How to Find a Digital Agency

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven’t already, come across a digital agency.

Digital agencies are everywhere! In fact, it’s possible you’ve worked with one in the past and didn’t even realize it.

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency.

How to find a digital agency

If you’re a freelance writer or content creator then you may be considering starting your own digital agency.

Or maybe you want to take on agencies as clients. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner you may be considering hiring an agency.

They can be a huge help with your digital presence, online marketing and SEO.

Deciding to work with a digital agency in any capacity is a big decision to make. There are many different types with varying specialities and capacity.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re ready to get started working with agencies.

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5 tips for getting started working with agencies

Tip 1: Do your homework

Since every agency is different it’s important to research the company. Before agreeing to work with them you want to make sure they’re a good fit for you.

Starting from scratch? Look for local marketing agencies and make a shortlist based on their skills and services.

Tip 2: Make sure your industries are aligned

While the agency doesn’t have to be an expert in your field, they should have some experience in your area. For example, if you run a bakery but the digital agency specializes in landscaping it may not be a good fit.

Alternatively, if you’re a tech writer and the agency has mostly fashion clients, you’ll be a mismatch and nothing will come easy.

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency. Five tips for working with agencies.

Tip 3: Ask for case studies

Case studies are helpful whether you’re looking to work with an agency or hire one. If you haven’t heard of these before in essence they’re a study analysis where you overview a business problem, outline options for solving the problem and what happened in the end.

It gives you a solid idea of the type of work the agency does and you’ll get a feel for how they work. For an agency example, check out Vine Digital.

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Tip 4: Meet in person if possible

While this isn’t required, face-to-face meetings always help build rapport and relationship. For many freelancers, the idea of meeting clients in person is terrifying. However, it’s an important part of growing your business.

By the way, in-person meetings are also a great way to test and refine your elevator pitches.

For business owners, meeting with an agency owner in person allows you to connect on a deeper level and give them a peek at the heart behind your professional exterior.

This will help them craft campaigns and strategies that better-suit your needs than if they didn’t have that added insight.

Tip 5: Compare costs

If you’ve decided you want to hire a digital agency but still have a few options, it may come down to comparing the costs. Of course you want to base your decision on other factors as well but this should definitely be one of them.

Extra credit: For more information when it comes to weighing up agency costs, you can visit this guide here.

If you’ve decided you want to work with an agency this is also an important step! Make sure your pay is adequate and the scope of your responsibilities is clear. And get it in writing.

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency. Here are five tips for working with agencies.

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If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency. Here are five tips for working with agencies.

Simple 5 Step Social Media Strategy for Writers

Here’s your five step social media strategy, aka what to focus on when you don’t have time to be social. Stop being overwhelmed and start marketing!

Five Step Social Media Strategy for Writers

Use this social media strategy for writers

Let’s face it. Social media marketing can be overwhelming. The more experts and gurus you listen to, the more steps there seems to be to reach the social media success train.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve put together a quick and easy five step social media strategy for those times you don’t have time for marketing.

Because you’re busy and looking for help NOW we’re going to dive right in. Take what you need and do it NOW.

Pro Tip: Don’t do this all at once. Choose one thing you can do now and work on it first. Then come back and pick another to work on. Then another. Look at it like building blocks—do what you can, master it, then move on to the next step.

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Here’s your five step social media strategy

Step one: decide on your objectives

Your options are endless here, but the key is choosing a goal.

What are your social media goals? Why are you posting?

You need something to keep you focused on the big picture so you keep moving towards your writing/business targets.

Here are a few objectives ideas:

  • Build your online profile
  • Build brand visibility
  • Networking
  • Reach new clients/readers
  • Stay connected with current clients/readers
  • Launch products/books/services

Remember, choose one and work on that first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that objective move on to another, then another.

Step two: choose your social networks

I know you know. You don’t have to be everywhere.

However.

You do need to be online. It’s the modern marketplace.

Since you can’t do it all, you must choose where to spend your social time/energy. There is a lot of advice out there for which networks have the biggest payoff but you will need to decide for yourself what works.

