children weren’t able to resist long enough to get the second marshmallow!
Well, the point of bringing this up isn’t to highlight a kid’s reasoning or their lack of self-control. Because as we grow up, we do the same thing. The rewards are different, and the payoffs bigger.
As a freelancer, learn about your client’s desire for instant gratification to sway them over.
If you’re trying to increase your newsletter signups, you can give away an ebook that’s automatically emailed once someone gives you their email address.
If you want to increase client referrals, implement a referral tracker system to reward those that help you earn more money. It works even better if you can keep your referrer updated as to which referrees sign up (we’ll share a tool with you in a bit that does just that, too)
Build a relationship with content over time
An easy but often overlooked way to build a relationship is to leverage automated marketing.
“No way!” you might say. “I don’t want to a robot to do my marketing!”.
That’s probably true. But you don’t have to make it look like a robot is doing your marketing. As long as you’re providing good content, you’re doing your readers a favor.
An email drip campaign can help you build relationships by offering high quality content at a regular pace.
Look at the above widget on the Planscope blog – it hooks visitors with instant gratification with a free course and then uses it to build trust over time.
Get them involved
Hold a contest or do a giveaway!
One example of this is to hold a tell-a-friend contest, where the customer who generates the most referrals (paid or trial, that’s up to you) within a designated time period wins a prize. Make the prize relevant to your customers’ interests as well as worth the effort.
You can use many variations of this to keep your clients/potential clients engaged. Another idea along this line may be to provide some free advice on your blog, and reward the person that implements it the most effectively.
Regular personal communication
Regularly communicating with your target market is essential!
At first it seems obvious, but there are many reasons beneath the surface of doing so that will benefit you in the long run.
First, if you have a blog or newsletter, it gives you a foot in the door to get your reader to go from unpaid to paid. This happens in the form of demonstrating expertise and delivering value. Instead of trying to convince your potential lead to sign up at once by piling loads of information, you can slowly spoon-feed it to them.
Second, if you’re always providing advice and being helpful, your readers will always keep you in the back of their head, ready to give you a call if anything comes up.
So keep your site updated on a regular basis with dynamic content. Write blog posts, keep readers updated on what you’re working on, offer tips for your customers, etc. The more alive your site feels the more likely people are to connect with it. This type of regular dynamic content is often missing from many consultants’ websites, so this will also give you extra points when it comes to building social trust.
Third, having a history of blog posts builds up your history and reputation. Clients may be wary of a freelancer that has no visible track record or history. Keeping a history of regular communication helps remove that fear and concern a lot of clients have.
Fourth, supercharge your conversion rate optimization process by segmenting your customers and mailing lists. The most basic way to do this is to differentiate between past customers and potential customers. After all, past customers are qualified and are thus much more likely to buy. Deliver targeted content to each list to cater to their needs and desires and you’ll be rewarded.
Lastly, remember to keep in touch through multiple channels! Some people are on Facebook all the time, while others enjoy watching videos on YouTube. Go to where they are and don’t hesitate to promote yourself!
The final tip is to establish credibility. For many freelancers, this can mean something as simple as a landing page. A landing page helps you develop an online presence and start building leads.
Twenty or thirty years ago….if you had a physical storefront, this would have helped you build credibility.
Now, you want a well-designed landing page or website. Even if your business isn’t internet based, having a web page can help give your potential clients a sense of security and comfort.
A service provider like KickoffLabs helps freelancers create professional landing pages in just minutes without having to learn how to code.
They allow you to capture leads, send automatic emails (instant gratification!) and keep track of referrals. You can even set up emails to go automatically to go to those who refer new business to you! Visit www.kickofflabs.com today for a risk free 30 day trial.
P.S. To learn more about landing pages, check out our free 30 day course at www.landingpages107.com