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6 Steps to Book More Clients this Holiday Season with Direct Outreach

Do your potential clients know you’re out here hustling? They will soon with direct outreach! Check out how we use direct outreach to generate sales and new clients during the holidays.

Two people thoughtfully talk about making sales during the holidays.
Increasing your end-of-year sales benefits your bottom line.

The leaves are falling, pumpkin spice lattes have made their debut, and Santa has taken his place on every store shelf. You’re in the fourth quarter and ready to make that final push to increase your revenue and crush your goals by the end of the year. So what’s your strategy? It’s direct outreach. I know, I know, the thought of sending a cold email sends shivers down your spine, but hear me out. When done correctly, direct outreach can be highly effective. I’ll show you why it’s exactly what you need to propel your sales goals across the finish line and start the next year off right.

So where do you start? You’re a freelancer, a service provider, and an online business owner, and you need to increase sales exponentially in Q4. Your time is precious and you can’t afford to waste it on time-consuming strategies that just won’t work. If you are looking for rapid growth, you need to stop focusing on passive, long-term strategies, and start focusing on what’s going to get you that quick win so that you can rapidly build and grow your business when it counts.

Jump to:

What not to do for quick growth in your online business

Focus on automating everything. Listen, I know we all love trying the latest and greatest email marketing platforms, organizational dashboards, and social media scheduling tools… but the truth is, automating is all about making things more passive. If your goal is to quickly onboard new clients, you need to be active! To be clear, I don’t think you should STOP using your automation tools. I just don’t think they need to be your main focus until you’ve hit your sales goal. HoneyBook is the exception in this case, and we’ll talk more about how it can help you streamline later. A platform that allows you to organize potential new leads, schedule sales calls, keep track of follow-ups, and send invoices when clients sign-on is a big YES! 

Spend time creating long-term content plans (before you’re ready). Content plans require knowing your audience and ideal client. That means testing platforms, content types, and engagement styles. Creating a long-term plan while you’re still in the testing phase can turn into a huge waste of time. Total bummer. Not to mention, even a great content marketing strategy takes TIME to build and bring in consistent leads. We’re looking for QUICK growth here people!

Spend money on paid ads. Most likely, at this stage in your business, you don’t have much of an ad budget anyway… but even if you did, now isn’t the time. See above. Ads are a great way to boost content that is already working! Save your money for paid ads until you have a solid, reliable, content plan that your ideal clients are responding to.

Okay great, so we’ve established what NOT to do. Check! Now, what should you be doing if you want to quickly increase your sales and grow your business? The answer may be simpler than you think. 

What to do for quick growth and increased sales

Get clients… fast!

That’s it. That’s all you need to focus on right now. Because guess what? Without paying clients, you don’t have a business. So why would you spend hours and hours creating content, or throwing your energy and money into researching platforms and tools for a business you don’t have yet? 

I know this isn’t comfortable to hear, but stick with me — every one of us has gone through this phase. It’s so tempting to run around feeling busy and productive while avoiding the scariest thing on the to-do list: asking people to buy into what you are offering. I get it. It’s tough to put yourself out there and sell yourself. But guess what? You absolutely CAN do it and you absolutely should START right now. If your goal is to establish two new clients in Q4 or increase your monthly revenue by $1,500, it’s time to erase everything on your to-do list and start fresh at the top with four simple words: Go get some clients! 

Get new clients ASAP with direct outreach (aka cold emails)

Okay, your list is made and you are psyched to go get some clients! Now what? Do you stare at your to-do list until clients start magically knocking on your door? Here I offer a step-by-step guide to booking a new client and building the forward momentum you crave and deserve for your business. 

1. Set a very clear (and time-sensitive) goal

When you are thinking about goals, remember the best goals are specific, measurable, and achievable. For example, I will send 10 emails to 10 contacts by November 15. Repeat after me: specific, measurable, achievable. 

2. Make a big list of potential clients

Brainstorm away! The possibilities are endless. Write with reckless abandon. Who would you absolutely love to work with? Write their name down. Do your family and friends have connections you think may be a good fit? Great, jot their name on your list. Have you had clients who have happily utilized your services in the past? Reach out to them! Previous clients and coworkers make great referrals. Think of as many possible contacts as you can and start building that list.

3. Do your research

Do you remember the line from You’ve Got Mail: “It’s not personal, it’s business.”? I think about that line a lot, and as much as we all love Tom Hanks, don’t be like Joe Fox. Make your business personal. Focus on making connections, not just sales. Reach out to your contacts after you’ve taken the time to get to know them. Browse their website and social media channels. Pay attention to the way they interact. What do you genuinely love about the ways they present themselves and their business? Take note of these things as you prepare to reach out. 

4. Personally email each person on your list

Once you have your list established and sorted, it’s time to start your direct outreach. If you’re starting to feel squeamish, stick with me! Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen?” They say no. Or they don’t respond. That’s it. That’s the worst that can happen. Remember that the first step to making the sale is to offer your services and let potential clients decide if it’s a good fit.  If you’re still unsure about exactly what to say, email templates can be a great place to start. Just remember,  keep it personal!

5. Dot your I’s and cross your T’s

This probably goes without saying, but be sure to double-check your work before you hit send. Confirm that the recipient’s name is spelled correctly and that you’ve covered everything you wanted to convey in your email. Do a proofread for simile errors and grammar. Run your work through Grammarly to be sure you haven’t missed weird spellings or errant commas!

6. Hit send!

Yes, you did it! I knew you could. Now, don’t stop there. Keep going down your list and repeat steps 1–6 until you have so many clients saying “yes” that you have to start turning some away!

Optimize your direct outreach response with HoneyBook

Okay, you’re doing it — your first client wants to work with you. Congratulations, I knew you could do it! Now, this is where HoneyBook becomes your best friend. As an all-in-one business management platform, HoneyBook is the ideal platform for you as a small business owner looking to add potential clients and streamline the booking process. When a new lead expresses interest, HoneyBook will help you organize and manage every contact through each step of the process, from inquiry to booking, to project completion. 

When you’re ready to send an online contract or online invoice, you can do that from the platform, too! HoneyBook will help you stay organized and avoid the overwhelm that may come when you’re totally crushing your goals and have a line out the door of ideal clients excited to work with you!

What do you think? Have I convinced you that direct outreach is the way to go? I know cold emails get a bad wrap and I get it! They can be done so poorly and it’s the worst. But, if you have the right system in place, direct outreach can be highly effective, especially in the short term. 

Why I chose direct outreach and HoneyBook

Streamlined booking and client engagement are just a few examples of how you can use HoneyBook to impress your clients while making things easier at the back end. Use HoneyBook to manage your projects, create stunning brochure designs, book clients, send online invoices, and get paid. With every step in your clientflow, you’ll deliver experiences that clients will enjoy from the get-go.

I doubled my monthly revenue this summer with my Booking Magic email templates. I had the long-term social media strategies in place, but I needed to bump up my client base ASAP… so I went with what I knew: cold emails. I started reaching out to strangers, creating connections, and inviting them to book my services. That’s how I was able to double my monthly revenue from $4,000–$8,000 in just 30 days! 

If you are struggling to find clients, I encourage you to try direct outreach and invite people to work with you instead of waiting around to be discovered. Put yourself out there. Send the email. You won’t regret it!

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