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Client Outreach Strategy: How To Get Qualified Leads

Kyle Prinsloo

Founder, ClientManager

24 Feb 2024

Published On:

In this article, I’ll walk you through an effective outreach strategy and how to properly manage your leads.

I cover:

  • What are Qualified Leads?

  • Understanding Your Client Audience

  • Developing a High-Quality Portfolio

  • Developing a Compelling Value Proposition

  • Creating an Outreach Strategy

  • Crafting Engaging Outreach Messages

  • How To Manage The Lead Process

  • Following-Up Effectively

  • Providing Value Through Content Marketing

  • Network & Collaboration

  • Tracking & Analyzing Results

Let's get into it!


What Are Qualified Leads?

Qualified leads are potential clients who are most likely to require your services based on their needs and your capabilities.

These clients value your services, are willing to pay your rates, and have a high probability of converting into regular clients.

They are, in many ways, the lifeblood of a successful freelance business.

An effective outreach process is a pillar of this crucial element of freelancing.

It lets you target clients better, showcase your skills more effectively, and create meaningful connections.

Understanding Your Target Audience

One of the critical steps to improving your outreach as a freelancer and achieving those essential qualified leads is understanding your target audience.

It’s not just about finding clients - it's about finding the right clients. Those who are more likely to benefit from and value your unique services.

Research and Identify Your Target Audience

The initial stage of understanding your target audience is research.

While freelancers offer a wide range of services, from writing and graphic design to consulting and coding, the target audiences for these services vary considerably.

Start by identifying who would benefit most from your services. Are they small business owners, large corporations, startups, or non-profits?

Are they in a specific industry or across multiple sectors? Narrowing down your audience will significantly enhance your outreach process.

Define Their Needs, Pain Points, and Preferences

Once you have identified your target audience, it's essential to delve deeper and understand their:

  • Needs

  • Pain points

  • Preferences

This will allow you to tailor your outreach and services to address these factors effectively.

What challenges are they facing that your service can help solve?

Understanding these pain points can:

  • Position you as a solution provider

  • Make your outreach more effective

Furthermore, understand their preferences. Do they prefer a formal tone or a friendly, conversational one? Do they want detailed reports or brief overviews?

Create Client Personas to Understand Your Ideal Clients Better

Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal clients.

They help you understand your clients better and make it easier for you to tailor your content and services to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups.

By using tools like ClientManager, you can manage your interactions with your clients more effectively, allowing for continuous learning and improvement in your outreach efforts.

Develop A High-Quality Portfolio


Building a high-quality portfolio is essential for showcasing your skills, experience, and achievements to potential clients.

Whether you’re a designer, developer, writer, or any other creative professional, a well-crafted portfolio can make a significant impact on your career.

Here are some tips to help you develop a high-quality portfolio:

1. Define Your Purpose and Target Audience

Before diving into creating your portfolio, it’s crucial to define your purpose and identify your target audience.

Ask yourself: What do you want to achieve with your portfolio? Are you targeting potential clients in a specific industry or sector?

Understanding your purpose and target audience will help shape the content and design of your portfolio.

2. Showcase Your Best Work

Your portfolio should highlight your best work and demonstrate the breadth and depth of your skills.

Choose a selection of projects that showcase your expertise and versatility. Include a variety of project types and styles to cater to different client preferences.

Each project should have a clear description that explains the goals, challenges, and outcomes.

3. Keep It Simple and Easy to Navigate

A cluttered and confusing portfolio can be overwhelming for potential clients. Keep your portfolio design simple, clean, and easy to navigate.

Use intuitive navigation menus and clear categories to organize your work. Make sure your contact information is easily accessible so that interested parties can reach out to you.

4. Tailor Your Portfolio to Your Brand

Your portfolio should reflect your brand and style.

Use consistent colors, fonts, and visual elements that align with your overall brand identity. This will help create a cohesive and professional look across your portfolio.

Consider adding a personal logo or tagline to reinforce your brand.

5. Provide Context and Storytelling

Don’t just showcase your work; provide context and tell the story behind each project.

Explain the problem you were solving, the creative process you went through, and the impact of your work.