A couple questions to consider when choosing your social networks:

  • Where are you most comfortable online?
  • Where are your clients/readers most comfortable online?

My two cents. If you’re a writer and trying to build your platform as a writer, I recommend Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as your networks of concentration.

Twitter

Yes people are saying Twitter is on its way out and yes it’s not the same as it was a few years ago.

However. This is where you meet other writers.

You know who else you meet on Twitter? People looking for writers.

How you manage Twitter is an art in itself but once you have it set up, you will understand why I won’t let Twitter go.

Twitter is for quick interactions. It’s great for sharing helpful links, meeting new people, and getting ideas. But it’s not a place to sell. You build relationships on Twitter, 280 characters at a time.

Feeling overwhelmed by social media marketing? Here's your five step social media strategy, for when you don't have time to be social.

Facebook

This is where the largest concentration of people who are on social media are. Facebook. Join the conversation.

If you think of Facebook as a place to host/advertise events, join writers groups and share your blog posts and article clippings, it may start to make more sense.

However, this is not a place to vent your personal feelings about in-the-moment happenings.

Yes you see people doing that all the time, but they’re not trying to build a professional brand and they’re using their personal profile to do that.

If you think about your professional goals and aligning what you post on Facebook with them, you’ll know what you need to do.

Instagram

This is where your future fans and readers are. Trust me on this. It’s time to figure Instagram out.

Instagram is a wonderful place to connect with people as you build your brand. How? Consistency and engagement. That means YOU are consistent and YOU are engaging with others.

You can share your writing, post prompts or inspiration, and behind-the-scene peeks at your writer’s life.

Images have a way of connecting people with you that words alone don’t. But this is not a place to post your entire vacation photo album—not when you’re building your professional brand.

This is also a place where you do need to engage and be active. If you don’t post and interact with other posts, you don’t grow.

Wondering how on earth to do this?

Read my post on how to build an Instagram strategy. This is one of my favourite social media services and I’ve seen this strategy work time and time again.

Remember: choose one social network and work on that first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that social network move on to another, then another.

Step three: complete your social media profiles

Smack in the middle of your five step social media strategy is optimizing your profiles.

This comes after you choose your social media platforms because I don’t just want you to complete your profiles but optimize them.

How? I’m glad you asked! Read my post with five tips for optimizing your social media profiles.

But maybe you don’t have time to read another blog post. Here are the main points.

  • Choose a professional/standout profile picture and cover photo
  • Make it easy for people to know who you are/what you do
  • Link to your website
  • Include keywords about your services
  • Be clear on your location/contact info
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My biggest tip for optimizing your social profiles is consistency across platforms.

Each network has its own rules for how long your bio can be, what sort of profile image works and where your website link goes, but if you can keep more or less consistent then you’re on the right track.

Step four: interact with your audience

We talked about this a bit in Step Two of the five step social media strategy but it needs repeating. The point of social media is to be social.

I know, you don’t have time to be social. But do you have 15 minutes?

Spend 15 minutes a day checking into your two or three chosen social networks and leave comments, reply to comments and lend your expertise whenever convenient.

Trust me, this will expedite your brand building like nothing else will.

If you get nothing else from this five step social media strategy remember this: You’re not on social media to sell. You’re there to be social. Offer value, compliments and help. Sales will follow.

Step five: build your promotion strategy

All along we’ve been talking about how you DON’T sell on social media. But you do need promotion. There is a difference.

In most cases, clients/readers need to know, like and trust you before they’ll hire you/buy your book/work with you. In a virtual world, how do you make this happen? You need a strategy for converting warm leads into clients and retaining existing clients.

If you can stay in touch in a consistent, helpful, positive way, people who visit your website or connect with you on social will get to know you and will develop trust in you and your brand.

I know it as a “keep in touch strategy.”

I first heard about it when I read Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling.

He suggests building an automated strategy using customer relationship management (CRM) software. While that’s something you can build up to, there’s lots you can do before investing in a CRM.

