https://join.slack.com/t/growthmarketingpros/shared_invite/zt-1dvasuytj-bvrEWhd5kZzDl3BRR53o8g logo
#ask-a-growth-question
Title
# ask-a-growth-question
j

Jordan H (open for work)

07/23/2022, 12:45 AM
Hello. I'm a freelance developer. I'm starting to get that cold emailing is the way to get business. I know my target market (small & medium sized businesses that are wanting either a new tech product or a current one updated) I know what an effective cold email looks like. However, I don't know how to reach my target market. I feel like I'm in a LinkedIn bubble with slick tech companies (and their recruiters) that flick their noses at freelancers like me, so I often have to put out fires other freelancers have started on my initial contact just so they can trust me. I know that's not ideal and that I need to seek clients that actually want my services. I usually fall into a job-seeking rut instead of a marketing rut (not that I'm opposed to taking on FT work, but I've reached a breaking point where I can't handle the long hiring process anymore). What are strategies for connecting with these businesses? I know that purely answering job ads isn't the way to do it, tough that's my current strategy (filtering by contract work, of course). I've had a lot of success in the past with freelance sites, but those have quieted down recently.
👀 1
s

Saïd

07/23/2022, 7:11 PM
If you haven’t already, you can try the HackerNews hiring thread for August 2022 that will be posted in another 10 days from now (on August 1). 1. You can either list yourself on the Ask HN: Freelancer? Seeking freelancer? (July 2022) thread or the Ask HN: Who wants to be hired? (July 2022) thread. 2. You can use a free tool like F5bot or Segue (still in beta) or a paid tool like Howitzer to r=track keywords that your target market typically use to describe their technical needs. These tools will then scour Reddit on your behalf to help you find discussions/people who might be in need of your services. Good luck!
👀 1
j

Jordan H (open for work)

07/23/2022, 8:08 PM
Thanks. I did check out ycominator. Again seems to suffer the same fate: they're job ads. I'm mainly looking for circles of people: communities, networks--healthy connections. ycominator tend to be rife with the leetcode-to-hire body shops I run across on LinkedIn. Or am I thinking about it wrong?
I think I might investigate F5bot, or design one to suit my needs. 😁
n

Niv

07/24/2022, 2:07 PM
Hi Jordan, what type of developer are you? are you doing Shopify and web development too?
s

Saïd

07/24/2022, 3:38 PM
There are 3 hiring threads on YCombinator but I only linked to 2. I didn’t link to the 3rd (which is the biggest) because it is primarily full of job ads, which you are trying to avoid. Some of the ads on the 1st thread I linked to sometimes seek for a freelancer for a short project. Anyway, sounds like you want to join a community where small businesses hang out. What’s your stack?
j

Jordan H (open for work)

07/24/2022, 7:08 PM
@Niv Well, I'm senior-level so I can hop on just about anything competently. That said, Shopify & web dev is definitely in my wheelhouse. @Saïd I'd like to join both, if that makes sense. Essentially I read articles about other freelancers that got business through cold email. I want to know how they sourced these cold leads. Do I just start scraping the web and reach out to folks? Do I start randomly looking for keywords like "shoes" on LinkedIn in hopes that I come across a sm/med business that needs help? There are lots of guides about how to do cold marketing (what research to do, how to craft an email, how to maintain contact, etc.), but none about a strategy to reach the cold contact. Each one starts off with the assumption that they just exist in my contact list. I'm alone on one island. I occasionally see locals from another island float through. So I figure there's another island somewhere. How do I build a raft to get to the other island? How do I find out where the island even is?
s

Saïd

07/24/2022, 8:48 PM
Well, if that’s what you really have in mind, that will require a lot of experimentation, to learn what works and what doesn’t. You need to first of all have an ICP or Ideal Customer Profile, then design your experiments around this fictitious profile. (You’ll also need to identify buyer personas. HubSpot has a nice article that covers ICP and buyer personas.) For instance, assuming you have a lot of experience with a stack like Ruby on Rails, you could decide that you want to target small businesses of a certain size within a certain industry, that depend on their customized website (built on RoR) to remain in business. For them, they are stuck on a legacy tech that has been customized to handle major aspects of their business e.g. appointment scheduling, lab test administration, report printing, customer refunds etc. Essentially, you want to identify customers who are large enough to afford your services but too small to afford a full time RoR dev on their payroll. So, your ICP could look like this: • SMBs with a RoR-based website and/or back-office; Industry: Health e.g. Dental Clinics; • Revenue: $1 - $5million/year; • Geography: North America; Now that you have an idea of your ICP, the next question is figuring out where to find these businesses. There are several ways you could go about this. 1. You could use the local businesses function on Google Maps to shortlist dental offices that could fit your ICP; 2. Your could also use LinkedIn, as you’ve done in the past; 3. BuiltWith.com supports searching by technology stack, so it might be possible to shortlist websites that fit your ICP using their search tool; 4. Web scraping the website of professional bodies that license/regulate/manage continuous education for dental practitioners may also a viable way to shortlist dental clinics. Now that you have a list of domains, you could use tools like hunter.io and Clearbit.com to obtain enrich the data your have to include other info like email addresses and phone numbers, which you will need for the final step of cold emailing. Next, you want to clean up all of these info and put them in a CRM. A decent CRM (e.g. Close.com) will allow you to do a lot of things including e.g lead scoring—qualify leads so you can prioritize which prospects to pursue first so you can make your first sale. Alternatively, you could start with a spreadsheet, then move up to a CRM once a spreadsheet gets too tedious to manage.
👀 1
j