Use visuals, such as before-and-after images or interactive elements, to enhance the storytelling experience.

6. Include Testimonials and Recommendations

Adding testimonials and recommendations from satisfied clients or colleagues can significantly boost your credibility.

Ask for feedback from previous clients or colleagues and include their positive testimonials in your portfolio.

These testimonials serve as social proof and give potential clients confidence in your abilities.

7. Keep Your Portfolio Updated

Your portfolio should be a living document that evolves with your career.

Regularly update it with new projects, skills acquired, or achievements gained.

Remove outdated or irrelevant work to keep your portfolio focused and relevant to your current goals.

8. Optimise for Mobile Devices

In today’s mobile-driven world, it’s essential to ensure your portfolio is mobile-friendly.

Many potential clients may view portfolios on their smartphones or tablets.

Optimize your portfolio for different screen sizes and ensure that it loads quickly and displays properly on mobile devices.

9. Seek Feedback

Don’t hesitate to seek feedback from trusted peers or mentors in your industry.

They can provide valuable insights and suggestions for improving your portfolio.

Consider joining online communities or forums where you can share your portfolio for constructive feedback.

10. Promote Your Portfolio

Lastly, don’t forget to promote your portfolio across various channels.

Share it on social media platforms, include it in your email signature, and consider creating business cards with a link to your portfolio.

A well-crafted portfolio can be a powerful tool in attracting new opportunities and advancing your career as a creative professional.

Develop A Compelling Value Proposition

As a freelancer, it’s crucial to develop a compelling value proposition that sets you apart from your competitors and attracts potential clients.

Your value proposition is the unique combination of skills, expertise, and benefits that you offer to your clients.

Here are some key points to consider when crafting your value proposition:

  1. Specialize in a Niche: To differentiate yourself from other freelancers, consider specializing in a specific niche or industry.

  2. Emphasize Unique Skills: Highlight the unique skills and expertise that make you stand out from the competition.

  3. Deliver Outstanding User Experience: Make it clear to clients that you prioritize user-centric design principles.

  4. Offer Customized Solutions: Every client has unique needs and goals. Demonstrate your ability to understand their requirements and provide tailored solutions.

  5. Provide Excellent Communication: Emphasize your ability to listen actively, ask the right questions, and communicate effectively throughout the project lifecycle.

  6. Demonstrate Results and Testimonials: Showcase your past successes by sharing case studies and testimonials from satisfied clients.

  7. Stay Updated with Industry Trends: Emphasize your commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

  8. Provide Ongoing Support: A strong value proposition includes post-design support and maintenance. Assure clients that you offer ongoing assistance.

By developing a compelling value proposition tailored to web design freelancers, you’ll attract clients who appreciate your unique skills and expertise.

Remember to:

  • Showcase your specialized knowledge

  • Emphasize user experience

  • Offer customized solutions

  • Communicate effectively

  • Demonstrate past successes

  • Stay updated with industry trends

  • Provide ongoing support.

With a well-crafted value proposition, you’ll differentiate yourself in the market and attract clients who align with your expertise and values.

Create An Outreach Strategy


To effectively promote your portfolio and reach your target audience, it’s important to develop a well-planned outreach strategy. Here are some key steps to consider:

  1. Identify your target audience: Determine who you want to reach with your portfolio. Are you targeting potential clients in a specific industry?

  2. Define your goals: Clearly define your objectives for outreach. Do you want to generate leads, secure new clients, or increase your visibility in the industry?

  3. Research relevant platforms: Identify the platforms where your target audience is most active. This could include social media platforms, forums, etc.

  4. Craft compelling messages: Highlight the unique value you offer and how your portfolio can benefit them. Customize your messages based on the platform and audience.

  5. Build relationships: Networking is crucial in outreach. Engage with industry professionals, potential clients, and influencers.

  6. Collaborate with others: Consider collaborating with other professionals in your field to expand your reach. This could involve guest blogging or co-creating content.

  7. Utilise social media: Leverage the power of social media to showcase your portfolio and engage with your audience.

  8. Attend industry events: Participate in conferences, workshops, and networking events related to your field.

  9. Seek testimonials and referrals: Request testimonials from satisfied clients or colleagues who can vouch for your work. Display these testimonials on your website.

