by Niall Doherty

A few days ago I announced my goal of winning $5,000 of new business in November, and invited you to join me with your own freelance goal. If you’re already on board, great! If not, it’s not too late!

So now let’s get stuck into the reality of this. The first and perhaps biggest challenge is to find new clients to work with, new projects to work on.

How the hell do we do that?

Here’s where I take inspiration from the words of Byron Katie:

“You could have anything in the world you wanted if you were willing to ask 1,000 people for it.”

I’m going to test this hypothesis throughout November, and I encourage you to do the same.

No ask, no get.

With that in mind, the past few days I’ve been putting together a list of contacts I can reach out to. These are friends, acquaintances, past clients, and pretty much anyone else I can think of that I already have a positive relationship with.

So far I’ve come up with about 120 people.

I’ve placed all their names in a spreadsheet. My next step is to begin reaching out to them.

What do I say to these people?

I simply tell them that I’m actively seeking new web design and development projects, and ask if they or anyone they know has something I might be able to help with.

That’s pretty much it.

I figure the more people who know I’m available for hire, the better. That way I have hundreds of eyes and ears out there in the world helping me find work.

(Which is another reason why I made my $5k goal public in the first place! By writing about this challenge, all my blog readers now know that I’m available for hire as well.)

“But what if I don’t know many people?”

Now you may be thinking that I have an unfair advantage here, because I have this blog platform and can easily reach a lot of people. And I’m also a pretty social guy with lots of friends and acquaintances around the world who I can contact and ask for help.

But what if you have no significant online presence, and you’re having a hard time listing even ten different people you could reach out to?

My advice would be to get busy building relationships.

Relationship building is a long-play and you may not see significant results from it within a month, but it’s probably the best thing you can do for your business in the long run.

Because at the end of the day, business is about relationships. People want to work with people they like and trust. So it’s important that you get out there and be friendly, be helpful, be likeable.

And it’s not just about making new friends or acquaintances either. Probably more important is staying in regular contact with the people you already know, checking in on them every so often and taking a genuine interest in their lives.

I actually make it a point to reach out to at least one old friend or acquaintance every day. I have it as a daily task on my to-do list so I don’t forget.

Wrapping up

A few action items for you:

  1. Make a list of all the friends and acquaintances you can reach out to for help finding work. (If you’re on the fence about somebody, put them on the list. What harm?)
  2. Start reaching out to several people on that list every day.
  3. Simultaneously, begin a daily practice of reaching out to friends and acquaintances without asking for anything. Just check in and say hi, ask how everything is going for them. Take a genuine interest in their lives.

Lastly, I want to hear from you in the comments below.

First, let me and everyone else there know what kind of work you do, what kind of services you offer. And second, please share any other ideas you have for finding new projects/clients this November.

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