Finding Clients as a Freelancer Email List
Transcript from the "Email List" Lesson
>> So what's the answer? So far, [LAUGH] I've just slammed everything, I'm like, and now it's time to go home, good luck, yeah. [LAUGH] So let me provide you with what I think the answer is, and I think it might surprise you a little bit, cuz it's not very popular.
[00:00:19] Actually, I think email is gonna be our answer, right? Don't worry, we're not talking about spamming email or anything like that. It's not as bad as it sounds, [LAUGH] right? But email has got a lot going for it that all of the others don't. Let me explain why.
[00:00:40] For a start, we work business to business, all right? So every single person that is a potential client for you lives in email, okay? Yeah, but we've moved to Slack now, but they're still checking email, right? Everybody checks email. So while there was a time, right, I remember the halcyon days, I'm really sounding old now, where people subscribed to RSS feeds, right?
[00:01:10] And they would get notified every time I released a blog, and they would immediately trot along to the blog and read it, because they'd received a notification. Are we honestly saying that everybody does that anymore, that anybody follows a blog anymore? No, of course not. The only time you end up on a blog is where you google something and it happens to take you to the blog, right?
[00:01:33] And then there's no connection, there's no relationship there. Social media, you post something on social media and it's gone in a blink of an eye, it shoots off the top with all the other noise that's going on. Email, every email that somebody receives they might not read it.
[00:01:48] But they will be reminded you exist, they will see it. So yeah, you will be seen. Every single message you sent out will be seen. It might not be read in detail, but you will at least be remembered. They're not gonna forget you in the same way as traditional content marketing.
[00:02:10] And in lots of situations, you will be read. So I've got a subscriber mailing list of 8,500 currently, that's where my mailing list is standing. And I get an open rate of 38%. And that means, every two weeks, I send an email out every two weeks, 3,230 people, potential clients these are, are reading about my expertise.
[00:02:35] That's pretty good, right? That's more than enough to sustain me. So, actually, email might not be very trendy, but it is very good, and there are other good reasons about email. I own my email list, right? That's mine, okay? It's not some social media platform where they can change the algorithm and wipe me off the face of the Earth in a blink of an eye, I own that.
[00:03:03] So there's lots of reasons why email has got lot of potential. So where does that leave us? Well, it leaves us with needing to get people on a mailing list, so that we can build a relationship with them. And I'm not talking about a mailing list where we sell at them.
[00:03:21] As you'll see as we go through this, this is very soft, this is very gentle. It's not pushy in any way at all, but we need to take some of the lessons of marketing and sales techniques and use those in a much gentler way for our purposes. So what we basically got to do, is get people to subscribe by moving them through something, they call it marketing a sales funnel, right?
[00:03:50] So what is a sales funnel, okay? Well, a sales funnel is basically a journey that a prospective client goes through from the moment they first hear that you exist to the moment that they sign up to your services, right? So in many ways, if you happen to have any experience in design, I'm sure you've come across the term customer journey mapping.
[00:04:17] A sales funnel is very similar to a customer journey mapping. It's just the emphasis is more around moving the customer along that journey to the point where they hire you. So what does that typically look like? Well, let's just kind of give you a very simplistic sales funnel, because we don't need anything complicated, we're not a multinational corporation selling multiple products.
[00:04:44] Our needs are fairly basic. First thing we wanna do is attract their attention, right? Hey, here I am, notice me in all of the noise. Then once we've got that attention, then we wanna build a connection, right? We wanna be more than just another faceless web designer or faceless data scientist or developer or whatever you are.
[00:05:07] We wanna be someone that there is a connection with. And then we wanna keep people engaged, right? Keep them talking, so keep them hearing from us regularly. And then actually, we wanna encourage them to start talking to us. Even if they've not really got anything to hire us for, the more contact we have with them, the more of a relationship we build with them, the more that they will want to eventually work with us.
[00:05:34] And then finally, we wanna close the sale. And the reason a sales funnel is so important is because the chances of you reaching out to somebody or them hearing about you at the exact moment they're ready to hire you is extremely low, right, if you think about it.
[00:05:54] So what we need to do is maintain that contact then until they are ready to holla at you, and that's what sales funnel is for. Now, I'll be honest with you, that's not a kinda quick fix, right? If you right now are in the middle of a crisis where your work is dried up as a freelancer, and you've got not enough work coming through the door, this ain't gonna solve that overnight, I'm afraid, okay?
[00:06:27] What I'm talking about building here is a long-term sustainable kind of stream of potential work coming through the door that you can rely on and know that will be there. So I'm now at the point, for example, where maybe if I get slow month, I send an email out, and that will generate work.
[00:06:52] If I wanna do a different type of work, I send an email out and it'll generate that type of work. That's where I wanna get you to, but that's not gonna happen instantly. So why do you want this sales funnel, how does it help? Well, first of all, you could target your sales funnel, right?
[00:07:11] So you can pick a group of clients that you would really like to work with and you can focus in on those. I wanna work on those with those people, so let's build a sales funnel for them, right? So that's one thing. Second is the consistent thing I just talked about, right?
[00:07:27] Once you've got sales funnel up and running for a while, it will provide you with a relatively consistent and reliable source of new clients, right? There won't be that kind of emotional trauma when the phone stops ringing and it goes dry for a particular month, or, I don't know, a global pandemic happens, right?
[00:07:46] For me, the global pandemic, a lot of the agencies and freelancers that I worked with were devastated by that. For me, I had about two months that were slower than normal. So having a sales funnel really kinda helps with that. And then finally, it's controllable. By tweaking your sales funnel and the messaging that you use, you can control the amount of clients that you win, the type of clients that you win.
[00:08:13] You've got real control over what you do.