You’ll need to figure out a few things you can do to make people feel special, noticed, and important. Here are some ideas.

Book Yourself Solid

Passive ways to stay in touch

  • Posting regular blog/website content
  • Posting regular social content
  • Share real-life tips and tricks from behind the scenes of your business
  • Commenting on/liking/sharing others’ posts on social media

Active ways to stay in touch

  • Build an engaged email list and connect consistently
  • Send handwritten notes or cards
  • Live streaming—doesn’t get much more personal than that!
  • Initiate communication
  • Send an article you think your contact would appreciate (personal touch)
  • Become a connector—in helping your connections cross-promote or develop business otherwise (even if it’s without you) you will build so much good will
  • Share gratitude and compliments—recognize others, say thank you, give sincere, public displays of affection

Remember, this is a five step social media strategy but work on one step at a time. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that strategy move on to another, then another.

There, of course, is more. But you don’t have to do it all today.

If you’re feeling like you don’t have time to be on social media or you’re overwhelmed with where to start, then please implement this five step social media strategy. It WILL help you!

And if you are just plain stuck then I can help. All you have to do is get in touch.

Here's your five step social media strategy, aka what to focus on when you don't have time to be social. Stop being overwhelmed and start marketing!

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

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Feeling overwhelmed by social media marketing? Here's your five step social media strategy, aka what to focus on when you don't have time to be social.

Content Marketing Ideas to Keep Your Prospect Funnel Full

If you’re a business owner or freelancer on any level you know the importance of keeping the content marketing ideas flowing.

Without solid systems in place keeping up with marketing it’s easy to let things slide. Because being creative and keeping your name top of your prospect’s mind can become a full-time job if you let it.

Content Marketing Ideas to Keep Your Prospect Funnel Full

4 content marketing ideas to keep your prospect funnel full

Even if your client roster is full, it’s a good idea to keep prospecting.

Perhaps you’re not in sales mode but you want a system in place to keep warming people up to work with you in six, nine, 15 months down the road when your current projects are complete.

Consistent marketing is how you avoid the freelancer feast-and-famine cycle. It’s how you keep steady inquiries coming through the door.

Marketing is how you’re able to choose projects rather than take what comes because you need the money. Marketing is no joke.

That said, there are different levels and intensities of marketing and you don’t need all systems firing on all cylinders if you’re in a busy time and cannot take on any new business.

Break apart your different marketing approaches into categories and scale it up and down as necessary. But don’t stop marketing!

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Here are some long-term content marketing ideas for things to work on when you don’t need clients right this second.

Video (Yes, and this is one of those Content marketing Ideas that’s Not Going Away)

South By Southwest is over and video is the big takeaway. You’ve got to do it (I’ve got to do it). This year, it’s projected that some 80% of internet traffic will be video based.

Crazy.

Even if you’re main way of consuming information isn’t by video this is where the digital infrastructure is building. The social networks are preparing for it. YouTube is back in the big-players game.

Lean into video and figure out how you can use it to grow your business. It doesn’t have to be fancy but start warming up to it. And with the development of voice search it’s in your best interest on a few levels.

If you're a business owner or freelancer on any level you know the importance of keeping the content marketing ideas flowing.

Podcasts

Like I just said, voice search. It’s a thing.

The more options you can give your readers and prospects online, the better. If you can host a company podcast, you’re reaching a new audience as well as establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

Yes there are a few steps to getting started but that’s what people like me are for. I wrote a guide for planning a podcast in nine steps and there are helpful guides like “how to record audio on Mac – Setapp.” It’s possible.

You can do it.

Long-Form Content

This is one of the most-requested services I’m asked for these days. Long-form, thought-leadership pieces for company websites. Blogs are back!

Well, maybe they’re not called blogs so much these days but showing up with consistent, authoritative pieces on your site isn’t just good for SEO, it’s good for business.

And don’t worry about the time and energy you spend on creating these pieces, they become the foundation of other pieces of your marketing. Serious!