  10. Continuously evaluate and adapt: Regularly assess the effectiveness of your outreach efforts and make necessary adjustments.

Remember, creating an effective outreach strategy takes time and effort.

Stay consistent, be patient, and continually refine your approach based on the results you achieve.

Craft Engaging Outreach Messages

Doing cold emailing on Gmail to get client

When reaching out to potential clients or industry professionals, it’s crucial to craft engaging and compelling outreach messages. Here are some tips to help you create impactful messages:

  1. Personalize your message: Avoid generic templates and take the time to personalize each message.

  2. Start with a strong introduction: Grab the recipient’s attention from the start with a concise and attention-grabbing introduction.

  3. Focus on benefits: Instead of simply listing your skills or achievements, emphasize how your portfolio can benefit the recipient.

  4. Keep it concise and clear: Keep your message concise and to the point. Avoid long paragraphs or excessive jargon.

  5. Highlight relevant experience: Share specific examples from your portfolio that demonstrate your expertise and relevance to their needs or industry.

  6. Include a call to action: Clearly state what you want the recipient to do next. Whether it’s scheduling a meeting, reviewing your portfolio, or discussing potential collaboration.

  7. Show enthusiasm and passion: Let your passion for your work shine through in your message.

  8. Proofread and edit: Before sending any outreach message, proofread it carefully for errors and clarity. A well-written and error-free message demonstrates professionalism.

  9. Follow up: If you don’t receive a response to your initial outreach message, don’t be discouraged. Follow up politely after a reasonable amount of time.

  10. Track and analyze results: Keep track of your outreach messages and analyze the responses you receive. Identify patterns, evaluate what works best, and adjust accordingly.

Remember, crafting engaging outreach messages requires thoughtful consideration and personalization.

By tailoring your messages to the recipient’s needs and showcasing the value you offer, you increase the chances of making a positive impression and initiating meaningful connections.

How to Manage the Lead Process


Effectively managing the lead process is essential for converting potential leads into clients.

One platform that can be leveraged for this purpose is ClientManager, which offers Kanban card lead pipeline features.

Here’s how you can use these features to streamline your lead management:

  1. Create lead cards: Begin by creating lead cards in’s Kanban board. Each card represents a potential lead and contains essential information.

  2. Track lead progress: allows you to customize the stages to align with your specific lead management workflow.

  3. Add relevant details: Use the card’s description or notes section to add any relevant details about the lead.

  4. Assign team members: Assign team members responsible for following up with the leads. This helps ensure accountability and allows for seamless collaboration within your team.

  5. Set reminders and deadlines: Utilise’s calendar features to stay on top of important follow-ups or meetings with leads.

  6. Track communication history: Keep track of all communication with each lead directly within

  7. Continuously evaluate and optimize: Regularly review your lead management process and make necessary adjustments based on performance metrics and feedback.

By leveraging ClientManager’s Kanban card lead pipeline features, you can:

  • Effectively manage your leads

  • Streamline communication

  • Improve your conversion rates.

The platform provides a centralized hub for organizing and tracking leads, making it easier to nurture relationships and convert potential leads into loyal clients.

Follow Up Effectively

follow-up-message-for-outreaching-potential clients

Following up with potential clients is a critical step in the lead conversion process.

It helps build relationships, demonstrate your interest and professionalism, and increase the chances of closing deals.

Here are some tips to help you follow up effectively:

  1. Timing is key: Follow up promptly after initial contact or a meeting to stay fresh in the lead’s mind. Aim to send a follow-up message within 24-48 hours.

  2. Personalize your follow-up: Tailor your follow-up message to each lead to show that you value their specific needs and interests.

  3. Express gratitude: Start your follow-up by expressing gratitude for their time and considering your proposal. A simple “Thank you” goes a long way.

  4. Reiterate key points: Summarize the key points discussed during your previous interaction. This helps reinforce your understanding of their needs and goals.

  5. Address any concerns or questions: If the lead expressed concerns or had unanswered questions during your previous conversation, address them in your follow-up.

