Four Things I learned from the Freelance to Freedom Project's Get Clients Fast Challenge

Last week I participated in the Get Clients Fast Challenge, and it was an incredibly eye-opening experience. The Get Client Fast Challenge is exactly what it sounds like, a five-day challenge, which was intended to attract the attention of new clients by the end of the week. Action steps included: setting up promo deals for my work that expired after a certain period of time, offering free, limited time offers, and emailing fellow freelancers, former clients, and people that I know.

So here's how it worked:

  1. Every day a new challenge showed up in my inbox, with templates, and instructions included in a PDF document
  2.  I'd complete the challenge for the day, and then participate in community discussions with members of Freelance to Freedom's Facebook community
Today I'm going to share with you all the awesome things I learned from participating in the Get Clients Fast Challenge.

1) Referrals don't need to be complicated

asking for advice.png For those of you that don't know me on a personal level, I'm extremely introverted so the whole "behaving like a pushy salesperson" thing doesn't come naturally. As you can probably imagine, this made the idea of getting referrals and testimonials a little scary at first. Leah Kalamaki's Get Clients Fast Challenge help me overcome my anxieties about asking people for feedback and referrals. For instance, here's how I asked one of my former clients for a referral on day two of the challenge, after offering to help them with their Medium Digest page and providing a quote: screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-1-34-01-pm Instead of just asking them for a referral, I complimented them on how awesome it was working with them, asked if there was anyone else that needs my help, and asked them to share a link to my services available page on social media. If your work was good and you remind them that you're available, then they'll happily either work with you again or refer you to their friends.  Pretty simple,eh?

2) Who you know will always have hidden value

thanks for existing.png It's not what you know, it's who you know, especially for freelance writers. Unfortunately a lot of my peers struggle with is this misconception that they don't know the right people to apply for whatever they're interested in. However, that's not necessarily true. For instance, a lot of the articles on digital marketing that I've read use the effect of restaurants with huge line-ups out front to describe the importance of social proof. The restaurant comparison goes something like this: a restaurant attracts a huge crowd, the people walking by immediately assume that it must be good because a lot of people are going there, the line-up gets bigger, some of the customers pay their bill and leave, and the cycle continues. My website's homepage is a great example of this, and as close as an online business will ever get to line-ups getting even bigger because there's a huge line-up:   screenshot-of-testimonial-heatmaps That's 138 out of 450 clicks that happened because 11 people took the time to comment on what it was like working with me! Who you know doesn't just help with attracting attention to your website. It also helps with getting new leads. For instance, I emailed a family friend who owns a local theater company recently, and here's what happened: screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-2-59-24-pm That's one more, potential lead that happened just because I had the guts to tell a family friend that I had a few spots available in my schedule this month.

3) Other Freelancers are your greatest ally

spreading the love.png Honestly, I've known this for a while now, especially because my significant other has done a lot of freelancing, and often gives me advice on everything from my website, to difficult clients. However, I avoided asking other freelancers if I could join their referral list until this challenge showed up in my inbox: screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-3-32-34-pm The challenge of the day involved requesting referrals from other freelancers. I knew that this was a tactic that worked when I noticed just how common it was for freelancers to refer clients that aren't a good fit to other freelancers:  
Screenshot of a passage from Alicia Rades' contact page
  And guess what? Alicia Rades isn't the only freelancer that does this. Here's a Reddit convo that demonstrates just how common it is for freelancers to refer freelancers to clients that aren't a good fit: screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-3-48-18-pm Developing good relationships with other freelancers really pays off. Why? Because you never know when they might be too busy, or be contacted by someone that's not a good fit for them. And by the way, I might as well also mention that the freelancers that I contacted responded quicker than anyone else on my list!

4) Most importantly, I became a better in-person networker

networking.jpeg Although none of the challenges were in-person initiatives, the challenge forced me to think of networking in a brand new way. As I already mentioned, I'm super introverted so talking to big groups of unfamiliar people can be a tiring,  and occasionally anxiety-inducing experience. In the exact same week as the challenge, I also attended the Startup Open House in Toronto. The cool thing was that my usual introvert instincts didn't work against me, in fact, it had the opposite effect. I was so focused on talking passionately about my work and so well-researched that people were happy to accept business cards from me. In fact, I expressed my interest in writing for the Uber website in person, to the Content Manager of Uber, which I saw as my greatest accomplishment of the week. The challenge equipped me with a new approach, which allowed me to focus more on adapting to the environment, and less on social anxiety.

On a related note....

If you're interested in being my new client watch the video in the tweet below for more info about my fall 2016 promo deals:

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Hi, I’m Rosemary, and I’m a copywriter, editor, and content strategist that specializes in website and blog content for B2C retail and E-Commerce brands. My goal is to help businesses break the communication barriers between consumers and the products they purchase in their everyday lives. So where might you have seen my work? I’ve been featured on popular sites, such as ProBlogger, Search Engine Journal, and Stories by Buffer, and I’ve worked with brands such as E-Bay and Yellowpages. When I’m not working on client projects or studying for my Editing classes, I’m often consuming large amounts of coffee, while enjoying old crime dramas, or listening to indie rock. For more info about my work visit my website,