How Freelancer Joy Drohan Now Finds Her Ideal Clients

Like many freelancers, Joy Drohan used to market her business, Eco-Write, only when she had to—when things were slow. A seasoned freelance writer and editor in environmental and agricultural sciences, Joy was doing pretty well. But she had some slow periods, and wanted to work with her ideal clients and have a steadier workflow and cashflow.

Now Joy markets her business consistently and is steadily busy, including doing interesting work for several new clients who pay her well and treat her right. She is getting her ideal clients.

Following Up Pays Off

One key to Joy’s success is regular follow up with prospects who are interested in her services but haven’t hired her yet.

This is crucial, because 90% of the time, prospects aren’t ready to hire a freelancer when we first contact them. By following up with interested prospects regularly, Joy makes sure that they think of her first when they’re ready to hire a freelancer.

That’s how Joy landed 3 of her 4 new clients in 2017. For one of these clients, Joy sent the owner a direct email about how she could help the business. The owner had recently sold the business, but gave Joy the contact information for the new owner.

“I emailed him, and followed up with a voicemail when I didn’t hear from him,” says Joy. “He called me back the same day and we talked about what kinds of projects I might work on for them.”

Joy kept in touch with the prospect every 4 or 5 months. As a result, within about a year, he became a new client.

While most freelancers, including me, are more comfortable following up by email, Joy likes to call prospects. “Following up with a phone call feels more assertive, comfortable, and authentic to me,” she says. “I’m amazed at how often I can get the person I want on the phone on the first try and how often my call opens a conversation.”

Joy thinks her follow-up calls work so well because so few people actually make phone calls these days. This helps her stand out from other freelancers. People often say they saw the email and meant to reply.

Long-term follow-up with prospects has gotten Joy other clients too. One of her clients, for example, was referred to her by a prospect about two years after Joy first contacted that prospect.

Reaching Ideal Freelance Clients

More consistent marketing started when Joy enrolled in the online course Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve. “Taking the course forced me to focus on marketing and helped me to clarify more effective ways to reach my ideal clients,” she says.

Although Joy already had a long list of prospects, she hadn’t made time to consistently contact them. During the course, she prioritized some of those prospects and began to send direct emails focused on each prospect’s needs and how she could meet those needs.

Joy also developed a tagline — “targeted writing and editing in environmental and agricultural sciences” — which clearly and concisely defines her business. The tagline also gives clients a key benefit of working with Joy: They get targeted writing and editing to meet their specialized needs. Joy uses the tagline on her business cards, website, and LinkedIn profile.

On LinkedIn, Joy’s headline is:

Freelancer delivering on-target writing and editing projects in environmental and agricultural sciences for 20+ years.

At a result of adding “freelancer” to her headline during the course, Joy made it easier for more prospects to find her. In her LinkedIn summary and her website, Joy focuses on client benefits, including how she lightens their loads.

Lately, Joy has received invitations to join the LinkedIn networks of several people who may turn out to be key contacts who can refer her to clients or become clients themselves. She thinks that they found her through shared connections and referrals from prospects to whom she sent direct emails. Recent changes by LinkedIn to its interface and algorithms may also have made it easier for these contacts to find Joy and invite her to connect with them.

Learn more about LinkedIn profiles and activity.
Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Freelancers

During the course, Joy also revamped her logo and marketing materials to make an even stronger impression on prospects, clients, and colleagues. While this isn’t part of the course, I was happy to review her designs and provide my advice.

See Joy’s new marketing
Read the case study on Joy. See her logo there and on her website.

Doing a Little Marketing Every Day

Joy now spends more time on marketing than she did before, even though finding time is still a struggle sometimes. “Do a little marketing every day or almost every day. If you wait for a block of several hours, you won’t get to it,” she advises other freelancers.

So most days, Joy tries to spend about 15 minutes on her marketing. She usually works on marketing in the evenings and sometimes on weekends.

I like to do most of my marketing evenings and weekends too. Sometimes, I’ll devote a Friday afternoon to this. When you work on your marketing doesn’t matter—as long as you do it.

Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve

This 7-week online course helps new, aspiring, and experienced freelancers learn the most effective ways to target and reach the right clients.

Get details about Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve.
Read the case study on Joy.

Click here to subscribe

Learn More About Finding Your Ideal Clients

How to be First in Line for Freelance Work 
The Surprising Thing That Will Get You More Freelance Work: Follow Up 
Why You Need to Use Direct Email: What 4 Freelancers Say 
Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Freelancers