By Nico Prins
We all know that an ever growing number of people are taking up side hustles. The reasons why are a question for another day. What matters is that people who have previously only worked traditional jobs are now effectively running miniature businesses in their spare time.
Of course, running this one-man operation means taking on responsibilities that might have dedicated departments in a larger organisation. As such, the early days are a steep learning curve.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is finding customers or clients. In the early days, most side hustlers can get by on word of mouth or responding to open job offers. However, you’ll soon need to get a bit more proactive.
The majority of side hustles involve offering some kind of service, rather than making or selling a physical product. In most cases, that means looking for a relatively small number of high value clients, rather than the other way around.
To find this type of client, it’s hard to beat personalised cold emails.
Why Cold Emails?
The idea of reaching out to someone unsolicited fills many of us with anxiety and dread. Luckily, I have a very simple piece of advice for this. You just have to get over it. This might sound glib, but once you start seeing results, you’ll leave those trepidations behind.
Or maybe you think personalised emails are a little old fashioned. Why would I want to type out individual emails if I can reach thousands of potential leads in seconds with an automated blast? Two reasons spring to mind.
The first comes down to horses for courses. Bulk emails are more appropriate for selling products or certain types of services. But if you want to take on a small number of high value projects in your spare time, this is unlikely to yield results. If nothing else, your potential clients will spot a template a mile off.
The second is data privacy. If desperation kicks in, you might be tempted to buy an email list from some nefarious source. This used to be morally questionable, but not strictly illegal. In the GDPR age, with its regulations regarding consensual data usage, this path is not worth the risk.
Beside this, a properly personalised and thoughtful cold email costs nothing, and probably has the highest chance of converting of any outbound marketing technique.
Let’s take a more detailed look at how to do this.
Finding the One
Naturally, the first step is getting the right people in your sights. If you’re going to put the effort in to crafting a highly personalised initial email, you want to know that you’re targeting the right person.
In most cases, you’ll want to look close to home. At least for the early days. You might not have realised, but if you’ve been in the same locality for long enough, you should have plenty of insight into which local companies are in need of exactly your services.
If you do want to cast your net a little wider, you’ll have to be fairly cunning. One popular trick among freelance …read more
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