There are a lot of moving parts to running an online business. One of your most important goals is probably to stay in business and keep leads and opportunities coming in. This often requires consistently pitching and outreach.
Yes, it’s another task to add to your calendar but a crucial and strategic business move to make nonetheless. When I first started working for myself 4 years ago I established some clients initially. However, most of those clients are either no longer around today or I’m simply no longer working with them. So how yo online business owners make more time for consistent pitching and outreach? Especially if your schedule is already packed and you’re not a big fan of networking? Here are some ideas to help.
Develop a ‘Hot List’
Pitching and performing outreach becomes much easier when you know your target and can plan around what that is. Start brainstorming which brands, prospects, organizations, etc. you’d like to interact with in some way. Build a master list that you can reference from time to time so you know who to reach out to.
You may not tackle everyone on your list at once, but you can go at your own pace and keep making progress. Developing a ‘hot list’ to focus on can help you make consistent pitching and outreach a reality. That way, you don’t have to waste your time and efforts on random and sporadic networking. If you have a list of 100 people, websites, prospects, etc. you can set a goal to connect with 5-10 per week or whatever works for you.
Set Up a Monthly Event
Want to do more outreach that can pay off in the long run? Sometimes it can seem like a challenge to really put your business out there. Realize you don’t have to take on a massive goal like meeting 5 new people each day or making tons of sales calls. Instead, work out a day and time for outreach and stick to a reasonable plan a 1 to 2-hour event every month.
This doesn’t have to be anything huge. You can literally host a webinar or masterclass once a month going over a topic that you know very well. Or, you can invite a guest to share their expertise and do a Q and A live on your social media platforms once a month.
Schedule out the topics you want to cover or the theme of the event early on and promote it to your audience as a regular event.
Send a Pitch or Follow Up When You Check Email
As a freelancer, I feel like I can definitely get better at sending more pitches. It took me several months to pitch a big client I had my eyes on but once I did, they were very responsive and wanted to work with me immediately. Now, I try to make time for consistent pitching and outreach by sending a pitch or follow up when I check my email.
Most people check their email multiple times per day. If you already have your ‘hot list’ established for pitching and outreach, why not shoot someone an email when you’re checking your messages for other updates? I create templates from past pitches I’ve sent that have done well. Then, I just customize them to fit the person or company that I’m reaching out to. This speeds up the process so I can send out a few pitches in just a few minutes.
If I’m short on time, I’ll often just send follow-ups to people I’ve reached out to in the past. Remember, we’re all busy and checking email each day but it’s common for things to slip through the cracks. If you don’t prioritize sending follow-ups when appropriate, you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities.
Automate Your Outreach Marketing Efforts
There are so many tools and programs that can help you start automating the processes in your business. When it comes to streamlining the process for consistent pitching and outreach consider these ideas:
- Segment your email list to people who are more likely to be prospects and schedule out targeted messages and offers to send them
- Schedule social media posts pitching your services or video testimonials from clients or customers to help market your business
- Add a personalized signature to your email so people know to just click a link or button to schedule a discovery call with you
- Create separate email pitch templates that you can use as a candid response
- Send automated email follow-ups – Yes, you can even automate your email follow-ups with certain tools like Rebump and GMass.
Leverage Time Spent on Social Media
How much time do you spend on social media? Be honest. The average person spends 2.5 hours on social media each day. Imagine if you turned that time into an opportunity for active pitching and outreach? You may not even have to ditch social media to do so.
Consider joining some Facebook groups in your niche or interacting with people in your network. I enjoy cold pitching but I also like getting referrals and growing my network. To do that, you have to focus on building relationships and social media can help with that. Social media is one of the easiest places to connect quickly with people in your niche and start to build relationships.
Something is Better Than Nothing
Realize that something is better than nothing when it comes to making time for consistent pitching and outreach. It doesn’t require a lot of time to keep fresh leads coming in and make new connections. Start by developing your hot list, then break up your actions based on your schedule and availability. On one day, you may have 20 minutes to pitch. Or, you may only have a few minutes to make a social media connection.
At the end of the day, it all adds up. Keeping quality leads and opportunities in the pipeline is always key. These clever steps can help.