Create videos, podcasts and ebooks or re-purpose it into smaller social media posts and even marketing copy. You won’t regret investing in long-form content.

Guest articles (As far as content marketing ideas go, this is one that was big, went out of fashion and is back again)

Another interesting way to market yourself is to produce helpful content for other people’s websites.

Look for sites who serve a similar target market to yours and see if there’s something you can contribute.

This not only helps you grow a relationship with the site owner (networking!) but it puts you in front of a new audience. If done well, guest posting can be a win-win-win.

Those are my top four content marketing ideas for ways you can keep your outreach consistent while continuing to serve your current clients with excellence.

If you're a business owner or freelancer on any level you know the importance of keeping the content marketing ideas flowing. Without solid systems in place keeping up with marketing it's easy to let things slide. Because being creative and keeping your name top of your prospect's mind can become a full-time job if you let it.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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If you're a business owner or freelancer on any level you know the importance of keeping the content marketing ideas flowing.

How to Build an Instagram Strategy

Today I’ll show you the basic outline for building an Instagram strategy. At least enough to get you started.

Today I'll show you the basic outline for building an instagram strategy. At least enough to get you started. And yes, this is a how-to!

Do you want the ebook that goes along with this training? It’s a free download in my resource library. Pop your email in the form below and I’ll send you the password.

Once you’re in the library navigate to the social media section and look for “How to Create an Instagram Strategy ebook.”

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How to build an Instagram strategy

Everyone’s saying you need to build an Instagram strategy but it seem like no one is saying how, right?

I get it. The thing is, it’s hard as well as personal.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all photo-creating money-making Instagram strategy you can copy and paste into your marketing plan.

I mean, people may tell you that and may even try and sell you that but I’m telling you, it’s something you have to build and customize to your specific brand.

BTW marketing plans, social media strategies and branding are whole other discussions.

But before the Instagram strategy: WHY should you use Instagram?

At this moment one third of Internet users have an Instagram account so there’s an excellent chance your target audience is here.

This is an opportunity to showcase and promote your services and brand to people who may not yet know about you and all you have to offer.

Instagram is an ideal tool to build a visual identity, telling your brand story through beautiful images, intriguing captions, and appropriate hashtags.

When executed well, Instagram can help you develop a deeper connection with your audience.

How to build an instagram strategy ebook - free download.

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General Posting Strategy

As a brand (and yes, if you sell something, you’re a brand), it’s important to follow a posting strategy to help your audience know how to think about you.

  • Why should they follow you?
  • How will you engage, inspire or motivate them?
  • What are some ways you can deepen your relationship with your audience through the images you post?

Think about these questions and jot down some answers.

The best way to create a strategy is by focusing on one area of your brand; choosing a niche.

When choosing a niche ask these types of questions:

  • What can you do better than your competitors?
  • How about what will your audience find interesting, inspiring or motivational?
  • What is important for your audience to know?

Find these answers and you’ll have your niche.

Once you’ve brainstormed a few ideas try writing a paragraph about your brand.

Here’s my (current) write up as an example

I’m a professional writer with blogging, marketing and tourism experience. I also have a bachelor of journalism and diplomas in media and communications and biblical studies.

Unlike most business writers, I spent a decade working as an in-house writer, marketing manager, and audio producer at an international non-profit. Aside from working in a variety of roles, and with a range of personalities, this experience taught me how creating authentic marketing messages can build meaningful relationships and make emotional links with constituents.


I recommend thinking this through before asking a social media marketing strategist to help you create an Instagram strategy.

You know your brand and goals best and by getting clear on your goals and who you serve ahead of time, your chances of creating a laser-focused strategy are that much more likely.

If you want to learn more about this process check out my article on positioning.


Create an Instagram strategy

Once you have your paragraph, think about what your Instagram posts should feature to showcase who you are and what you do.

In my example, I aim to promote things I’m working on (freelance or personal), things I love (new discoveries, funny stories, interesting ideas, books I’m reading) and exclusive tips (for the freelance writer).

