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How one writer landed a $10K project from an ideal client

Posted by Ilise Benun on


In my recent podcast with writer, Lori Ferguson, she shared the details of how she pursued her ideal clients and landed a $10K+ project—and how it all started 18 months ago with a warm email message.

This prospect didn’t need her at the time but invited Lori to keep in touch—and that she did. 18 months later, this prospect’s boss came to Lori with a $10,000+ project that he said she’d be perfect for.

You know what I attribute her success to? Two things:

  1. The right attitude: “When I’m reaching out to somebody, I keep in the front of my mind that I’m not reaching out for work. I’m reaching out to establish a relationship. Because I always feel you can’t have too many friends. If work comes about as a result of that, then so much the better.”
  2. The right message. Here’s one variation on Lori’s warm (i.e. personalized) email message (which has garnered a very healthy response):

Dear {name}

I recently came across the {company name} website when researching companies who handle communications for educational and nonprofit institutions and was completely taken by your voice and business ethos. And as a Midwesterner by birth, I’m always thrilled to discover cool companies in the heartland. {Tailor personalized comment here as relevant.}

I’m reaching out to you today because I’m a freelance writer with a passion for education and nonprofits and extensive experience in crafting compelling, well-written stories that inform and motivate readers.

I’ve worked in communications at Princeton University and Harvard Business School Publishing and currently contribute stories to numerous alumni publications including the Phillips Exeter Bulletin, Andover, Taft Bulletin,Northfield Mount Hermon Alumni MagazineCyrus (the alumni magazine of The Blake School), Princeton Alumni Weekly, Colby College Magazine, University of New Hampshire Magazine, Dartmouth Medicine, University of Buffalo Medicine and many others.

Following is a link to samples of my work:

Would it make sense for us to chat?

Thank you for your time, {name}!

Then, over the next 18 months, Lori followed up and nurtured the relationship.

She says, “I check in and wish people a happy holiday or…if I see something in the news about their institution, I’ll check in and say congratulations on x accomplishment or I wrote this article recently…it’s about just having a relationship, really. Just carrying on a conversation.”

I can preach all day long about this—but seeing someone who’s actually doing it is the most convincing argument there is. That’s why I am so grateful to Lori for sharing her experience with us.

Lori also had these kind words to share with me:

My session with you back a year or so ago really gave me a lot of tools that I use consistently. I refer to my notes that I took on those two phone calls on a regular basis and also did the Command the Fees you Deserve course which was really, really helpful. I appreciate you for giving me the tools I need in my toolbox to make this happen.”

Listen to my interview with Lori here.

Get my Creative Live course, Command the Fees You Deserve.

Subscribe to the Marketing Mentor podcast on iTunes.

And if you want the right tools in your toolbox, sign up for my complimentary mentoring session.

  • More in: Connecting, Inspiring stories, Interviews, Podcast, Posts by Ilise, Success Stories

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