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Quick question for you. What are your thoughts on following up on unresponsive prospects via email? Usually I quit after two emails, but I’m thinking that may be too soon.
These are people I’ve contacted regarding getting freelance copywriting work. I want them to remember me but not as an annoying vendor.
Also, do you think it’s a good idea to reach out directly on LinkedIn to leads for initial contact or follow up?
How to follow-up is a question that every freelance copywriter trying to get new clients and assignments wrestles with. I think it’s a good idea to stay in touch with unresponsive prospects via email. After all, if they haven’t yet hired you, you have nothing to lose. But find ways to write the clients without putting them on the spot.
For example, send a link to an article that seems relevant to the prospect. It shows them you’re thoughtful and delightfully not-pushy. Always include a note saying something like, “Hey Marge, happened to come across this article on marketing to the aviation industry and thought you might find it of interest. Have a great day!” – Brad.
Another way to stay in touch is to connect with the person on LinkedIn as you suggested. But messaging feels a bit intrusive. I get hit on by vendors on LinkedIn all the time, and I don’t like it. Because it’s a personalized message, even though they’re probably writing the exact same thing to 100 other prospects, I feel obligated to respond.
It’s better if you can be more casual by liking and commenting on their posts. Or, you can do your own posts and know that you’re showing up in their feeds, reminding them you exist and also impressing them with your insights.
Here’s another idea. Reach out after an article, blog post or website you’ve written gets published. Send the prospect a note that says, “Hey John, I just completed the copy for this website. Let me know if you’d like me to provide a quote on any of your copy needs.”
Or, “Hey John, I just published a new post on my blog. This one’s about ______. Thought you might find it of interest. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help out on your blog.”
You get the idea. Staying in touch is worth it, especially if you can systemize it into a process that takes minimal time. As I said, you’ve got nothing to lose and one day, hopefully, the client will be ready to pull the trigger.
Just tonight I had a client from Los Angeles contact me. He had called me over six months ago to quote on rewriting his entire website, a nice-sized project. I quoted and never heard from him again. I dropped him a couple emails but never heard back. I forgot about him, to tell you the truth. But he didn’t forget about me.
Today, for whatever reason, he decided he was finally ready to take action and gave me the contract to rewrite his site. Called me up like we’d spoken just yesterday. I have to believe the impression I made initially, coupled with a few follow-ups, was enough to keep me in mind so that when he was finally ready to buy, he reached out.
One last thought. Don’t limit your follow-ups for copywriting work to prospects. Stay in touch with old clients too. You’ve already got a relationship with them, and presumably they know and like your work. Ping them every now and then in the ways mentioned above to remind them you exist. That way, when they do have a copywriting project ,they don’t go searching; they just call you.
Hope that helps.
Susan Greene, Freelance Copywriter