136: Creating Leads in Your Business as a Freelancer with Craig Cannings

There's something that you do every day that moves you even a small step toward reaching goals in your business.

Today’s guest is Craig Cannings. He is the co-founder of the Freelance University with his wife, Kelly. Craig has had the privilege of helping over 20,000 students in 75 countries realize their dream of launching a portable, freelance business, and lifestyle. He has enjoyed the great freedom of working from home and traveling abroad while raising five wonderful daughters.

We’re going to be talking about creating leads in your businesses as Freelancers. Don’t miss out!

Career Path

Craig Cannings was a professional counselor for about seven years before his brother-in-law decided to start an online business. He was dealing with a lot of people that were dealing with big challenges.

His brother-in-law invited him to work for his educational software company and taught him about online marketing and the likes. His wife also worked with her brother and the company went through fast growth. One of his roles was to train new Freelancers and Virtual Assistants that were joining their team. From there, he realized that he had a bit of a knack for teaching, and that kind of led to the idea of what it would be like to not only train people in their company but create a university that would train Freelancers and Virtual Assistants how to start businesses and that’s what they ended up launching.

Expert Tips in Creating Leads

Referrals and Personal Network

Your personal network is your personal circle. It could be your family, siblings, friends, friends of friends, and even within your family Circle you may have what is called connectors. If you’ve read the book from Malcolm Gladwell – Tipping Point. He talks about connectors being those people that just seem to have an ever-expanding social network and they just know people. When you connect with a connector, good things start to happen.

Professional Circle

It could be past colleagues, past employers. It could be even other Freelancers that you can do cross-referrals. Say, you’ve got the freelance graphic designer and you’ve got the freelance writer, they may work with a client that needs both services. They create this cool little referral network.

Your clients are your best referral Network as well. Because they know your work, they could speak to your quality and give an example.

Guest Blogging or Guest Writing

Guest blogging or guest writing is a great way to get yourself out there that will help in creating leads, resulting to more opportunities. People are always looking for great writers that can offer valuable content to their audience.

List Building

Are you building an email list? The number one marketing channel is our email list. A free content in exchange for an email address could be the context of some sort of lead magnet, whether it’s a guide, a report, an e-book, a video series, or a little course. This is golden for writers because this is a great way to demonstrate their writing abilities.

Remember, they’re giving you their email address is like getting their phone number. Make sure you’re giving them something very valuable and that you’re not constantly emailing them. You don’t want to do that either.

Advice to Business Owner

Think about progress over perfection. It takes away the stress of having to try to get everything right all the time. There’s something that you do every day that moves you even a small step toward reaching the goals in your business.

You have to keep learning. Lifelong learning will help you adapt to unexpected changes. If we stop learning new tools, if we stop learning new tactics, then we will be using old-school tactics in a set of digitally enhanced worlds and you’ll never thrive with it.


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If you’re ready to start exploring if freelance writing is your next PRN job or even full-time, I invite you to check out the Savvy Nurse Writer Community on Facebook and the Plan Produce Profit Course + Membership to help you get started today!

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