When No One's Calling

Bull's Eye. Really. Multiple times.
Image by merylk via Flickr

Lori Widmer of Words on the Page tells the story of running into a fellow freelancer and playing catch up. The freelancer reported an empty client pot and that “no one’s calling.” I’d love to know how many businesses thrive by sitting back and expecting everyone to come rushing in to hire the business.
Waiting for Clients
If I waited for people to call, I’d be in her situation, too. Marketing isn’t a passive activity or one that we do when we have more time on our hands. Successful freelancers make marketing part of the job. Picturing cold calls? Cold calls work well for many freelancers while others don’t touch that. Networking without Walls or Boundaries lists a few ways to do marketing and they work for me.
Wondering why I have a picture of my son doing archery? Marketing is like archery. If you don’t do it at all, you have no chance of landing anything. If you shoot 10 arrows without aiming, at least one is bound to hit the target. It may not be the bull’s eye, but it’s something. Don’t just sit there, do marketing.
Finding the Right Marketing Activities
Maybe you feel overwhelmed by the many options we have available to us for networking and marketing. Start with one thing. Ignore the rest. Just pick one. Don’t make yourself crazy. Need some ideas? Here are 40+ Easy Marketing Activities for Freelancers.
After you find two or three activities that work for you, then proceed with the next step on How to Manage Your Time with Social Networks.
I’m busier now than two years ago. I used to do book and game reviews all the time. Now, I hardly do them because I have more writing and other work to do. That’s on top of managing my family of five (and doing all the appointments), exercising daily for at least one hour and getting my seven to eight hours of sleep. In spite of this, marketing remains a consistent part of my job.
In writing for several business newsletters, one message keeps repeating itself. When a business needs to cut back on spending, successful ones never cut the budget or time spent on marketing. Those that do eventually lose momentum that by the time things improve, they’re behind their competitors who kept on marketing.
How do you make marketing part of your work? What activities do you do?

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6 thoughts on “When No One's Calling”

  1. Hi Meryl,
    Passivity killed the business, that’s for sure. I try not to be sales, sales, sales every time I talk to someone but I do some things to let folks know that I’m available for work. The key is to find the balance between informing folks and driving them away with in your face sales tactics.
    A hard balance to achieve.
    George

    Reply
  2. @George, you make an important point that I overlooked. I believe that when you focus on getting to know people and building relationships, the opportunities will come without sounding like a sales person — something I never do (at least, I hope not).

    Reply
  3. I try to get out to events and spend time with people face-to-face. As much as we connect online, I still think it’s very important to connect in-person because those types of connections solidify relationships.
    The, the rest is in the follow up. What are you doing to follow up with the connections you’ve made? Often times I’ll jump on the phone and give someone a tour/demo of how I like to work and I ask them if they have any need for my services. It’s not a cold call. We’re past that point since we’ve already met.
    All of that to say that I agree that you can’t just sit there and wait for things to happen. You have to make them happen!

    Reply
  4. @Anne, thank you and my pleasure!
    @Ricardo, not all of us have local clients. Only one client I have is local and we met through a mutual friend who lives out of state. You’re absolutely right that it’s not a cold call once you connect.

    Reply

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