31 Days of Freelancing: First Contact

What I’m listening to: Nothing Like You by Frightened Rabbit

december-5_ink_liDid you have a nice weekend? We were wrapped up in the annual Firebird Festival happenings. A fun time as usual.

Were you able to handle the strategies from yesterday and Saturday? If you haven’t done yesterday’s yet, take five minutes and make your list. Then join us back here when you’re finished.

Since yesterday was about identifying seven prospects (people who might be good client material), today is about what you’re going to do with that short list.


December 5: Contact Seven Prospects

Now you know why you were finding seven people — these are seven people/companies you’re about to create a connection with. Today, take the time you’ve allotted for marketing and use it to reach out to your seven prospects. Here are some ways to consider doing that:

  • Letter of introduction (click to see how to make one)
  • Social media engagement
  • Mailed sales letter/brochure
  • Invitation to meet at a networking event / conference
  • Lunch invitation (if they’re local)
  • Query letter (if it’s an editor)
  • Some other draw to your website or newsletter

Have fun with the contact process. By that I mean show your prospects your creativity. Isn’t that what you’re trying to sell anyway?

So that last point — you could send a quiz teaser that leads to your website, a poll (people love adding their opinions), an interesting article that could be of use to them… you could send them “lumpy mail” that includes a little gift that, by the fact that it’s lumpy, compels them to open your letter.

You could mention an upcoming event you’ll be attending and ask if they’re going. (Even if they’re not, you’ll be showing that you’re engaged in the industry and it will start a larger conversation, possibly leading to a phone call.)

That’s it. So for today, reach out. We’ll cover following up later.

Writers, what creative ways have you reached out to clients? How did they respond?

What one way of contacting prospects have you been itching to try?

About the author




  • Joy Drohan December 5, 2016 at 9:57 am

    My specialty is environmental science, so I like to make new contacts at hikes and other events sponsored by the Audubon Society, the local watershed protection group, etc. I made some of the most important and long-lasting contacts of my career this way. I’ve also made contacts volunteering for this type of organization. Makes me feel good and may help me meet people in the field who can hire me–a win-win!

    • lwidmer December 5, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Joy, that’s a great transition! And anyone can see (once you pointed it out) the connection between your specialty and your new areas of concentration. It’s a great use of your skills, in my opinion. And it sounds like rewarding work.