This is the first update in the April 2021 challenge to find new clients.
A quick recap of the challenge
The challenge is intended to help you find clients whether on Upwork or via emailing businesses. As a part of the challenge, you get to choose what you prefer and commit to contacting a number of businesses each day for the month.
How many you choose is up to you. The goal is not to send the most but to make sure you can complete your goal.
Let’s dive into my first update of the challenge.
A quick recap of my own example
Things didn’t go as planned but that makes it more fun because this becomes a more real example since things might not exactly go as planned for all of us from time to time.
First of all, I had forgotten that it is Easter, so many businesses and teams might be off work for a while.
I had also done some research on a new type of client in advance but as I was working through the insights, I realized that they weren’t a good fit for me. That happens sometimes and I’ve found that it is ironically much easier to research upfront and tweak things than to continue and try to brute force it when it isn’t a good fit.
As a change, I decided to dive deeper into the cybersecurity industry to see if that might make sense. Instead of diving right into pitching them, I sent out fifty research emails, and hopefully, I get to ask a few questions to some of the experts that I can then use to land clients in the same industry later on.
I’ve found that busy people often don’t respond right away and many responses tend to come from the follow-ups that I send after one and two weeks. I’ve often felt that follow-ups are the most difficult to send because I’m asking for something and don’t want to come across as annoying but to my surprise, I’ve often gotten responses thanking me for following up.
So for now, it’s a waiting game. Since I’m targeting CEOs, I might discover that they are simply too busy to answer my questions since I’m going after established businesses, many with large teams.
So the result might be none or just a few responses, which is part of the game since I don’t know this industry too well yet. The first thing I might learn is that I should speak with the teams working in marketing, growth, and/or demand generation.
Anyway, I’m not going to sit around and wait since I know it can feel demotivating if I don’t get too many responses, so to avoid that I’ll continue pitching another fifty leads next week as well. That way I might get some love that can motivate me to pitch more. Although, I might have to pause that if the first batch begins to respond since it makes sense to prioritize them because of their interest.
There is a quote floating around the internet, supposedly said by Abraham Lincoln, that if he had six hours to chop down a tree, he’d spend the first four sharpening his ax.
Whether he really said that is unclear but the idea itself holds true. I’ve found the research bit to be as important as making or breaking the pitches coming after because it usually helps me find insights I can use to impress clients or pivot my idea into something even better.
That’s all for this week — I’ll update you again next week.
If you have any questions about the challenge or just want to send an update/share your experience, feel free to comment below or send me an email.