How to Get New Clients by Being Different
Freelancers Anne Erlich, PharmD, and Lisa van Devender, PharmD, both got great clients recently by trying something different. By responding to headhunters (recruiters), who most freelancers brush off, Anne landed two new clients. Lisa impressed and landed her new client by going to visit the client.
How Anne Hit the Jackpot by Being Different
When Anne launched her freelance business in 2016, she quickly realized that she had to “be pounding the pavement, or my keyboard, pitching for new business.” She knew that sitting in her office and waiting for clients to find her wouldn’t get her freelance work. After sifting through her LinkedIn invites, she saw that two headhunters had asked her to join their professional networks. So Anne accepted.
Within 15 minutes, one headhunter had sent Anne a message about an opportunity with a medical communications agency that was looking for a full-time medical writer. Out of curiosity, she decided to talk to the headhunter, and learned all about the company and the position.
An introduction to potential clients
“I realized that I hit the jackpot,” says Anne. “I had the name of a medical communications company that was desperately in need of a medical writer with my exact skill set.” So Anne searched LinkedIn and found the executive vice president, vice president, and human resources agent for the company. “I sent each of those individuals a cordial introduction of myself and a few writing samples. Within a week I had a new client,” she says.
Anne used the same process with the other headhunter—and landed another new client! She told both headhunters that she was launching a freelance medical writing business.
How Lisa Converting a Prospect Into a Client by Being Different
When Lisa still hadn’t gotten a freelance assignment from a medical communications agency about a month after completing their paperwork, she decided to pay the company a visit. Lisa suggested this to the director of client services. And the client scheduled a day-long visit. “Meeting clients in person is always optimal,” she says.
Lisa lives in Georgia and the medical communications agency is in Ohio. So she had to book a flight, a rental car, and a hotel. “I paid my own expenses for this trip, realizing that this business expenditure would more than pay for itself in the long-term,” she says.
Other freelancers never visited the client
The client’s agenda for the visit included spending several hours with the senior project manager to complete training on their internal processes and procedures. Then about seven agency employees took Lisa out to lunch. Lisa also met other members of the account teams during an afternoon drop-in. “Nearly everyone I met remarked that none of their freelance writers had ever traveled to their offices to meet them in person. And they seemed very glad that I took the time do so,” she says.
Within a few months of the visit, Lisa had completed two projects for the client and expected to continue to get more projects. “Taking the initiative to call on this client in person was very beneficial for several reasons, especially in laying the foundation for what will hopefully be a lasting and positive working relationship,” she says.
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Learn More About Anne and Lisa
Anne Erlich, PharmD
Lisa van Devender, PharmD