Yay, someone recommended you for an editing assignment! This word of mouth is the most common way that editors get work, whether freelance or as a new employee. Well, that’s true of any professional, really. It’s what networking and making a name for yourself is all about.
What have you learned from the referrals you’ve received? Let’s investigate your experience to see what went well and what didn’t work out. This will give you the cold data to evaluate what has been working, so you can do more of that. Of course, the best time to do this evaluation is right after a referral, but you can pick any referral to evaluate for starters.
Evaluate Using These Questions
Pick two projects: one that you landed and one that you didn’t get. Answer these 13 questions to see what you can learn from the experience:
- How did the potential client hear about you?
- How did they contact you?
- What kind of work was it?
- Did the work come right away?
- If a person referred them to you, had you told that person about your work (educated them) or did they remember an ad or other marketing material?
- How did you meet the person who referred you?
- Why were you referred to this potential client?
- How did you follow up?
- Did you get the job?
- Do you still have this client today?
- Did you send a referral fee or at least a thank-you note to the referrer?
- Did you ask for more referrals? Or, what can you do to repeat or expand the marketing that worked in this instance?
- What can you do to reconnect with this client and the person who referred you?
Learn What To Do and What Not To Do
Not every potential job lead works out. It’s important to also evaluate the jobs you won but don’t want more of. Perhaps the topic isn’t one you want to work in, maybe the client was more demanding than your business wants to handle, maybe you want to move into higher-paying markets. This post mortem will help you identify the marketing that you should drop, as well as the marketing you should expand.
Learn more about marketing your editing business in our In-Depth Class “Freelance Marketing: Action Plan for Editors” starting August 22, 2017!