Winning new clients

5 killer tips to land new and old clients

Chapter 4

Creating your outreach strategy

Now we can talk about your communication strategy. How you approach businesses is just as important as who you contact. The steps below offer quick ways to give your outreach the focus and edge it needs to help you win new work.

For a more detailed approach to your outreach strategy, use this checklist to ensure you’re targeting the right people in the right ways.

Before we jump into it, a quick note about past clients. You should always reach out to your previous contact through the same method of communication. Often, a simple message with a brief reintroduction and question about current work is enough to get an answer.

1. Determine your medium

More channels mean more complications, so we recommend limiting yourself to one or two mediums. Your options include:

  • Email
  • Contact form submissions
  • Calls
  • LinkedIn message
  • Social media message
  • Freelance platforms
  • Face-to-face meetings

Each has its pros and cons. Clients may feel that social media outreach and office drop-ins are too intrusive. Many freelance platforms will take a cut of your pay. Your email may get lost in a cluttered inbox. Take the time to consider which medium is most likely to reach your lead and shows your value most effectively.

2. Choose your contact

If your email joins dozens of others in the generic company inbox or you only reach the receptionist, your chances of making a connection drop. Instead, try to find the person in the business who will be most interested in your pitch. Locate the director of marketing or head of IT. Then, look for their professional contact information, such as company email or extension number. You want to make your outreach as direct as possible.

3. Make an impression

Every message should be tailored to the potential client you’re approaching. Include the name of the person you’re contacting and a link to a sample that is relevant to their work. 

Above all, focus your outreach on how you can help them. Show the client how the service you offer translates into a solution for their needs. Emphasize the benefits of working with you. Make it about them, not you.

Not sure how? Get tips for showing clients how you can add value to their business here.

Few people will read through a long message, so keep it concise. Limit your outreach to a few sentences and close it with a simple next step. You can invite them to view your portfolio or offer the best way to respond. Just make it quick and easy to encourage action.

Make your outreach easier by using or getting inspired by our client message templates, which you can find here.

Pro tip: Many people won’t download files from strangers, so always include a URL link to your portfolio or samples.