As entrepreneurs, freelancers and small-business owners, we all struggle with finding new clients, projects and revenue (and if you don’t, I’m sure you have at some point in the past).
It’s a hard go, especially when you don’t have ‘staff’ or a ‘sales department’ that you can delegate these tasks to. You want to be doing what you do best, not hitting the pavement doing your sales pitch.
Well, let me introduce you to the “Professional Update”
A professional update is a way of reaching out to your entire network of people (professional and personal) in a casual, informal way and letting them know what you have been up to.
(Some may disagree on including your personal network, but I think SO many connections and unknown links are made through personal channels that your inner and extended circles can’t be ignored.)
But What Is a Professional Update Exactly?
A Professional Update is an email you send out to your network to say hello, check-in and let everyone know what you are currently doing professionally.
The email should casually outline what you have been up to work-wise for the past few months – up to a year – anything new and exciting you have been doing (new clients, new services/products, new location, growing your team), new courses or education you have taken, or any professional pivots you have made. In my updates, I normally include what my plans are for the next year and also highlight an area that I am trying to grow (hint: soft promotion of what I am offering).
Why a Professional Update is so Great!
The amazingness of a Professional Update is it’s casual, conversational feel – it’s not as formal as attaching your resume, more subtle than asking for referrals, and a great way to reach out to people that you don’t interact with on a regular basis (past employers, colleagues, cousins, classmates, Mom friends, book club, neighbours, etc).
Without coming straight out and asking for business, you are educating people who know you and care about you on exactly what it is that you do and what you want to be doing. Without them even knowing, they will store these tidbits away in their brain and think of you in relation to their own business or when one of their friends or colleagues mentions needing someone like you in the future.
It’s like handing them a business card PLUS a brochure, all about you, that they can put in their back pocket to use whenever they want. It’s BRILLIANT.
Landing 3 Jobs
When I sent my professional update off a few years ago, I landed THREE jobs! That’s pretty incredible when you think of the conversion rate and the minimal effort and time that went into this sales tool.
The Jobs: 1 from a current client that didn’t know that my services extended beyond what I did for them (blog writing and social media strategy), a 2nd from a past associate that had no idea that I could do exactly what they were currently struggling with (writing website content), and the third job was from a friend in my book club that heads up the communication department at a local hospital and gave me a heads up to a freelance opportunity that was coming available in the future.
Sweet! Love the Professional Update.
So what are you waiting for?
Write your professional update and get it working for you!
Not sure where to start and struggle in the writing department? Don’t worry. I have you covered. Here is what I did with ‘The “Professional Update” & How It Landed Me 3 Jobs’.
Good Luck with your professional update. Let me know how you do.
From my kitchen table to yours,
P.S. Thank you to my friend Jane Reeves for introducing me to the concept of a professional update!