Do you ever wake up in the morning and say “I can’t wait get today rolling so that I can have people completely ignore me?”
No, of course not. But that’s what’s going to happen when you do cold outreach.
In general, a good cold outreach campaign yields a 1% response rate.
That doesn’t even mean that 1% are “yeses” either, just means that you’ll get a response.
It’s heart wrenching, it’s soul crushing. It’s the same emotional nightmare of your teenage years during prom season again as an adult.
Set your expectations low
The first step in this process, before any emails go out is to put your thick skin on, recognize that you may not get one single response, and set your expectations extremely low.
By doing this first, you’ll set yourself up for not feeling defeated or invisible.
It sucks to get no responses, I’m not going to lie, but unfortunately when you have zero relationship with the person receiving your email, the chances are very slim that you’ll be important enough to them to get a response.
How would you feel if you got this email
I try to imagine myself getting this email and how I would feel and react.
I get tons of emails where I can tell immediately that the sender didn’t even bother to look at my site or social profiles or anything about who I am and who I serve.
It doesn’t take more than 30 seconds to hit someone’s homepage and about page to see what they are about.
Which leads me into the next step
Make it personal
By spending a minute or two learning a bit about who that person is or what that company does goes along way in making the email more “you” focused.
If you haven’t heard the term “you” focused before, it’s the positioning of the content to be focused on the recipient rather than yourself.
By taking some queues from the about page and potentially something that the person posted about on social media over the weekend, you can:
- Ask them a specific question to start the email off
- Congratulate them on some award or achievement
- Set a tone to the email based around a casual or professional language
Keep it short to only 1 or 2 sentences.
Make it valuable
You shouldn’t be just blasting anyone that could be a client.
You want to target only those ideal people you know you can help with your services.
Don’t just email someone because they partly fit your business.
In the email you are sending, give them something of value that they can walk away from reading the email and be better off for reading it.
This can be:
- A resource to download, like a checklist
- Personalized video of a quick win for them to do
- A link to a resource that will help them along to accomplishing their goals
Remember this email is “you” focused and by sharing with them some piece of information that can help them even if they don’t respond to you, will earn you trust them.
Make the next step super simple
Sum up the email, which shouldn’t be more than a few short sentences, with a clear call to action.
Something like “If this sounds like it makes sense to you, reply with a ‘yes’ and I’ll take care of the rest.”
The last thing is to followup. There are arguments for how much and how often, but I’ll leave that to you.
I like to followup only once. Mainly because I don’t want to bug them if the timing isn’t right, but also because it creates a sense of urgency too.
See in the followup I explicitly tell them that this is the last email they’ll be receiving from me out of respect for their inbox and their time.
This email is usually the one that gets the responses, not the first one, to be perfectly honest.
If you keep these 6 steps in mind in your next cold email outreach campaign, you’ll more likely have much better success than the average 1%.
Running your freelance business
More episodes in this topic:
What do you do when a crisis hits?
How to start building an email list as a freelancer?
How do you manage time wearing so many hats as a freelancer?
What software tools do you use for business? What is best?
How do you prevent, manage scope creep in your projects?
Do you schedule in time for exploring or reading articles online?
What is the best way to get income fast?
What happens if you can’t define a scope of work on a call?
What do I do first thing Monday morning?
How can I focus on my business when I’ve got a ton client work?
Do I have to be concerned with GDPR?
What are the tools and services that you use and would recommend to freelancers?
How do you have time for all that you do?
What podcasting gear do I use?
Does live chat bring you in business?
How do you followup with a lead after a proposal?
Did hiring a mentor really help you with starting up your business or your career?
What is my writing process
What is the easiest way to get a remote testimonial?
How do you determine a quality prospect?
How do you step away and actually take a vacation?
Are job boards reliable?
How to decrease the sales cycle or time to close?
How would you write a cold outreach email?
How to present different services that could potentially diminish your abilities in the minds of clients?
Should I bundle projects for clients or keep projects separate per client?
What product do you use for your business that you can’t live without?
What makes you stand out from other freelancers?
Do I drop this client?
How do I set a goal?
Do you meet leads and clients face-to-face?
How do I work “ON” my business and not “IN” my business?
What is the best structure for setting a goal?
How do you do a review of your week?
What do I say when a potential client says I’m too expensive?
What is activity based selling?
How to get more clients?
How to have a productive week?
Do you use a CRM for your business?
How do you choose the technology for your clients?
What is the structure of a weekly review?
What is the structure of a monthly review?
What are lead generation techniques to get me out of the feast and famine revenue cycle?
How do I know if I should buy a course?
What’s a polite way to tell existing clients you are raising your rates? And what is a reasonable percentage to go up?
How many email follow-ups should I send to a lead?
What do I do? I’m afraid to filter the tire kickers coming into my business because they are the only leads I have.
How to take the next step from contracting resource to solo business owner?
What do you think about Gutenberg? Schmutenberg!
How do I get better at sales?
How to overcome objections in sales?
How do I respond to an RFP?
How to respond to “I don’t need strategy, can you just do…”?
If you don’t have experience, how to you prove the quality without the education/experience?
How do you handle a client that has ghosted?
What do you ask during a sales call?
How to improve your sales process as a freelancer?
How to charge more as a freelancer?
How do you push past the imposter syndrome?
How do you segment your email list?
What to say when a client insists on adding something new?
What kind of content should I promote to potential clients?
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
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach