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Keeping Track of Freelance Writing Sales Leads

The first year of my freelance writing career I did not receive many inquiries from potential clients. Obviously, this had a lot to do with the fact that I was unknown at the time. But since then, I usually receive three or four sales leads a week. They come in the form of email, phone, or referrals from friends in the industry.

It is very important that you properly track and organize your freelance writing sales leads. If you don’t, you will find that following up with them is next to impossible.

Generally speaking, you do not need any special software or system to keep track of leads. Personally, I use nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet that is set up with some basic fields.

The fields that I include on my sales leads spreadsheet are as follows:

• Where the lead came from – email, phone, etc.
• Date of inquiry
• Date and method of my response
• Lead’s name
• Lead’s phone number
• Lead’s company name
• Lead’s email address, website address
• Type of project that they have available
• Miscellaneous information

Of course, you can tweak your fields to best suit the way that you have your freelance writing business set up. Over my years in the industry, I have found that the above fields are most important to keeping me organized; they may or may not suit your needs.

If a lead turns into a project, I always make note of this. After all, you do not want to follow up with a lead thinking that you have never worked for them. This can be quite embarrassing to say the least.

It is up to you on how often you will follow up with the leads on your spreadsheet. Some freelance writers like to do so once per week, whereas others do so once per month. I always base my follow-ups on what the client initially told me, as well as my workload at the time. From there, I have a better idea of how often to get in touch with a potential client.

How should I follow up with a lead? In my opinion, you should do so in the same manner that you were contacted. In other words, if a client emails you for information, you should follow up with them via email. The way that a client gets in touch with you the first time is usually their preferred method of communication.

Always make sure that you log your freelance writing sales leads. These leads are potential clients that could lead to more work. 

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2 Comments »Freelance WritingJanuary 8th, 2008

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