We all need a steady flow of clients. Otherwise, we’re dreamers longing for a resume business.
Finding clients isn’t difficult per se …
… but it can be time-consuming.
Especially when we don’t know WHERE to look or HOW to get started.
So, let’s focus on how you should apply your efforts and where to go when sales peter out.
Let’s get started.
Who Are YOUR Low-Hanging Fruit?
Did you think we were going to start with something complicated?
I’m happy to disappoint.
An ideal place to find a new client is …
… among the prospects you’ve quoted in recent months.
Resume writers make the biggest mistake of thinking old leads are dead leads.
Professional resume writing can be a sizable investment, which is why many job seekers put it off. You’ll also find some job seekers are new to using writing services, and when facing an unknown path, they procrastinate.
Here are two questions to ask yourself:
First, have you ever needed a few days to consider a large purchase?
I bet you have.
Second, have you ever avoided a large purchase because too much time had passed? Or, have you felt embarrassed or guilty because you told the sales girl you’d get back to her the next day but didn’t?
You likely answered yes to these questions too.
The truth is, every single one of us …
… “drop the ball” from time to time.
… talk ourselves out of buying things.
… avoid large purchases for one reason or another.
An attentive sales rep, however, hot on our heels, could keep the “buying momentum” moving forward so we don’t delay or avoid a needed purchase.
When the sales rep fails to follow up with us, we somehow permit ourselves to avoid the purchase.
Have you noticed that?
Reverse The Roles
Now, I want you to consider yourself an attentive sales rep.
You want to be the attentive sales rep in this scenario because:
- MOST PROSPECTS NEED OUR HELP AS RESUME WRITERS
I say MOST because we’ve been contacted many times by job seekers who thought they needed a resume rewrite.
Turns out, they did not.
For those needing help with their resume, too many of them tend to avoid hiring a professional writer, even though it’s in their best interest.
Nurturing The Sale
If you’re not using SOMETHING (e.g., Excel Spreadsheet, Outlook, or CRM software) for lead management, you’re singlehandedly sabotaging your resume business.
Oh, did you expect me to sugarcoat things?
You won’t get gentle criticism here.
If your goal is to become a resume writer making a six-figure income, you can’t ignore the sales potential from older leads.
Lead Management Template (.xls File)
For those who don’t have too many leads that need tracking, a well-designed Excel spreadsheet will do the trick for now.
I’ve made a pretty lead management form available for download here.
So, the first place to start is by downloading the above template and deep diving into your email manager.
Identify your most recent leads, and work your way back.
Not only use this template to track communication and follow-up with old leads but make 100% certain you use it for new leads too.
As your business grows, lead management will become far more complicated.
The more you use your Excel spreadsheet, the faster you will outgrow it.
You won’t be able to avoid that.
As your resume business grows, you’ll need automation software to handle prospect and client communications.
Some of the most notable software for this includes Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, and Zoho.
There are a few low-cost CRM alternatives that have lead management functionality, such as:
- Leadsius.com (free account when you maintain a database of fewer than 250 contacts)
- JumpLead.com ($24/month for Lite subscription / this service level would work for many)
Should you run out and get automation software now?
If you’re spending more than an hour daily on manual prospect follow-up, then it’s time to look into the benefits of automation.
Follow-up Made Easy — Template Email Content You Can Use
The toughest part of prospect follow-up is knowing what to say and how to say it.
So, we’ve made that easy for you too.
Here are 3 email templates for varying prospect situations that you can use today:
SCENARIO #1: PROSPECT QUOTED / DIDN’T PURCHASE / NO REASON GIVEN
John — will you be ready to start your resume project this week?
Sally J., Resume Writer
**NOTE: I didn’t ask, “did you receive my quote?” Chances are, he did, so there’s no sense asking a question we know the answer to.
SCENARIO #2: PROSPECT QUOTED / DIDN’T PURCHASE / LOW BUDGET
Neil — I understand that hiring a resume writer is an investment. I have a couple of alternatives for you, which will be more budget friendly. Would you like me to send those to you?
