Don’t make client referrals your main marketing method. Do this instead.

Focus on the marketing activities you can control. In Episode 19 I share my own experience with resting heavily on referral business, and why relying mainly on word of mouth can be dangerous. I present four areas of outreach every freelancer needs to include in their marketing mix.


Here’s an easy email campaign you can do today to promote your work and build your contact list.

First, answer these questions:

What kind of work do you want to do more of?

What kind of clients do you want to work with?

Have you collected business cards of people you’ve not yet reached out to?

Do you have former clients you haven’t heard from in awhile? Friends and acquaintances who own businesses? Customers of your Etsy shop?

Put all these contacts into a list.

Select 3–5 people from the list and send an email to each asking their permission to send them your promotions. Send this from your email directly, not through an email service.

The next day, send the same email to 3–5 more people. Repeat this until you’ve sent the email every day for 5 days.

Here’s a  template to follow:

SUBJECT: [insert their name], here’s something you might be interested in…

MESSAGE: Hello [insert their name],

I’ve just completed a design project and thought you might be interested in seeing it.

Can I share it with you?

[your name or email signature]


That’s all you need.

Don’t embellish or add any How’ya doing’? Thank you, Bye For Now, Best Regards stuff. Leave the question open for them to respond.

When you get a positive response, send them a follow up email showcasing your project. Ask them what they think of it. 

Then add the person to your regular promotion email list at your email service.

If they come back with a negative response, don’t contact them again.

If they don’t reply at all, send the first email — revised — again 5 days later.

Do this every day for the next 5 days. C0me back here and drop a comment to let me know your results.

If you do this exercise, not only will you have added interested people to your email list — with their permission and without the offer of a free incentive (lead magnet) — but you will have engaged in a marketing activity for 5 days straight.



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