Getting new clients is a large part of maintaining a successful freelance writing business, and one way writers can do that is by making cold calls.
A cold call is simply a contact made to a business that the writer has not contacted before. It can be difficult to make cold calling work, but when it pays off, the writer will have a genuine writing lead.
Here are some tips on how to make cold calls work.
Freelance Writers Should Research an Organization Before Approaching Them for Work
Today, it’s easier than ever to find out more about an organization. Writers should read the company’s website, view Twitter or Facebook accounts, and look up any news items that could be related to the organization. All of these things will help writers get a feel for the company culture, on-staff writers, and potential need for freelancers.
How to Find the Right Person to Contact at a Company
Writers should find the right person at an organization in which to propose freelance work. Often this is a channel or direct manager rather than someone in the Human Resources Department. Typical contacts are in marketing, research, or project management. For smaller companies, writers can call the company and simply ask who they might speak with regarding writing work.
Sending Letters of Introduction
Before making a call, writers may want to send a letter of introduction. Again, finding the right person is the key to making this step successful. Writers should never send a general letter as it will probably end up with the wrong person or even get thrown away.
A letter of introduction can make cold calling easier, as it will help warm up the potential client for a pitch from the writer. Writers should include their related experience in the letter, and list potential ways for the organization to benefit from the writer’s services. After a letter of introduction is sent or emailed, the writer can then use it as an opening line when calling a client.
A typical call may start out by asking if the client received the letter, then proceed to give a few more details on some of the work the writer highlighted in the note. This way the person has the writers information in front of them (or at least received it before the call) and it can make the conversation a bit friendlier than with a call followed up a letter.
Writers Should Close the Call by Asking for an Assignment or Offering to Follow Up Again
Writers may need to make several sales calls before they get even one positive response. However, cold calling is still a good way to get potential new clients. They work because the call adds a personal touch that is missing by a letter or email alone. People like working with someone they have talked to and feel they know a bit, as opposed to a faceless resume.
A great way to end a cold call is by asking for work. If the client says no, a follow up call may still net future work. When calling a client, writers should talk about how their experience can benefit the organization. For example, hiring freelance writers can save a company vacation or hiring costs or give them an immediate expert on a certain subject. The more cold calls a writer makes, the easier the process becomes.