Sally J., Resume Writer
**NOTE: Notice how this follow-up email is brief and doesn’t provide in-depth detail. The ONLY purpose of this email is to open the lines of communication, not to spew too much detail at the prospect. Once the prospect wants to learn more, you can offer a split payment option or an alt service offering (e.g., resume only versus a larger package the prospect requested: resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile).
SCENARIO #3: NOT QUOTED / PROSPECT DROPPED COMMUNICATION
Jaideep — I haven’t heard back from you since you contacted me last week about needing help with your resume.
Were you abducted by aliens? If so, do you have a different email address I should be using? 🙂
Or, maybe it’s something as simple as you already got your resume squared away.
Either way, let me know.
Sally J., Resume Writer
**NOTE: You’ll be surprised how many people will respond to this email!
For “New & Shiny” Resume Writers
We all start somewhere.
And, if you’re a new and shiny resume writer, you might not have ANY leads to follow up with.
So, where do you go to drum up that new client?
Log into your LinkedIn profile right now, pick 5 *somewhat* (approx. 5-8 years of experience) established resume writers, and click “connect.”
Feel free to connect with more leads as needed.
Why “somewhat” established resume writers?
Because chances are they haven’t established a referral partnership yet.
Don’t know these resume writers?
That’s okay. It’s common for resume writers to connect with other resume writers on LinkedIn.
Ensure your LinkedIn profile has been updated and reflects your resume business, experience, certifications, etc.
Once those resume writers accept your connection request, I want you to send the following message:
Louise — thanks for connecting with me here on LinkedIn.
Curiously, are you seeking a referral source to send leads who need a resume writer at a lower price point?
Maybe $300 to $500 range? I pay a 20% referral fee, which is larger than most.
This would be a great way for you to add a new revenue to your resume business — and help me expand my client base as well.
Of course, I can provide you with more details and send you a few of my resume examples to review.
Sally J., Resume Writer
**NOTE: To stand out, you need to offer something different. A higher referral fee is a good start. BTW, the standard referral fee from one resume writer to another is often between 10% and 20%. You could make that # larger too. Maybe an odd number, such as 22%? That will also help you look even more different.
Here’s Way #2 to Drum up a Client in The Next 60 Minutes
Once you’ve completed the above, it’s time to head to the second place to drum up a client in the next 60 minutes.
And that is…No
LinkedIn Marketplace Services (formerly ProFinder) allows you to create a business page that you can use to submit proposals for prospects seeking your resume writing services.
What did you think I was going to say? Chloroform?
A fee was involved with signing up as a service provider – when it was ProFinder. However, this is no longer required since the name changeover.
There are GOOD reasons for using the Services interface.
First, LinkedIn has a very established audience.
It’s undeniable. LinkedIn has a staggering 500+ million professionals who almost exclusively use LinkedIn for networking and job-search purposes.
That’s hard to ignore.
Second, LinkedIn is a trusted source.
There are few online places where job seekers can conduct an active job search.
LinkedIn is now one of those trusted, go-to sources.
LinkedIn Services isn’t for everyone. For example, professionals who request a quote from top resume writers are given 5 proposals from approved LinkedIn service providers. This means you’ll be competing against 4 others.
LinkedIn Marketplace Services doesn’t seem conducive for resume writers who are higher up on the fee structure. We’ve looked at LinkedIn Services in-depth and found that resume writers at lower price points tend to succeed better.
A major con to LinkedIn’s Services is the lack of resume upload.
Of course, you can look at the prospect’s LinkedIn page to get details about the person’s career.
And maybe get some baseline for what their resume needs.
However, having the prospect’s old resume would go a long way to helping resume writers provide better quotes.
We all know that professionals don’t maintain their resumes and LinkedIn profiles equally.
And this can create an unnecessary challenge when submitting a quote for services.
A resume writer is “quoting blind” when providing prospects with a specific number, which makes providing a range of pricing for services a better option.