When thinking about what types of photos you’ll post keep in mind every post should drive people to your business. Also remember that your Instagram content is a reflection of your brand and core beliefs. Your feed tells a larger story of who you are and what you stand for.

Jot down a few photo ideas before moving on. Don’t worry, these are still brainstorms for now.

Still stuck? Here are a few questions to help you

  • What drives your business?
  • What are your biggest takeaways?
  • How will what you share enrich your followers’ lives?

HOW should your posts look, sound, and feel?

At all times your Instagram posts should speak to your audience, appealing to their interests. Your posts should engage them using thoughtful language intended to interest, inspire, or motivate them to take the next step with you.

If you are promoting an event or contest take care to craft your caption in a way your audience will respond best—focus on the benefits instead of the promotion.

WHERE should you focus?

Your Instagram posts should focus on what your users will find interesting, inspiring, and motivational.

  • What makes you or your business/services special and unique?
  • What is there to discover?
  • And what would your audience be interested in seeing?

WHEN should you post?

Posting consistency is more important than how often you post.

However, Monday and Thursday are higher use days for Instagram in general so these are good days to aim for.

Once you have your strategy in place use a free tool like Iconosquare or Websta to analyze your followers and learn what days and times they’re more likely to use Instagram and adjust your posting schedule as necessary.

Extra reading: Schedule Social Media with These Free Apps and Services

WHAT should your posts consist of?

All posts should contain a photo, a caption, and hashtags.

  • Your photos must be high quality, with good framing, and interesting content. Photos should be planned and edited with third-party apps
  • Captions should tell your audience a story. At every step, take the opportunity to draw your audience in and point back to your strategy.
  • A good practice is to create a list of 10-20 hashtag relating to your business, brand and products and reference several from the list each time you post

Using hashtags is a critical part of your posting strategy.

By finding and using the most relevant hashtags for your updates, your posts will be exposed to users in your target audience who don’t yet follow you.

You should mix brand-specific hashtags with more general hashtags. Instagram uses hashtags to organize and categorize content so by not using or misusing hashtags your posts could go unnoticed.

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Follower strategy

The best way to gain followers on Instagram is by having a great profile. Here are the elements.

  1. Description. Your profile description should reflect your niche and give the user enough information to be motivated to follow you
  2. Portfolio. When a new user visits your Instagram account s/he will often view your photo portfolio before choosing to follow you. You want to make sure your portfolio is not only filled with beautiful images but reflect your niche. If the user visits your portfolio and your portfolio is off topic or contains weak/poor images, it could prevent new followers
  3. Photos. Your photos should reflect your brand’s online voice and emotion related to it

Before taking a photo ask the question, “what do I do better than anyone else?” Find or take photos supporting your answer.

Before posting a photo ask the following questions:

  • Does this photo showcase my talent?
  • Is this photo interesting?
  • Is this photo on-brand?
  • And is this photo beautiful?

If the answer is yes, post away! If you’re not sure, don’t post the photo.

Posting quality images is more important than posting often. Beautiful images increase your brand value in the user’s eye while weak/poor images decrease your brand’s value in the user’s eye.

Follower tactics | How to build an Instagram strategy

Once you’re clear on your target audience, and have your profile description, portfolio, and photos in line then you can begin following other users.

Follow

Search Instagram and find as many people in your target audience using keywords. Aim to follow 100 or 200 people to begin. Many will follow back out of courtesy but even if users don’t follow back you have gathered a pool of users to draw photo ideas from. Try to find new people to follow every time you log on to Instagram.

Like and Comment

Another way to gain followers is by liking and commenting on photos. A good strategy is to like and/or comment on three to five photos every time you log on to Instagram. Try to be encouraging, positive, and upbeat.

Also remember to respond to your followers comments on your photos. A quick “thanks” goes a long way. Remember to @ tag the follower you’re posting to.

Repost

Reposting other users’ images is a great way to showcase your brand without having to come up with all your own content (or your own social media manager!).

Not only do you highlight and support Instagrammers but you add beautiful images to your portfolio extending your brand.

