Hi freelance writers,
This document is a guideline to help you succeed with Bamidele’s freelance writing challenge.
The challenge officially started on July 1st 2020. Originally, it was set to run for 30 days (until August 11th). But because of the impact of COVID-19 on prospecting, it’s been extended to 60 days. Thanks to everyone who commented on the post in the group and committed to moving forward with the 60-day challenge.
Now, down to business.
The challenge will now run for 60 days (ending on September 22nd). BUT that doesn’t mean there’s any time to waste! Businesses are still recovering from the pandemic, and they may take longer than usual to respond.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with a week-by-week plan to give you the best chance of landing work. It’s designed for people who are brand new to freelance writing and need some help getting started with the challenge. If you’re a little bit further ahead, keep going and carry on with the prospecting.
For everyone else, you’re in the right place. A lot of thought has gone into the exact steps you need to take to succeed. So, for best results, we recommend sticking to the plan for the remainder of the challenge.
To avoid confusion, this plan will be updated every week to include the following week’s plan. And we’ve left out all the difficult, time-consuming, and unnecessary steps that will only slow you down.
Here’s the plan for week 2:
Week 2 (Weds 5th Aug – Weds 12th August)
Build a List of 500 – 1,000 Prospects
This week’s goal is basic: compile a list of 500 – 1,000 companies you will be pitching.
The ideal target is 1,000 companies.
If due to time constraints you’re unable to get to 1,000 companies, then 500 would be okay.
The more the merrier, however.
Day 1: Come Up With a List of “Seed Keywords” and Find Your First 50 Prospects
(time needed: 1 day)
You already determined a niche last week.
The focus of today’s assignment is to come up with more refined keywords that make it easy to find your target companies. I will call these “seed keywords.”
Let’s assume this was the IT/computer niche (in the technology industry), you can decide to slant towards computer security and come up with seed terms that include:
You can then come up with further terms for these seed keywords. E.g.:
cloud security (think about what someone thinking about cloud security will be searching for):
- cloud security software
- cloud security service
- cloud security consultant
computer security (think about what someone thinking about computer security will be searching for):
- antivirus software
- anti malware software
- firewall software
- anti-phishing software
data security (think about all the key terms someone looking to secure data will be searching for)
- data security service
- data security software
- data protection software
- backup software
- cloud backup solutions
Again, regardless of your niche and seed term, this isn’t anything complicated:
Just put yourself in the shoes of your target prospects and try to think about the exact terms they will be using to find solutions to their problems.
For example, it isn’t hard to imagine that someone who wants computer security will be searching for antivirus software, anti-malware software, etc.
This same principle applies regardless of your niche.
Doing this should take about an hour.
Let’s assume you have 5 hours to spare for today’s assignment, and you’ve spent an hour coming up with your keywords.
Here’s how to spend the next four hours.
Spend 1 hour watching the video below on how to prospect (it’s long but worth it!).
It will show you the exact steps you can follow to get a list of as many target companies as you want.
Spend the remaining 3 hours compiling a list of at least 50 target companies
Again, this is nothing complicated:
You don’t have to get names, titles, or email addresses. You only need a list of company URLs.
That’s all we’re focusing on this week.
So, make sure you have 50 companies today
Day 2-7: Get the remaining 500 – 1,000 companies
(time needed: 1-6 days)
Now that you’ve done day 1’s assignment, you already have a process you can follow.
There’s no need to over-complicate things for yourself.
Using the exact same keywords you came up with Yesterday, try coming up with a list of 100 – 200 companies daily.
Again, you only need to come up with a list of companies — not titles, names, or email addresses. Just URLs.
This should take you 2 – 3 hours daily, and it’s all you have to do for the rest of this week.
That’s it for week 2. In week 3, we’ll be focusing on finding the email addresses for the list you compiled. So make sure you diligently follow this week’s suggestions to make sure your list is ready by next week.
Stay tuned, we have lots of fresh ideas to help you succeed if you’re willing to put in the work. Was this guide helpful? Comment on the week 2 post in the group and let us know.
Also, be sure to post your questions and wins (both from last week and this week) in the Writers in Charge Facebook group.