A common challenge with new and seasoned solo PR Pros is developing new business. For many consultants, referrals are a primary source of new business, and that is great! However, it is unwise to depend solely on the generosity of your network. As the old saying goes, “don’t put all of your eggs into one basket.” You will want to develop your own system for generating prospective clients so that you control your choices and your income. The secret to gaining new business is…there is no secret! There are a million ways to approach business development – writing, speaking, training, direct mail, advertising, and more – and they all work. The key is to choose the right activities to reach the right people and do those activities consistently. Action is the secret! Use the 5 tips below to source leads and begin the process of outreach.
Former employer/colleagues. Many Solo PR Pros count their former employer as their first client. Past employers and colleagues can be a great source of new business leads. They already know and trust you, and you will not have to overcome some of the challenges inherent in developing a new business relationship.
The people you meet along the way. Consider your past work life, were there suppliers, vendors or even competitors that could be a potential source of work? Don't neglect to look beyond past employers to the people you encountered in your work life.
Search and tweet. Twitter can be useful in helping to discover prospective clients and build relationships. Do a keyword search on Twitter to find people and companies who may be a great fit for you. If they are active on Twitter, follow them and begin to interact. If they are not active on Twitter do further research to explore ways to connect such as LinkedIn, through their blog or even email.
Link to leads with LinkedIn. You can use LinkedIn to search for leads. Look for position + keywords. For example, you may want to search for CMOs, technology, Montana. Keep in mind in that these initial social searches are simply to surface potential leads so that you have a list to work from to build prospects. You can also use LinkedIn to gain inbound leads. Check out our latest webinar to learn how to optimize LinkedIn to attract ideal clients.
Think like your clients. A great way to find new business leads is to think like your clients. Visit client industry association blogs and websites. Read trade publications. Attend workshops, conferences, and events that prospective clients will attend. These places are also great for building your thought leadership platform, and driving inbound leads.
There are many ways to build leads but the key is to be consistent in your actions.
We'd love to hear from you. How do you develop leads? Share in the comments below or on social media using #solopr