How exciting! You're getting closer to getting your first corporate contracts (or more of them).
By now you have:
- Reframed how you think about corporate
- Brainstormed lists of companies
- Made a three-tier spreadsheet of your personal contacts
- Figured out which visual elements you need to create/refine (logo, biz cards, website)
- Amped up your own personal presence
You are more than ready to get things rolling!
Now, getting corporate clients does often involve a complex sale, negotiation tactics and other soft skills that you could spend time acquiring and honing before you go out and try to get business.
But I don't recommend waiting. Why? You're going to learn as you go along and that's perfectly ok.
(Also I heard from some of you that it's easier to read a full email- even a long 2000 word one- so I'm putting the entire lesson in the body of this email but if you still want to read on a web page you have that option. Just go here.)
So, on to the Prep and Prioritize!
The two most important FIRST THINGS you can do to get clients are:
1. Be working on your professional visuals. Design/web can take a few weeks at minimum and I don't want that to slow you down while you perfect a website for the next four months.
NO! Don't get caught in the quicksand. Take a page from the tech world: minimum viable product. (MVP) It means do the least you can get away with for now that still looks good and get rolling.
Say you want pretty letterpress biz cards but don't have the time/budget. Then pony up a little bit o cash for the top end Moo cards and in a few months (after you've got your first contract) then order those letterpress ones. That's MVP in action.
2. Start setting up meetings with that contact list.
I had a 1:1 client recently (hey Rebecca!) who did a fabulous job of setting up meetings with her list before she left her job. The corporate sales cycle can be short (you're hired!) to loooooong (years and years).
The best people at building their pipeline understand that and keep having meetings to stay connected and fresh in the minds of the people who might hire them.
So start now!
I do have a caveat about marketing in general- it's a longer convo but basically the gist is this: everyone needs to market in a different way because...we're all different!
What works for me might not work for you. So there is no one real bulletproof solution. This weekend I'm going to post a quick video about the tool that had me going "Lightbulb!" and doing the happy dance because discovering this tool changed my marketing forever and ever amen.
Instead of feeling burned out and frustrated that my marketing efforts weren't working I finally learned how to play to my strengths.
So check in with me on facebook/my blog this weekend for that video. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program...
You must must must get your visuals to MVP and start booking your meetings (and perhaps one or two networking events with your target market per week).
That's gonna get you some momentum.
Now, I have a little secret to tell you.
It's about energy and it goes like this.
Whenever I have neglected my pipeline (usually because I've been so busy with clients that I forgot to prospect/didn't prioritize it/or when I got married/first trimester of pregnancy/enter your excuse here), I would come to a point where I HAD to go out and get some business!
And I always always go back to my basics: reaching out to my network.
So spend a half hour each day sending out emails/making phone calls to your contact list and booking meetings. It'll take time to get on some calendars but don't let that frustrate you.
We have more steps to go so that your meetings and contracting are successful...stay tuned!