This is the second update in the April 2021 challenge to find new clients.
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 second update of the challenge.
My own progress
As a quick refresher from the last update, my outreach got caught in the middle of Easter, so many of the prospects are probably taking time off with family or coming back from the holidays and going through their overloaded inbox.
The first fifty I emailed as part of my basic research last week were CEOs and I’ve come to realize that they might simply be too busy to help me. I’ll be following up with them a few times, so we’ll see what comes in over the coming weeks.
This week I’m progressing nicely with another 50 contacted. It’s way more than I planned for but necessary since I chose to make this experiment a little harder than it had to be by changing the type of client and industry I go after.
I initially wanted to continue working with businesses in the language learning space but decided to go after a new market to better showcase this process and some of the bottlenecks that are often not talked about. Instead, I reached out to businesses in the online sports and fitness space to learn about their challenges, thinking they might be a good fit.
After speaking with a bunch of them, I noticed red flags like they weren’t looking to grow but rather maintain the status quo. That makes it difficult to do a good job as a marketer since my job is to bring revenue and sales.
Surely, there is a subset of that market that would be a great fit and that’s why I’ve come to like researching upfront before pitching, even though it is extra work. The insights I’ve gained make pitching much easier since I know exactly what the leads’ challenges are, and so I can prepare something that I know will be attractive to them.
Usually, our first idea isn’t that great but by researching and tweaking it based on the insights, we can find the perfect type of client. That means earning more money because our services are a better fit for the client and it is easier for them to see why.
To give you an example, the success I’ve seen in the language learning industry didn’t come overnight. I made the mistake of pitching anyone in the space at first. It took me several iterations to figure out that within that market there are a number of businesses that are not relevant.
The industry is full of businesses that are stuck at the first stage creating the right product and they are not able to afford my services because they don’t have many customers. It doesn’t make sense for them to invest in an outside marketer to help. It’s too early for their business.
Then there are all the tech startups in the same space. Most of them have great ideas but are in the same situation as above. It’s just a part of the game.
Ultimately, those insights lead me to find this small subset of businesses that were the perfect fit and the results were great in terms of earnings and workload. I would’ve never figured that out had I not continued to learn and tweak. For each iteration, things got better and better.
Anyway, back to this week’s update. Since I’m thinking that the CEOs and founders I’ve reached out to might not have the time to talk, I’ve pivoted to contact another fifty people but this time it’s the chief marketing offers (CMOs), VP of marketing, and other marketing heads within the cybersecurity industry.
In my research, I’ve also found that there are several industry-specific marketing agencies and freelancers. That is a great sign because it means there is demand. We can always find a way to stand out as long as there is demand but if there isn’t, there is no reason to stand out in the first place.
What I plan to do for the next week until the next update
I have to admit, it is refreshing to enter an entirely new industry and learn its nuances from scratch. I know that my skills are strong and so I can put together an excellent service for clients when I understand the quirks of what makes these businesses tick.
Besides following up on the batches of leads from the first two weeks, I plan to reach out to fifty leads more but I’ll have to think about who, if not CEOs or CMOs.
Another alternative is that I might reach out to marketing agencies and freelancers in the industry to see if they would be interested in collaborating.
By the way, the latter can be a good trick if you are new to freelancing since agencies might have too much work and need an extra hand meeting deadlines on client projects.
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.