The Process of Warm Outreach for Better Leads

There’s no shortage of “How to get clients?” posts and articles out there especially around lead generation. Some of it I’m not sold on because it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors which result in bad leads, if any at all.

If there’s effort put in there are many others that do work. I’ve done a lot of these methods and even give away a method I use successfully that hundreds of folks now use as well.

There’s a part of sales that is sorely undervalued and underutilized in the freelancing world. That’s warm outreach!

Warm outreach is the method in which you communicate, whether that’s email, phone, or some other means to people who know you.

Notice how I didn’t use the word “leads” and instead used “people.”

By “people,” I mean those colleagues and folks in your business network.

Your NEW Warm Outreach Process

When I say colleagues and network, I’m referring to past and current clients, friends of yours in business, and yes, people who have the exact same work as you.

When I started out, I was in no way, shape or form going to go knocking on doors to get business. I won’t even do that now in fact. It’s not that that sort of thing isn’t effective, it’s just not comfortable for me to do.

I got most of my business by word of mouth. Which I know is how you get most of yours too.

Most word of mouth business is done on a passive level. It’s done without you really even knowing it’s happening. Which is awesome, don’t get me wrong.

But you can’t depend on it. In fact there will be a point at which that will slow down. So you can’t depend on it.

Instead, by doing this simple warm outreach process, you can make your word of mouth referrals more dependable and reliable.

  1. Make a list of all the people who do the same type of work that you do and their email addresses.
  2. Make a list of all your past clients that you had successful projects with and their email addresses.
  3. Make a list of your current clients that you enjoyed working with and really get what you are all about and their email addresses.
  4. Once a month, go through your list and send off one or two emails to let them know that you have some bandwidth for projects that may not fit them, for consultations, and maybe even overflow work.
  5. Mark off who you sent this to, then move on with your day.
  6. Then in the following month, send off the email again, only this time to the next one or two people in your list.
Download the Warm Outreach Email Swipe
Put this email right into your compose window and send it off.

Why does warm outreach method work

Let’s face it, you don’t like sales. Me neither. So the last thing you want to do is pitch anyone to buy from you.

It’s why marketing and getting clients is your #1 struggle.

It’s awkward speaking to someone where there is this giant, pink elephant in the room. You want to sell something without seeming like you are selling. The person you are talking with knows you want to sell something but doesn’t want to come off desperate to buy.

It’s the adult version of a 6th grade dance. Awkward. Uncomfortable. Unknowingly unnecessary.

So instead of selling, you decide to just let it go and not put effort into it at all. It’s why there’s so many articles around marketing yourself with little to no effort.

This type of warm outreach works for one, because the person knows who you are. So there’s no selling of yourself, because the person knows you, knows your service, it’s a matter of finding a proper fit with a prospect and/or project.

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘It’s all about the relationship that you have with the person that makes it work!’ says @kristinaromero” quote=”‘It’s all about the relationship that you have with the person that makes it work!’ says @kristinaromero”]

And two, the person you are reaching out to will also be able to looked to as a connector. Especially if you happen to land the gig. Your colleague will forever be linked in the minds of your new client as someone who has good connections.

It’s very much like if your friend has a mechanic that he trusts for a couple of years and your car just broke down. Your friend suggests you call their mechanic because he doesn’t charge crazy prices, doesn’t have a wait, and gets the job done perfectly.

Are you even going to look up Yelp reviews or call up the mechanic for rates? No, you are going to get your car to your friend’s mechanic and then be driving on your road trip for the weekend.

Same goes for this type of outreach. When you let your colleagues and network know that you have work, they become essentially a sales team for you.

Even if they don’t have anything at the time of the outreach, it’ll be in their minds that when something does come along, they can then refer it to you.

Download the Warm Outreach Email Swipe
Put this email right into your compose window and send it off.

The win-win

You aren’t being annoying either. You are just writing an email to someone and letting them know that you have some time if they have someone who’s a fit.

In business having connections and being able to solve someone’s problem is always good. Your colleague by referring work to you is now seen as a connector. Your new client may even go back to your colleague at some point for more work in hopes of them either doing it or being able to refer to someone else who is good.

See the key here is that you aren’t sending this email to the same person every month, or possibly even in the same year.

You don’t want to burn out your colleagues and network by hitting them up all the time.

No one likes that friend who’s always asking for money, right?

Same goes for your network. That is why you only send off 1 or 2 of these emails every month. By the time you get back to the first person, it’s months or even a year that has passed.

The other reason you don’t want to send this note off to everyone on your list is what if you get a whole mess of referrals that you can’t fulfill?

See now you become a bad referral for your colleagues since you lied to them and the referral that you have availability. You become an unreliable source that your colleague won’t want to stick their name to.

So by only sending this to a couple of people each month, you are spreading the word slowly and purposefully in order for you to make this situation a win-win for you and your colleague.

Next Month

So I would encourage you to take 5 or 10 minutes within the next few days and put together that list.

Then at the beginning of next month, go ahead and reach out to no more than 3 people on your list and explain that you have a few open slots and looking to see if there’s any way that you can help them with work.

I would love to hear from you how this has gone for you. Sure it may take a few months for something to pan out. But I’d love to check in on the process you have.

I’ve automated this process so that I don’t even have to think about it anymore, but that’s the next step. First get the process down, then we’ll chat further about it.

Once you send off those first few notes, you are your way to another source of leads, highly qualified leads and make your network look like heroes.

Download the Warm Outreach Email Swipe
Put this email right into your compose window and send it off.

/ Jason Resnick

Jason is a WordPress developer helping small businesses, design and marketing agencies achieve their goals by specializing in Ecommerce and increasing conversions. Learn more about him here.

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4 responses to “The Process of Warm Outreach for Better Leads

  1. I like this idea, and sometimes it is just the way of keeping in the mind of someone when a need pops up or that they here a need from a conversation they are having and Think of you speaking to them reciently.

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