I was talking with a friend about finding work as an independent professional. He was talking about finding work speaking for corporate clients, and together we came up with these questions. I think these questions might work for rural professionals like you, too, so I wanted to share them.
- Who are the next 5 people who are going to hire you?
- What do you do to attract them to you?
- What do you give them?
- How do you nurture them?
It’s basic marketing to know your audience, know how you’ll reach them, and know the process of helping them decide to buy. These questions help independent professionals like you clarify those basics. By thinking of specific people and what they need, you’ll be better able to focus on them.
Let’s look more closely at each question.
Who are the next 5 people who are going to hire you?
Can you list at least 5 actual names of people who are exactly the person who could hire you? What do you know about them? Where do they work? In what roles? What are their pressing problems that you can solve? Could you call them up just to talk through some of these questions?
What do you do to attract them?
Where are they spending their time now and how can you best reach them? What content are you putting out that attracts them? What formats are most useful for them: writing, audio, video, photos? On what sites or platforms?
What do you give them?
Do you have longer or more in-depth or more useful content to give them? Something they can use to solve a problem related to the one you want to solve for them for pay? What’s in it for them?
How do you nurture them?
How do you keep in touch with them? Do you send a regular email? Do they respond better to another form of regular contact? What are they interested in that leads to a longer relationship and ultimately getting hired?
Getting the work
Professional work often means a long time between the first time someone hears of you and the first time they actually pay you. To keep people engaged with you, you’ll need to think through their perspective.
Rural professionals that work with clients from all over can’t rely on in-person meetings to build trust. We need to bring our best small town trust to people using online tools. These questions can help you focus on that.
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