Have you ever thought about contacting warm leads (people you already know) to find more work?
I did. But I went about it all wrong.
I wasn’t getting anywhere by posting on Facebook or LinkedIn begging my warm leads for work.
Sounds desperate, doesn’t it?
It felt like I hit a client-finding roadblock. I knew I needed to change my marketing strategy. But I wasn’t sure how.
Then, while working in my underwear in a room at my in-laws’ house, I came across a different way to contact warm leads thanks to the How to Write White Papers bootcamp in the Freelance Writers Den.
And I decided to give it a try.
The result: My response rate for sending marketing emails spiked. I landed a new client and contract worth $6,000. I reconnected with some of my contacts, and generated a bunch of leads for more work.
Wondering how to approach people in your network to get more freelance work? Here’s my no-pants-required approach to contacting warm leads:
Make a list of people you know
Before you get that deer-in-the-headlights look, this list shouldn’t include everybody you’ve known since pre-school.
Keep it short. Focus on people you know who can potentially offer you work or send referrals your way. This typically includes people like:
- Marketing managers
- Former co-workers
- Professional contacts
- Subscribers (to your writing website or social media pages)
I narrowed my warm leads list down to 60 people. And I didn’t include anyone I’ve known for less than a year. If you don’t have a list of 60, start with what you have.
And if you’re really struggling just to come up with a few warm leads, check out these tips on how to meet more people and elevate your marketing efforts.
Send an email to your warm leads
There’s nothing wrong with sending cold-pitch queries and LOIs (letters of introduction).
It’s a staple marketing strategy for a lot of successful freelance writers. But you’ll almost always get a better response rate when you reach out to people you know.
Of the 60 warm leads I emailed, 22 responded (which is a 34 percent response rate). And that’s a big improvement for me, compared to the response rate I was getting.
So how should you write an email to a warm lead? Here’s what I did:
- Use humor. If your inbox is anything like mine, I get lots of boring, spammy stuff that can practically numb your brain. So I decided to take a risk, tell people I was working in my underwear, and then ask for their help.
- Be candid. I’ve written my fair share of dry, business-professional emails that go straight to the trash folder. And it doesn’t work. This time, I went for being real, authentic, and really let my personality show.
- Get specific. Instead of begging for work, I simply asked my warm leads for referrals. Be specific about how your contacts can help you.
Here’s a sample of the email I sent:
Hey [Contact] :
It would be really great to walk around the house pants-free. It is a wonderful lifestyle, and I need your help getting there.
For the last several years, I have been living with my in-laws. I promise it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. I love them dearly and they have been very supportive of my husband and I.
But, at this moment, I am stuck in the room so I don’t expose my family to my pants-free ideology.
You can free me of this by helping me save money for a new house with new business as a writer…
If you could connect me to companies or entrepreneurs who need help I would be eternally grateful. I am open to FT, PT and contract work virtually or near Birmingham or Tuscaloosa.
Tell them I’m an amazing blogger. Tell them I enjoy boring things most people hate like data entry and case studies.
Tell them I’m a “Gal Friday” who is comfortable on the phone with a customer or in a board room with executives.
Thank you so much in advance for your help and for reading this lighthearted but painfully generic email. (I did email you individually though. I’m a professional!)
One of the warm leads I reached out is a fellow content writer who subscribes to my blog. He needed help with writing marketing copy, website content, and lead magnets.
And that turned into a $6,000 contract. (Made me want to run around the house screaming, but I’m my underwear at my in-laws, so I celebrated in front of my computer.)
Some other direct benefits to contacting warm leads this way:
- Potential projects. My warm leads marketing effort also led to conversations with people I know about writing web copy, social media content, blog posts, and marketing. When someone already knows what it’s like to work with you, landing work can be a lot easier than cold pitching.
- More referrals. Some of my warm leads didn’t have any work or referrals to send my way, but emailed just to catch up and tell me they had a laugh at my no-pants approach to marketing. That’s a win, which can make you top of mind when your contacts do hear about someone who needs a writer.
Book more work with warm lead marketing
If you want to generate leads, land more freelance writing work, and get more from your marketing efforts, make a short list of people you know and reach out. This warm email marketing strategy can help you move up and earn more. And you don’t even need to wear pants.
What’s your approach warm lead marketing? Let’s discuss on Facebook.
Williesha Morris is a writer and administrative assistant who loves the internet and has a fondness for both Star Wars and Star Trek. Follow her on My Freelance Life.