You can use repost apps, take screenshots and repost yourself, or save the image on your computer and manually add it to your mobile device before posting. Just be sure to give credit to the user you’re reposting (@ tagging) and add relevant hashtags.

Hashtags As part of an instagram strategy

Adding popular hashtags to every post will expand your reach. Also? It will expose your images and profile to new users.

Adding brand-specific hashtags to every post and encouraging followers to use it in their posts. It also helps you create community and cultivate loyalty.

When your followers use your hashtag it exposes your brand to their audience, with the added bonus of the user’s advocacy.

Cross Posting

Cross promoting your Instagram posts on your other social media profiles like Facebook or Twitter exposes your followers there to your Instagram feed.

You can also use your Instagram feed to encourage users to find you on your other profiles. This is provided you are using beautiful images with an interesting caption to relay the message.

Conclusion for how to build an Instagram strategy

There is a learning curve to Instagram, but by following a posting and follower strategy will get you a long way.

As well, learning a few basics about photography, utilizing third-party apps and filters and reposting will help you create an engaging portfolio as long as you stick to your niche and showcase the best of your brand.

How to Build an Instagram Strategy ebook. Everyone's saying you need one but no one's saying how, right?

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Today I'll show you the basic outline for building an Instagram strategy. At least enough to get you started. And yes, this is a how-to!
Today I'll show you the basic outline for building an Instagram strategy. At least enough to get you started. And yes, this is a how-to!

Simple Powerful Ways to Keep in Touch with Clients

As a freelancer, one of the most powerful ways you can keep work coming in is from a basic keep in touch strategy.

This simple yet effective tactic is so often overlooked. I guess because new clients and leads are a lot shinier. More exciting. Undiscovered.

But I’m more interested in paying gigs. So I stay in touch with existing warm leads and previous clients.

Overhead shot of a notepad, pen and cup of coffee on a white table with the phrase "keep in touch" overlaid on the image

Around the Internet I see a lot of freelancers giving advice for pitching new outlets.

And that’s a good thing!

However, exploring new leads should be balanced with other marketing tactics.

Use these simple, powerful tactics to keep in touch with clients

Staying in touch with people doesn’t get a lot of air time. Probably because it’s not sexy. In fact, it may even be boring!

  • Keeping in touch with clients involves following them on social media and engaging with their posts
  • It means sending emails when you see something interesting they might like
  • And it means checking in from time-to-time to see how they’re doing, or if they could use your help

Simple. Maybe a bit boring. But effective.

Takeaway: While new leads are exciting, you’re running a business. It’s easier to maintain existing relationship than begin new ones.

When the pandemic hit in early 2020 I used this strategy and filled up my client queue within a week. I was interviewed about it for the article, 7 ways freelancers and gig workers can survive a downturn.

Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet

It can seem overwhelming to come up with creative (and authentic) ways to stay in touch with people. I can help!

I’ve created a free worksheet outlining a little exercise I picked up over the years. Since making it work for me I have never sat down wondering what to write.

This is available as a PDF download in my Resource Library. Just fill in the form below and I’ll send you the password! Then once you’re in, navigate to the writing section and look for “How to Brainstorm Ideas for Writing.”

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The KEEP IN TOUCH STRATEGY.

I learned about this strategy when I read Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling.

He suggests creating an automated strategy using customer relationship management (CRM) software.

While that’s something you can build up to, there’s lots you can do before investing in a CRM.

How to use this effective strategy with warm leads

In most cases, potential clients need to know, like and trust you before they’ll hire you//work with you.

In a virtual world, how do you make this happen?

My advice: You need a strategy for converting warm leads into clients.

If you can stay in touch in a consistent, helpful, positive way, people who visit your website or connect with you on social will get to know you and will develop trust in you and your brand.

Your task: Find ways to make people feel special, noticed and important.

Here are some suggestions.

Ideas for executing a “keep in touch strategy” as a freelancer

Ideas for executing a "keep in touch" strategy with clients or warm leads (tips for freelancers)

Follow your clients and prospects on social media

Social media is such a powerful networking tool. This is a great way to get to know people better, and interact with them in a casual way.

