Nov
13

3 Steps to Find Prospect Leads

Prospect leads imageCoaches, speakers and virtual assistants share a similar question – how to find prospect leads in their industry? Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur can feel impossible when you do not know the answer to this question. Internet marketing provides you a platform for an online presence, but it is equally important to know where to find prospects that are interested and ready to hire you now. This blog post lists three steps you can use to find potential clients that are requesting the services you provide.

Trade Organizations/Requests for Proposals

One of the main ways to find prospects is joining organizations and reviewing their job boards. They are mostly called requests for proposals (RFP). Trade associations have boards where entrepreneurs and companies can place a request to hire someone. These requests are from interested people that are ready to do business now. When you are starting out if your warm network does not include people that need your services, organizations can help you meet interested parties that want to contract your services.

When using this option, it is important to develop a procedure to following up. If you do not hear back from the party, you send an email to within a week it is good to follow-up with another email. Set up a system where you know when to follow-up with a contact for a minimum of five or six times. It is also best to have an affirmative way to reply to rejection responses. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Marcie Hill. She explained that she wanted to attend the BlogHer conference, so she submitted a proposal to help finance her registration. When her proposal was rejected, she went to her next step of engagement. It is important that once you have a goal, do all you can do to work toward realizing this goal. If you are not chosen for a request, knowing how to respond affirmatively can lead to ongoing conversations; they may join your mailing list and refer you to someone in their network.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to extend your warm network while demonstrating your skills and meeting potential leads. As you volunteer in your trade organizations or local groups that need your professional services, others will learn about your proficiency and keep you in mind when someone they know needs your help. Just as your personal network will call to ask for help, your volunteer network will refer or hire you based on interaction and work performance. Remember people do business with whom they know, like and trust and volunteering gives people the opportunity to know you. Volunteering is giving back while building or expanding your network.

Submitting Proposals/Creating Your Work

I mentioned earlier that Marcie Hill submitted a proposal as a way to attend a conference. Live and online conferences send out calls for speakers often. If you are a speaker or a coach, submitting a proposal is an incredible opportunity to start generating business as a speaker. Some speakers will also have recordings available on their websites that conference coordinators can review to help their organizations decide to hire them.

In addition to knowing where to find work online, it is equally important to know how to generate work for yourself, and the Internet helps make this possible. Just as Tyler Perry and Ava Duvernay write, direct and produce their work, it is important for entrepreneurs to know how to generate work. If you are a speaker, you can create your speaking engagement at a local church or organizational building where you can hold an event. You can promote your event online and share your information that will help others. You can then repurpose this event by recording or videotaping it and uploading it to your website.

Directories

Having an online presence is valuable and having your professional profile in your industry directories is useful. Although this is a passive activity, it is still important for you to have your professional profile in trade directories to expand your reach online. The more places your profile and content is uploaded the better your opportunities to be contacted by someone seeking your services.

These are three steps in getting starting to connect with people seeking your services now. Much success in reaching in any goal is knowing what to do. Starting here will give you a clear step by step process toward reaching your aim as an independent contractor. Using the above three steps to find prospect leads combined with your other marketing actions will help your transition from employee to entrepreneur easier.

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