Jordan H (open for work)

07/24/2022, 10:02 PM
@Saïd Still a lot of questions, but that puts me on the right track. Thank you. I'm having to shoestring all of this. 😆
😁 1
r

Rajesh

07/25/2022, 2:49 AM
Hello- I am Raj and wanted to touch base and see if you use EMAIL-MARKETING to reach out to your most targeted prospects. If yes, here is my proposal to add new leads to your prospects lists. I am an experienced prospect list builder and keen to be associated. Here are few samples: 1. SAMPLE-CPA-ACCOUNTING-FIRMS-NY-USA-3-19-2021- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ARQ27dmZTUwjBp-lV0jDXjO5oFNSEr7uwtSDdMTNaL4/edit#gid=0 2. SAMPLE-HOSPICES-USA-9-13-2020- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rZTbH923XMYQAgWoNZVwvx8klfd3a0krpfCWMJ-VeDE/edit#gid=1838488789 3. SAMPLE-Real-Estate-DEVELOPERS-USA-4-30-2020- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MBQh35dzya4HyqEtfsERaHLV8RcrnsLgKf2vJ3pLIZ0/edit#gid=0 4. SAMPLE-B2B-EMAIL-PROSPECTS-LISTS- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kuuDyVgR-5byUZZwbfumjoXyK2Lj4xTEzESL2_7KzsM/ 5. SAMPLE-UNIVERSITY-DEAN-USA- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qPj0LW_tI_gsUsik7zgg1r4J5JIk2wL9ZNYb60YSe7A/ 5. SAMPLE-ATTORNEY-LIST-USA- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YgamohU_yHOpugGpJbzB_t0MbuGE_K8niqdmC2qyHOM/ ...and many more. Let's connect and see if we can work together. Raj
g

gavriela dvorah gerson

07/25/2022, 11:21 AM
One tip for LinkedIn: Take your target customer/client list, find their accounts on LI, and start to follow their posts. Engage by leaving comments when you can. Find the posts that have fewer comments so you'll be noticed. After engaging for a while, then reach out.
c

Christopher Daly

08/01/2022, 3:23 PM
@Jordan H (open for work) - a quick piece of advice on col emails is don’t send cold ones - warm them up with a lot of personalization. I would not even bulk send, but take the time to get to know the needs of a target audience really well and then send them one at a time. It takes more times, but quality is going to beat quantity every time. The other thing is to understand what you do in their terms. You are not a developer, you build build ecommerce solutions that drive exceptional growth. Or you build custom digital applications that create competitive advantages in tight markets. Understanding how to position what you do will differentiate you from everyone else who is a “developer”
j

Jordan H (open for work)

08/01/2022, 3:31 PM
Thanks, @Christopher Daly. Yeah, the cold emailing articles I've read were specifying customizing it...doing a little research into what the company does. That definitely has been a challenge. I think because I found that if I used that type of language (dev language) I attract a lot of attention from time-wasters but I attract attention nonetheless. And folks that aren't in the tech space aren't looking for help. For example, I know someone who owns a construction company and he was complaining about how manual and repetitive his processes were. 💡 Ding! Potential work. I said I could create a system to make his process more automatic, allowing him to spend more time with customers. No bite. I'm coming across this a lot. I'm probably not communicating properly, though. Are there examples of cold emails that communicate this effectively?
c

Christopher Daly

08/01/2022, 3:48 PM
I can mock up an email for you really fast on what I might have sent to the contractor.
Something like this… some customization but don’t over do it… https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Zk9reLmAlWapt3ws_1HkrfUUBD3D6q6uooIDLftd1KI/edit?usp=sharing
Cold emails are iterative - try and keep them under 100 words - and hit home a core point in the subject line: If enjoy manual processes, you can skip this email… Hook
🙏🏻 1