I’ve noticed I hear from people quickly on Twitter or Instagram, while getting an email back usually takes…longer. It’s just how things go!

Social media seems quick. Email seems laborious.

Extra credit: Social media is a great way to warm up new prospects. If you can find a way to be your beautiful self online (with a good mix of authentic self-promotion so people can see the great work you do) this will allow people to get to know you, like you and trust you without you having to do anything different.

Pay attention to life events and mention them

If you’re connected on social media (especially LinkedIn) this is a bit easier. Watch for announcements of birthdays, anniversaries, job changes, etc.

And when you notice? Comment on it. Say, “Congrats!” Or more! Pay attention and communicate on a friendly, human level.

This doesn’t have to be complicated so don’t overthink it. A quick “all the best, thinking of you” is enough.

Bonus tip: Set up Google Alerts for people you want to stay in touch with, then messaging whenever something interesting comes up. This is especially awesome when you notice they’ve been featured in an article or have won an award!

Email them an interesting article

I mentioned this earlier and it’s a solid strategy! You’re reading articles anyway, right? For research, and because you love information.

If you see something you think will be interesting to a client or lead, pass it along!

All it takes is a quick email or DM: Hey, did you see this article? I thought of you when I read it.

Take it to the next level: I also use this as a networking tactic. When I see a job opportunity I think a fellow freelancer would love or is perfect for, I send it along.

Of course this only make sense if you view other freelance writers as colleagues and not competition. Colleagues is way better.

One caveat: When you send people articles or leads make sure you’re not doing it so they give you work in return. Keep it at a genuine, hey I thought you’d like this, level.

Send a note when your details change

Even if you’re not currently working with a client, letting them know thinkgs like your email address or phone number has changed is a nice excuse to reach out and make a connection.

And sending a personal note rather than making a public Facebook post about it is just better.

Do you have the capacity to take on work? Mention it

This works really well when you have an existing relationship with someone, but you haven’t worked together for a while.

Reach out with something simple like, “Hello! I hope you’re well, just wanted to let you know I’m in a position to take on new assignments so let me know if you’re looking for any content to be written.”

Another way you could phrase this is if you’ve added a new service to your freelancer product line. “Hi! I wanted to let you know I’m now offering social media management in addition to my other regular services. Let me know if you have a need in this area!” 

Meet in person

Yeah this is a bit harder these days, and lots of people work with clients who aren’t nearby but meeting in person can make a huge difference in your client retention!

And yes, you can talk business or whatever but also talk on a personal level. Be a human. Be professional, yes, but also be fun.

This may seem obvious but it’s something i have to remind myself of all the time. So. Let your hair down a bit. Not too much. A bit. Build a real relationship.

And if you can’t meet in person-in person, meet in virual person.

Here are a few ways I’m staying in touch with prospects, leads, clients, etc. in this pandemic time.

These work for me and my personality so don’t follow my playbook, just use these as inspiration for finding your own tactics.

  • Notice a cool person asking on Instagram if anyone wants to join a co-working group? JOIN THE GROUP
  • See a call to join a book club from someone you admire? SIGN UP FOR BOOK CLUB
  • See someone you would like to work with putting out a call for penpals on Twitter? BECOME A PENPAL
  • Reach out to local friends/colleagues/clients to check in and see how they’re coping. When appropriate, suggest meeting up for outdoor patio catchups

Of course, some keep in touch strategies take more energy and effort than others, so it’s important to balance these tactics and keep them balanced with your other marketing.

I dare you to make staying in touch a part of your day-to-day freelancing.

Try it for a few months and if it doesn’t make a remarkable difference, then I give you permission to quit.

But I think it’s going to work.

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As a freelancer, one of the most powerful ways you can keep work coming in is from a basic keep in touch strategy.  This simple yet effective tactic is so often overlooked. I guess because new clients and leads are a lot shinier. More exciting. Undiscovered. But I'm more interested in paying gigs. So I stay in touch with existing warm leads and previous clients.

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