Are you a work-from-home solopreneur? Then you know what it’s like to anticipate a busy next month or quarter. You know, when those inquiries and project quote requests from prospective clients flood your inbox and social media accounts. But just as Spicy Chai Latte from Trader Joe’s transforms into a slippery beverage when you add hot water, your potential leads and projects can dissolve into nothing billable, despite your best follow-up efforts.
Is this dramatic and visual enough for you? It should be, because not only do I know how this makes you feel, I also know that you shouldn’t take it personally. No, that hallowed quote from The Godfather won’t be inserted here, but say it to yourself if it provides any comfort!
Here are some ways to remain proactive when, despite your best efforts, your prospective client/project pipeline is as clogged as a toddler’s mucus-encrusted nostrils:
Scan Your LinkedIn Connections and Schedule One-on-One Coffee Talks: Okay, so this isn’t a paradigm-shifting piece of advice I’m offering. In fact, you’ve probably heard it parroted to you at countless networking presentations and business forums. After you finish reading this post, log into your LinkedIn (LI) account and look for at least six new local connections whom you met within the past few months. Send them each a brief LI message asking their availability for a one hour, in-person coffee/tea/H2O meeting within the next two weeks. Do it – you’ll stop whining about your lack of prospecting activity!
Attend Educational Seminars or Training Sessions: Based on your current budget, there are different ways to approach this “proactivity.” If your education and training budget is lean, join up with free professional groups in your local prospecting zone using Meetup’s website. Check your local library’s website for any free computer or social media training that might appeal to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Can you carve out some company cash? If so, look for in-person seminars/training sponsored by your local chapter of the American Marketing Association (ask to try before joining) or other professional organizations you haven’t yet sampled. Don’t forget to browse your local community college’s website for more educational opportunities!
Attend Charitable Fundraisers for Philanthropic and Mingling Purposes: This type of business pipeline “Drano™” will cost you. But your marketing budget should allow for such events, because networking is a beneficial by-product. Is there a local branch of a national nonprofit you’ve been meaning to learn more about or get involved with as a volunteer? Then attend their next smaller-scale food and wine tasting or luncheon/panel discussion.
If you can confirm beforehand those certain leaders within the organization who will be at the event (and then brace yourself for some assertive behavior on your part), even better. Some incredibly worthwhile nonprofits in the South Jersey area include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice, and the Food Bank of South Jersey.
Rearrange Your Messy, Mismatched Sock Drawer: Joking!
How do you get your prospecting efforts back on the path of profitable righteousness when you feel like you’re chasing imaginary clients or projects? What else would you suggest? Inquiring solopreneurs and small business owners want to know!
Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business writing, editing, and research company. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a no-obligation project quote today!