Robert’s dream job coming out of art school was to join an agency, but once there he realized he didn’t have the freedom he had hoped for. So, he decided to go out on his own. Freelancing gave him that freedom, but it took him years of trial and error to reliably find clients.

After overcoming those struggles, he realized that he could help other freelancers and agency owners with client acquisition, so he started his lead gen service, Workshop.

In today’s talk, Robert lays out how you can recreate his service and find a steady stream of leads, and also how to write email to client that actually get read AND get your agency hired.

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Key Takeaways

Clients don’t care about your portfolio [3:30 – 7:45]

Sure, clients want to know that you are capable of getting the job done and that you have worked for other clients like them, but if you need clients today, working on your portfolio isn’t going to help. When you need work, you need to focus on the things that actually get you in front of potential clients. Working on your portfolio, updating your website, writing a new blog post, none of that is bad, but it won’t get you fast results. The only way to do that is to talk to prospects.

The fastest way to gain clients is not by working on your portfolio or writing a blog post, but by talking to prospects Click To Tweet

Don’t wait until you need work to start looking [7:45 – 13:00]

Robert’s service Workshop gives agency owners a steady stream of leads so they can spend their time on more profitable tasks in their business. One mistake he sees them make over and over again is that once they get busy, they cancel their plan and stop trying to close new work. At first, that makes sense, but this is one of the main reasons that so many agencies go through the feast or famine cycle.

Start looking for new clients before you need them. Click To Tweet

Once you have enough work to be busy, it’s the perfect time to start looking for more work because you have the privilege of being able to say no. This lets you fill out your pipeline months into the future and lets you do so with projects you actually want to work on. Don’t want until your projects dry up to start looking for the next one. Instead, build prospecting into your process and do it all the time

Write to an audience of one [13:00 – 24:00]

If prospecting is a numbers game, then that number is one. If you want to get real results for your business, you can’t just spam out the same message to everybody you contact. Business owners get 100s of those emails every day and they all end up right in the trash. If you want your cold emails to stand out, you need to do your research and then demonstrate to your prospect that you’ve done that research.

Here are 3 important tips for writing emails that win you clients:

  • Your subject line needs to prove that you know about your prospect and you aren’t spam
  • It takes more than 1 sentence to connect with somebody, but nobody wants to read an encyclopedia
  • Don’t give your prospect more work! Make it clear what the next step is

Don’t quit after just one email [24:00 – 33:00]

This is a topic that has been brought up time and again by guests on this podcast. This should underscore just how important persistence is when sending cold emails.

How many emails do you get a day? How busy are you just trying to do your job? Every person you contact has a job they have to do as well, and they are just as bombarded with emails as you are. Things fall through the cracks. If you don’t get a response from your email (and you followed the tips to actually write good emails) then it doesn’t mean the prospect hates you, it probably means they just got busy.

If a prospect has shown any interest at all in the services you offer, you need to be persistent and keep following up until they say “No.” Don’t waste all of the research you did leading up to that email by not following up.

Want to learn more?

If you see the value of having (and replying to) a steady stream of prospects and want to check out Robert’s service, just head over to LetsWorkshop.com. If you don’t have the budget and have the extra time, then Robert went so far as to give you the step-by-step process for recreating his service which you can find in his article, What I’ve learned from finding hundreds of clients….

Resources Mentioned

Books:

Design Is a Job by Mike Monteiro
Double Your Freelancing Rate by Brennan Dunn
Emails That Win You Clients by Robert Williams

Tools:

Close.io
Boomerang
Drip
Basecamp
Slack

Thanks for listening!

What is your prospecting process like? Do you follow it day in and day out, regardless of what your client load looks like? Share your results in the comments below.