How NOT to Find Clients. Part 2.
A Series of Essays for Copywriters and Fellow Creative Professionals.
NOTE: You're reading a series of blogs about how to find clients ... and how NOT to find them. This series will be extremely controversial. Read the blogs and you’ll discover my experiences with finding clients … what works and what’s a waste of time. The goal is to help you find “elite” level clients with deep pockets who are looking for top-quality creative talent.
Method #2. Word of Mouth/Referrals. Surprisingly … one of the WORST ways to find clients.
Right now, you might be somewhat AGHAST. Why? Because you’ve been told that referrals are a superb way to find clients.
Some companies and freelancers will boast: “I’m really lucky because I get a crazy number of referrals from clients.”
Don’t get me wrong … I like referrals although I don’t get them too often. My current and past clients usually want to keep their direct response copywriter to themselves. I don’t ask for referrals and I don’t sit by the phone expecting them.
Let’s remember something CRUCIALLY important as you market yourself: the ultimate goal of your marketing must be to find the absolute top clients – with the deepest pockets – so you work less and earn more.
One of your great clients might refer someone to you. That’s good. It shows your current client likes you.
But it could also be bad … and here’s why: the client could be a total dog. That’s happened to me. The “referral” client was essentially idiotic, disorganized, plus I had to fight to get paid. Lovely.
I can’t think of a single excellent client who came my way through a referral. This method is a haphazard version of inbound marketing. Maybe this will change for me tomorrow but I’m not holding my breath. It’s tempting to be excited when I receive a referral because the potential client is warmed up and ready to hire me.
I value referrals from my current clients and I thank them for these referrals … BUT … 99% of the time, the new potential clients are a poor fit.
In certain industries, like residential real estate and home decorating, referrals may be a decent source of leads. But I’m not interested in decent. I want the best possible marketing outcome using the best possible method.
This method is making a list of strong potential clients then pounding away at the database. You’re being aggressive instead of passive. Passive marketing stinks and routinely sends you bad clients with bad work, bad products, and a poor attitude.
Recently, I compiled a database of 2,000 potential clients. I originally compiled this for direct response copywriters but any creative person can benefit from this database.
Click here now to see the sales page for the database.
I'm a direct response copywriter. I write direct response copy for clients around the world. Enter your information to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or [contact me here] if you have a project you'd like to discuss. I'm also a Dan Kennedy certified copywriter for information products.