I sprinkled my personality all over my words.
Here’s how I conduct my conversations, and how you can do it as well to chase similar results.
(Hint: this won’t work if you’re not genuinely interested in your prospects.)
1. The Strangers
A new prospect messages me, telling me what they need regarding content writing for their blog, asking if I could help.
What I do BEFORE the first reply: run a quick research on them.
Wait, there’s a catch.
I’m not looking for the basic info you should clearly have before starting to work with a new client, but for the deeper information.
- What’s a small achievement they made a while ago that they only announced on their Facebook page?
- What’s a popular post on the CEO’s Linkedin profile?
- What’s the nicest review they’ve ever gotten?
Any little thought that shows you put in extra effort (even though it’s not that hard to find this info) will be an immense help.
After that, my first-ever reply to them will go like this:
Hey, [first name],
Thank you so much for reaching out! I’m happy you chose me as your next freelance writer. 🙂 Excited to find out more about how I can help!
By the way, can I just say… [insert a cool piece of info you found that impacted you. Congratulate them on it.] It’s really inspiring, and I’m glad there are businesses out there that bring this kind of impact in the world.
Just wanted to put that out there. 🙂 I’m a big believer we should be more vocal about the beautiful things people do, so I’m making it a habit for myself.
Anyway, let me know when you’d be available to talk more about your blog. I see you already have awesome things going on with it, so I’m excited to be a part of that. 🙂
Now that I’m seeing it all laid out like that, maybe you don’t have to use so many words, haha. I get very talkative when I have the chance to say something positive about… anything.
But this would be my super honest and open approach. Honestly, I didn’t think it would work, but it was worth the test.
Here’s what I found.
2. The Smile
While my approach certainly won’t work for every prospect, I can say with 90% confidence that the little appreciation is going to put a smile on anybody’s face.
If they’re a good fit for me, that smile will take them to the next step. If not, they’ll leave with it — and I’ll be just as happy.
If I won option #1, there would be a huge possibility of me getting this type of answer (which I did):
Wow, this is so nice! I’m honestly sold. None of the freelancers I worked with replied with a message like this. Thank you!
[…proceeds to talk about working with me…]
The first time I got this kind of message, it almost brought me to tears.
I was so scared of putting myself out there like that. It’s a risky length for a business-related email, and I talked about something that had no apparent tangible/practical professional meaning to our potential business partnership.
But it was worth it because I triggered a beautiful emotion, which helps tremendously.
3. The Collaboration
I always keep a smile on my face. After all, we only interact online — and quite rarely, as my deliverables can be delivered via email. So, if our time together is limited, I might as well make it enjoyable for both of us.
3 key elements that make the calls/conversations nicer:
- Insightful questions — get past the generic “how do you help people”. Get to the root of their business’s “why” and their life’s purpose.
- Active listening — as an introvert, all I’ve ever done in my life is observe. I’ve never really liked talking, so I was super happy just sitting and listening. Turns out, it’s now a superpower.
Hint: Just to be sure, do a bit of research on what active listening really is. It could surprise you.
- Mirroring — after you listen carefully, repeat some of their words back to them. Show them you registered what they said and you understand. This is also beneficial if you didn’t understand something correctly, so they can explain again.
4. The Delivery — essential!
This is where the test really showed me how important it is to be human.
If you leave with anything from this article, let it be this:
When I deliver my work, I let them know how the process of researching, writing, and editing it made me feel.
It turned out to be a game-changer. I strongly recommend it.
The email that contains the draft of your work is always a bit nerve-wracking, at least for me. What if they don’t like it? What if they get mad at me?
But as I describe how I felt during the process, what I learned from my research on that specific topic, and how writing for them enhanced my life in some way…
An incredible space for empathy, joy, and real partnership opens up.
It goes beyond the scope of the work, and how my words enhanced my client’s business/life — it reminds them that I, too, found meaning in it all.
It breaks down the mainstream barriers of the simple exchange of money-deliverables.
100% people of the responses I got back thanked me for letting them know it was beneficial. Honestly, I don’t see any way that wouldn’t happen… unless the client is a massive bad fit for me.
And this, my friends, is a beautiful end to a productive collaboration. It not only leaves us on fantastic terms, but it opens more doors to future projects or referrals.