How freelancers can use their warm market and the NEER method to get leads

Everyone dismisses, or is afraid of, the two most potent but overlooked freelance lead generation methods. As a freelancer, use your warm market to get leads and your relationships to generate business opportunities.
The Freelance Economy is Booming
As of 2019, the freelancing market employed 35% of the U.S. workforce. That was nearly ten million more than it was five years earlier. With the emergence of COVID19, your guess is as good as mine; you may predict what the figures are right now.
With a current population of 58 million and growing, freelancing could become the majority workforce in the United States by 2027.  
Underutilized and Underplayed Marketing Method for Freelancers
There’s no doubt that marketing has changed a lot in recent years. The landscape is constantly shifting with the advent of digital media and the rise of social media. And while there are many new and exciting ways to reach potential customers, one old-school method remains undervalued and underutilized: your warm market.
Your “warm market” comprises people you know who could be potential customers or clients. These people already have a relationship with you, so they’re more likely to listen to what you say and take your advice. And yet, so many businesses focus their attention elsewhere, missing out on this valuable source of leads. You overlook the warm market because it can be challenging to know how to approach these people. You don’t want to be too pushy or sales-y, but you also want to make sure they understand the value of what you’re offering. Enter the NEER method.
The NEER method (naturally existing economic relationships) is a great way to tap into your warm market. You systematically reach out to people you already have a relationship with and ask if they know anyone who might need your services. Assume you’re a freelance writer, for example. You could reach out to past clients, friends, family, and anyone else in your network and ask if they know anyone who might need your services.
The Secret to Making the NEER Method Work
The key to making the NEER method work is to provide value first. Don’t just reach out and ask for a referral immediately. Instead, take the time to build a relationship and offer something of value first. Offer a helpful blog post, an article you wrote, or even some advice. It’s a way of approaching potential customers built on trust and rapport. Rather than coming at them with a hard sell, start a conversation and offer your advice or expertise. As you build trust and establish yourself as an authority, they naturally want to do business with you.
So, if you’re looking for a more effective way to reach potential customers, don’t overlook your warm market. You can turn these relationships into valuable business opportunities with the right approach.
Tips for Approaching Your Warm Market
  1. Start by identifying your existing economic relationships or those who already have a relationship with you. These could be family members, friends, colleagues, or acquaintances.
  2. Before you approach these people directly, please research to understand their needs and goals. What business problems do they face? What are the points of those problems? How can you help them address these issues? Understanding what makes them tick will help ensure that you present your offerings in a way that is relevant and valuable to them.
  3. When you approach these individuals, make sure to frame your message in terms of how it can benefit them rather than focusing on the features of your products or services. For example, if you run a landscaping company, you could say, “I know you’re always looking for ways to improve your home’s curb appeal. I think my services could help you achieve that goal.”
  4. Consider offering trials or discounts as an incentive to get people interested in what you have to offer.
  5. Finally, be persistent but not pushy. Keep following up with your warm market contacts over time, and don’t be discouraged if they aren’t ready to work with you immediately. You will likely see this powerful marketing method results with some effort and patience.
Final Thoughts
Do not overlook your warm market. Provide value first, and people will open their Rolodex or email contact list. So don’t underestimate the power of your warm market – it could be the key to landing your next big client.
By nurturing these relationships, you can tap into a valuable source of leads that can help grow your business. Tailor your approach to their specific needs and goals using the NEER method.
What is holding you back from going for it? Face your fears.
Listen, the corporate world is considerably more brutal in its judgment. Take it easy on yourself and pursue your warm market. Get started today!

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