During a coaching session I was asked how to properly ask someone for a phone conversation.
The context of this question was that this person wanted to reach out to specific people in larger organizations in order to simply have a phone conversation with them, not necessarily to sell to them, but for research.
This is cold outreach and lets be honest with ourselves here and just call it like it is, it’s spam. It’s unsolicited communication, even if it can add value to the recipient by making it you focused.
In the post-GDPR and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation era, we live in us, as businesses we have to adjust and be respectful of a recipient’s privacy that a lot of businesses hadn’t in the past.
With that in mind, nothing really has changed other than shortcuts that businesses used to essentially carpet bomb an email list with a broadcast is now closed off.
By now, you’ve heard that when performing outreach of any kind, you should be doing it in a way that makes the recipient feel like it is a direct email to them specifically, even if it’s not.
Avichal Garg, the Managing Partner at Electrical Capital and an Expert at Y Combinator, posted a thread on Twitter on this very topic.
As someone who essentially gets asked many many many times a day for things, it’s refreshing to see his input on how to do it.
I wanted to share a couple of points from his 10 that I find interesting.
Letting the recipient know who you are and if there are any contacts you share in common. If you met somewhere, jog that person’s memory. Doing this quickly before anything works best. If they recognize the connection, they’ll more likely continue reading.
Get to the point quickly, but be as specific about what you are asking for. Don’t make it vague. In Avichal’s tweet, he gives a perfect example, one that I know you can relate to. “Can we get on a call?” is bad. No one will want to jump on a call with someone who they’ve never heard from before.
But “I am performing research in your industry. Here are 2 questions about your website and how it helps your business.” is good. Avichal offers up these 2 examples as “great.” “Do you know person X and could you forward the following blurb to them?” and “I am applying to YC. Does our application make it clear what we build?”
Remember that whole respectful thing I mentioned early, well be gracious too. If they don’t respond, don’t bombard them every day for a week. That’s only going to make them annoyed and ignore you more, maybe block you or report you as spam.
Follow up a week later, then maybe a month after that. If you haven’t heard anything, stop emailing.
Chances are good that if they can help and/or have the time to help, they will immediately upon reading the email.
One final thought
“If you talk, or you do something, you have to have something to bring.” is something that Gary Vaynerchuk said in a recent video of his.
Say what you will about Gary, this statement aligns directly with asking for any sort of help or sale.
We know Gary is a talker and he loves nothing more than to hear himself talk. He said this specific quote when sharing a story about a meeting he had at Google with the president of Cuba and Twitter and other major players in the tech space.
He had it in his mind to share a story going into the meeting but then thought better of it in the context of the meeting because it didn’t add anything to the meeting. He walked away from that meeting without ever saying a word.
Asking someone for something, who you don’t know and they have no clue you even exist is a fine art. There’s no one formula that works. The only thing that I can say is to think about you as the recipient and how you would feel about getting your outreach.
Marketing for Freelancers
More episodes in this topic:
Social Media Marketing, is it worth it to do?
What social media platforms to spend time on?
How to get clients when I have no portfolio?
How to get the messaging right to attract customers?
Have advice for soliciting podcasters to be a guest?
Should I focus on SEO or Paid Ads to gain new clients?
Do you get any leads from your content? And what traffic acquisition methods have worked best?
When creating a new freelance service what’s the best way to send cold emails?
What is my second most successful lead generation tactic?
Why is an email list important for a freelancer?
What is the best way to attract larger clients?
How do you market your business to local clients other than attending networking meetings?
How do I pitch some big companies in my niche?
Imagine I was going to bring you $100k in revenue
How does a freelance web designer build a client profile when preparing their marketing plans?
How do you price your services on your site?
How important is branding?
What are some useful tools that you use?
What makes a great case study?
How do you turn the things I do into benefits?
How do you decide what to start blogging with if you’ve never blogged before?
How often should I write a blog post?
Should I put pricing on my website?
How to overcome objections people have about you?
What is the best lead generation strategy?
What is your cold outreach strategy?
How would you get into the corporate business as an independent professional?
What is the difference between warm and cold outreach?
How to answer objections and get clients to say “yes”?
How to grow with word-of-mouth marketing?
How to ask?
All my work has been word of mouth, how do I find work on my own?
How do you handle a good fit for you that doesn’t really fit for your marketing message?
What do you say when a lead comes to you from a bad experience with another freelancer?
What to say when a potential client says you are too expensive?
How do I find the time to create content for my business and what do I write about?
Is this going to get me clients fast?
What is the #1 business trend for 2019?
How to sell on Twitter?
How do you make it simple for a lead to sign?
Why did I move my business from Drip to ConvertKit
How do you sell strategy?
11 Lessons on How to Find Clients
Finding Clients Lesson #1: Targeted Referrals
Finding Clients Lesson #2: Zero Line Item
Finding Clients Lesson #3: The Client Sandwich
Finding Clients Lesson #4: The Sneak Peek
Finding Clients Lesson #5: Buy a cup of coffee
Finding Clients Lesson #6: Get Yourself On A Podcast
Finding Clients Lesson #7: Your Up Level Skills
Finding Clients Lesson #8: Brag about your clients
Finding Clients Lesson #9: Are you priced right?
Finding Clients Lesson #10: Who do you hang with?
Finding Clients Lesson #11: Group Coaching for Leads
Is Instagram a better vehicle for visibility? Sales?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S08 E11 – SEO, Content Marketing, and Skyscraper Strategies with Alex Panagis
S06 E11 - Creating Results and Building Relationships Through Your Pricing with Mor Cohen