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I used to be the freelancer who would cold email potential clients, state my services and offer a “free” consultation to see if there was a good fit.
9.5 times out of 10, it didn’t work — and I had no idea why. In fact, I almost never received a reply. If you also cold email clients, I’m sure you can relate.
After reading The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John D. Mann, however, I started to take a different approach to attracting new clients: Instead of stating what I could do for potential clients if they hire me, I send potential clients an email with exactly what I would do for them if we worked together, unconditionally spelling out the “why” (purpose), “how” (strategy) and “what” (tools and tactics) in great detail.
And, I don’t withhold any information or attach any strings. I put all my cards on the table and present my target clients with the implied proposition to take it or leave it.
This way, I’m able to demonstrate (show instead of tell) my expertise and knowledge, which immediately builds my reputation as a trusted source. At the end of the day, trust is the most important intangible in sales, because clients hire — and are willing to pay more for — people they trust.
As a result, I’ve been able to more than triple my hourly rate and win big-time clients through cold emails. Attracting more prospects with the “go-giver” approach put me in a position to pick and choose the clients I want to work with, since the scale of supply (my available time) and demand for my services now tips in my favor.
Here’s an example of one of my cold emails:
Be a “Go-Giver” at Scale
One-to-one marketing may be the most effective, but it’s also a time-suck, so it’s important to have a complementary “go-giver” strategy for engaging prospective clients at scale.
To start, list all of the main services you provide, and break them up into mini tasks. Then, create step-by-step video tutorials where you show people exactly what you can do for them. Here are a few examples:
- A graphic designer creates video tutorials about designing a logo, business card and email newsletter (three different videos) using Canva.
- A digital marketer creates video tutorials about setting up a Google AdWords campaign, creating a landing page and using email automation.
- A blogger creates video tutorials about setting up a new blog, creating and managing a content calendar, and writing different types of blog posts.
You can also include add-ons such as templates, printable worksheets and software recommendations to tie up all the loose ends. In other words: The more, the merrier.
My personal branding challenge, while not a video tutorial series, is a great example of utilizing the “go-giver” approach at scale.
Give to Get
At this point, you might be wondering: “Why would I give away my expertise for free? Isn’t that why clients hire me, so I can make money to provide these services for them?”
Absolutely, but you have to give in order to get. Once you give, two scenarios will likely take place:
- People will try to complete the tasks themselves, but will realize their lack of experience, knowledge and expertise produces a less-than-stellar result.
- People will appreciate your expertise and transparency, but they know they can’t — or don’t want to dedicate the time to — do it themselves.
In both cases, who do you think they will hire to get the job done? You guessed it.
Josh Hoffman runs Epic Freelancing, where he teaches people how to combine financial success, creative freedom and lifestyle design. Get his exclusive video training: $570,000 Worth of Freelance Lessons.