FT 084: From LinkedIn Connections to Clients with Rachel Pedersen
Rachel Pedersen's daughter was going to start school in a few months and Rachel suddenly had this vision of someone else driving her daughter to school and picking her up and spending time with her while Rachel worked in an office 9-5. This image was Rachel's breaking point and her drive to give freelancing another go.
The first attempt at freelancing on her own left her stressed out because she didn't know how to get clients. But for the second attempt, Rachel had a plan. She leveraged her network on LinkedIn to make connections to over 7,500 people. After only 1 year, she no longer has to actively search for clients and makes a 6-figure income. Rachel shares how she went from being a hairstylist to a social media manager and strategist.
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Rachel shares with us:
How did Rachel build up a social media management business so quickly?
Her secret was using LinkedIn as a way to grow her network and connect with new people, like a virtual networking event. Rachel contacted her second connections, people who shared at least one common connection. She focused on people with titles that indicated that they were the decision makers, such as founder, partner, owner, or president. From there, she would send them a personal message, such as:
I hope you are doing well. I noticed some of the projects you are working on right now. Would love to hear more about how it's going.
(Don't worry, I don't have anything to sell you)
Rachel had a lot of great feedback and a fantastic response rate from this method. She warns, however, that you can't be a spambot:
“Hi, this is me, this is my product, want to see it? ... more about me ... How are you? ... let's talk about my product.”
In fact, Rachel originally emailed local small businesses like this, not even realizing that she was spamming them by cold selling. Very impersonal.
The goal of building connections is just that, building connections. You are not selling! You should be starting a relationship, wishing them the best, offering to answer any questions, and just nurture!
And by nurture, keep your relationships warm by sending messages every once in a while, such as referencing a great article they wrote or having read something that made you think of them. You never know what the future holds or who might end up being a great partner.
What she looks for in a good connection, and a good client, is that they are a good person: established, successful, passionate, and believe in what they are doing. These are the type of people who inspire her.
These connections have gotten so extensive that after only a year, Rachel no longer needs to reach out to new people. She just needs to keep up with her current connections and she gets new clients through referrals and word-of-mouth.
But why freelancing?
The choice to freelance and take on the stress of having to find her own clients was motivated by a lifestyle choice.
The money didn't matter. Building a growing business is fun, and it's great, but I cared most about having my husband and I home and there for my kids when they needed us most. Lifestyle achieved.
Check Rachel out online, she promises many new interesting things to come for those starting out in social media!
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Find Rachel online:
Matt is speaking at Up Conference on October 13 in Vancouver. Use the promo, MATT, to get a discount on the ticket. Check it out!
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