• Caroline Ridgway

Communication that Connects: A Primer on Client Prospecting

A couple weeks ago I joined a Facebook group for copywriters. It seems to attract a mix of expertise and experience levels. I’ve seen more than a few posts from people new to the industry, asking unabashedly, how do I find clients? Well. If that isn’t just the secret sauce we’re all trying to taste test our way through?

I don’t care how long you’ve been in business for yourself, or what your sector is, finding and keeping the right client is the absolute name of the game. Right now, everyone is online even more so than usual. This has pros and cons. As someone who works from home, and generally appreciates that solopreneur/consultant lifestyle, it’s encouraging to see more and more organizations embrace remote and contract-based work. It also means the marketplace for the kind of services I’m trying to sell is extra saturated. Lots of folks are out of work right now. Lots of them are trying to reinvent themselves.

Throughout this phase of my career, I’ve been fortunate to mostly rely on networking and personal referrals to find clients. Not every relationship has panned out, but I’ve earned my living, which is no small feat. I keep a professional Facebook page, post through LinkedIn, and try to tend to my website with some consistency (hello, blog!). Because I’m not out in public as much, networking organically like I would ordinarily in a more in-person world, I’m having to be more proactive about creating connection. The ROI of this increased effort is 100 percent worth it. Do I have any new client contracts to point to yet as a result? Nope. But I’ve had some really energizing conversations, and opportunity follows from energy.

This has been a great time to reflect on why I do what I do, and what I love about it. This morning I had a stimulating, hour-plus-long conversation with a local duo who specialize in videography and video-based content creation. They’ve started an initiative to tell the stories of our everyday superheroes—the unsung people and teams who persevere at getting it done. We easily sidetracked into discussing our mutual love of storytelling, and community.

My business tagline is “Communication that Connects.” Simple words but they speak to my true intention. I’ll say it again: I don’t care what your sector is. How you communicate with your audience makes the difference. You know that feeling when you see a video clip that gives you chills? Or a written story that makes you think, wow, I can really relate? A social media post that entices you to click through the clickbait noise because of a promise of more substantive value? Whatever your medium, putting the time and care into creating quality content that resonates will generate results. More importantly, it will build lasting, loyal relationships.

I don’t know how exactly to tell the new copywriters in the Facebook group how to find their clients. If I knew all the secrets, I’d have a whole other business model. I do know, however, that a good start is talking to people. Finding your purpose. Being open to creative collaboration. At the end of the day, professional and personally, isn’t connection what we’re all seeking?

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