This is Part 2 of a post originally published by Justine Smith on the FreshBooks Blog August 19, 2015
Imagine waking up one morning, checking your email and finding several new leads from interested prospects. Now, imagine experiencing that every morning.
How can this happen? Through the power of professional networking.
When you take the time to build a strong network, that investment will bring results. People start seeing you as an expert and will come to you for services, whether you’re a writer, designer or massage therapist.
But this only happens through successful networking. A strong strategy is a must for keeping you and your business top-of-mind when new opportunities arise.
In the article below, you’ll find a few no-hassle, professional networking tips for freelancers. Use them to build your network, acquire new business and establish yourself as the go-to authority. Let’s dive in…
Craft a Comprehensive Marketing Toolkit
This toolkit will serve as your go-to resource when you land new leads during networking events. It’s essentially a pre-packaged form of sales collateral. Keep some copies in the car or carry some on-hand to make sure you never find yourself without your toolkit when the moment to exchange information strikes.
Ok, so what goes in this pre-packaged marketing toolkit?
Good question. You’ll find an array of choices for printed marketing materials. Some of these include:
- Business cards
- Post cards
- Greeting Cards
As a freelancer, you can use one or all of these items to creatively promote your business. But for the purpose of this package, try to keep things simple.
This is a no-brainer. Every professional at a networking event will carry a handful of business cards. In fact, you should too, above and beyond the ones you include in your networking toolkit. Then, when someone needs your number, just hand over your business card and set up a time to chat.
But what if a prospect wants to learn more about what you offer? When this happens, it’s time to hand over a bit more information. Your business card is your foundation, but let’s add to it a bit…
In addition to the business card, include a brochure that highlights your services, capabilities and accomplishments. If you want, you can even take things a step further by offering a simple discount within the brochure.
When creating your brochure, keep these tips in mind:
- Write to your target audience.
- Share benefits, not just features.
- Get a professional design.
Remember, you want to pass out this toolkit and let it do the selling for you. Do everything possible to create good, high-quality marketing materials.
One Miscellaneous Item
Round out your marketing toolkit with one of the materials left on the list above. This is a miscellaneous item by default, because different materials will work better or worse, depending on your industry.
For example, here are a few different ways you could use this third part of the package:
- Music Teacher: Include a flyer that features an introductory discount for new students.
- Writer: Use a newsletter to show off your writing skills.
- Designer: Print a cool sticker that showcases your best design capabilities.
Once you have the package completed, it’s time to get out there and start building your professional network. Don’t be afraid – everybody gets nervous about networking, but preparation is the key. When you use this system, you’ll make the entire process as “no-hassle” as possible.