Table of Contents
IntroductionPaul Boag begins the course by sharing some background information about why freelancers and small agencies struggle to find clients and build a business. The goal of the course is to provide tools and techniques for defining a market, getting the attention of an audience, and turning leads into projects.
Marketing MistakesPaul discusses common marketing mistakes made by freelancers and small businesses. Word-of-mouth marketing can be too passive and lead to a large amount of business being dependent on a single source that might stop unexpectedly. Online ads or marketplaces lack relationships and can be difficult to gain traction.
Email ListPaul explains why email is still an efficient medium for generating business leads. While social media and blogs are good places for content, email is still the main method of communication. Potential clients may not ready every message, but every message acts as a continuous reminder of the services that are offered. A sales funnel is also introduced in this segment.
Email List Q&APaul answers questions about response rates of emails, utilizing referrals or incentives, and a recommended sending frequency.
Sales Funnel ProcessPaul provides a high-level overview about how to build a sales funnel. The process includes getting the attention of the target audience, building a connection, keeping the audience engaged, and encouraging personal contact.
SpecializationPaul explains that defining a target market involves focusing on specialization. This doesn't mean turning away work or restricting leads to a specific type of job. Specialization tailors a message to a specific audience or sector.
Finding Your NichePaul describes the minimum viable audience as the smallest group of potential clients that's capable of generating enough work for 2-3 years. An audience that boosts a freelancer's voice/presence can create leads across an entire sector. Another factor is if the audience can afford the cost of a service. Targeting a more niche sector can lead to higher quality work.
Researching & Finding Potential ClientsPaul recommends creating a list of influencers and a list of potential clients within a sector. Influencers will help discover new connections within the sector. The list of potential clients helps narrow the search when establishing a point of contact. LinkedIn is a useful tool for identifying the best possible contacts within an organization.
Gaining an Audience
Getting AttentionPaul talks through different strategies for growing an audience without the messaging coming across as a sales pitch. Making a connection while asking for help opens a two-way line of communication where the potential client provides data points, and in return, receives a report or summary of industry-related information.
Create a Report & Gather FeedbackPaul emphasizes that the deliverable doesn't have to be a report. It could be an app, tool, code library, etc. It should be free and provide value to the potential client. A sample email is also shown in this segment.
Create a Survey & Landing PagePaul shares tips for creating a survey. A properly designed survey will generate useful data for the report. Questions related to information the audience would be interested in or areas of expertise within the sector will lead to more engagement. The survey should be embedded on a landing page which describes the offerings and benefits of completing the survey.
Segment Your AudiencePaul recommends segmenting the audience into three groups: Influencers, those who didn't reply to the previous email, and those who did reply. Each segment will get a slightly different version of the next email. To encourage additional responses, a site audit or other free service could be offered.
Write Content for the ReportPaul breaks down how to write the report. The process includes creating an outline, writing an initial draft, editing the report, and designing it.
Getting in Contact
Getting Permission & Sign UpsPaul walks through a strategy for getting permission from an audience to send on-going emails. Utilizing a landing page gives freelancers and small agencies a chance to establish credibility, outline the benefits of receiving ongoing communications, and give users an easy way to subscribe.
Create an Email CoursePaul explains the goal of the email course is to provide immediate value to anyone that has decided to subscribe to the mailing list. Content for the email course is pulled directly from the report. Each email focuses on a single topic.
Handling InfluencersPaul recommends engaging influencers by building a relationship, amplifying their content, and only contacting them directly once they've responded a few times.
Re-posting ContentPaul stresses the importance of re-posting the content from the report. Re-posting can include guest blog posts, webinars, and social media posts. Tools like CoSchedule can be used to automate posting on social media.
Growing Your Audience
Growing Your AudiencePaul explains how frequent mailings will help grow an established audience exponentially. Emails should be personal, helpful, and free of any sales-related language. If the emails are too infrequent, readers may lose interest of forget about the benefits of receiving the information.
Creating New ContentPaul shares advice about how to generate new ideas for content. The process is often invoked by experiences during everyday work like coding problems, newly discovered development tools, or collections of resources.
Find Your VoicePaul explains that personality is a powerful tool for winning work. Maintaining an authentic personality when writing online will build trust with potential clients.
Referrals & Growing Your Email ListPaul outlines a few ways to grow an email list through marketing and referrals. Connecting with users, showing appreciation, and encouraging referrals creates more engagement with an audience. As an email list grows, adding segmentations or asking about content preferences helps tailor the information and increase the quality.
Handling LeadsPaul recommends using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to manage leads. When a customer make contact, they are added to the CRM. Reminders can be set to follow up on conversations.
Create a ProposalPaul demonstrates how to create a proposal. Key components of a proposal are why the work is necessary, the mutually agreed upon objectives, value the work has to the company, pricing options, and how to measure success of the project.