  6. Share additional resources: If relevant, include additional resources or information that can further showcase your expertise or provide value to the lead.

  7. Propose next steps: Clearly outline the next steps you propose, whether it’s scheduling another meeting, providing a detailed proposal, or sharing testimonials.

  8. Keep the conversation open: Encourage open communication by inviting the lead to share any further questions, concerns, or feedback.

  9. Follow up consistently: If you don’t receive an immediate response, don’t give up. Send polite follow-up messages at appropriate intervals to stay on their radar.

  10. Use automation and reminders: Leverage automation tools or set reminders to streamline your follow-up process. This ensures that no follow-up falls through the cracks.

Remember, effective follow-up is about maintaining a balance between persistence and respect for the lead’s time and preferences.

Provide Value Through Content Marketing


Content marketing is a powerful strategy for attracting and engaging potential clients by providing valuable and relevant content.

It establishes your expertise, builds trust, and positions you as a thought leader in your industry.

Here’s how you can provide value through content marketing:

  1. Understand your audience: Identify your target audience and understand their needs, challenges, and interests. This knowledge will guide your content creation process.

  2. Create high-quality content: Develop informative, well-researched, and engaging content that addresses the pain points of your target audience.

  3. Be consistent: Establish a consistent content publishing schedule to maintain engagement with your audience. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, stick to a regular cadence.

  4. Optimize for search engines: Incorporate relevant keywords and optimize your content for search engines. This will increase the visibility of your content in search results.

  5. Promote on social media: Share your content across social media platforms to extend its reach. Utilize platforms where your target audience is most active.

  6. Guest blogging and collaborations: Seek opportunities to guest blog on industry-related websites or collaborate with influencers in your field.

  7. Offer downloadable resources: Create valuable resources that can be downloaded or accessed in exchange for contact information.

  8. Tailor content to different formats: Repurpose your content into various formats to cater to different preferences and consumption habits.

  9. Encourage audience interaction: Foster engagement with your content by encouraging comments, questions, and sharing.

  10. Measure and analyze results: Monitor the performance of your content using analytics tools to evaluate its effectiveness.

By consistently providing valuable content that educates, inspires, and solves problems for your audience, you can position yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.

Content marketing not only attracts potential clients but also nurtures them throughout their buyer’s journey, ultimately leading to conversions and long-term business relationships.

Network and Collaborate


Networking and collaboration are essential for:

  • Expanding your professional reach

  • Building meaningful connections

  • Discovering new opportunities

Here are some strategies to effectively network and collaborate:

Attend industry events

Participate in conferences, seminars, workshops, and trade shows relevant to your field.

These events provide valuable networking opportunities where you can meet industry professionals, potential clients, and collaborators.

Be proactive in engaging with others and exchanging contact information.

Join professional organizations

Become a member of industry-specific organizations or associations.

These communities offer networking events, online forums, and resources that facilitate connections with like-minded professionals.

Actively participate in discussions and contribute your expertise to establish yourself as a valuable member.

Utilize social media

Leverage social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to expand your professional network.

Connect with industry influencers, engage in relevant discussions, and share valuable insights.

Use social media to:

  • Showcase your portfolio

  • Promote your work

  • Connect with potential collaborators

Attend local meetups

Look for local meetups or networking groups related to your industry.

These informal gatherings provide a relaxed setting to meet professionals in your area, exchange ideas, and explore collaboration opportunities.

Be open to sharing your knowledge and expertise while learning from others.

Reach out to existing connections

Don’t forget to tap into your existing network of colleagues, friends, and past clients.

Reach out to them periodically to catch up, share updates on your work, and inquire about possible collaborations or referrals.

Maintain strong relationships with your existing connections as they can be valuable sources of new opportunities.

Participate in online communities

Join online communities such as forums, Slack channels, or industry-specific groups on platforms like Reddit or Facebook.

Engage in conversations, answer questions, and offer insights to establish yourself as a knowledgeable professional.

These communities often provide opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Collaborate on projects

Seek collaboration opportunities with professionals in complementary fields or those with overlapping expertise.

Collaborative projects can help you expand your portfolio, tap into new markets, and leverage each other’s networks.

Look for synergies that benefit all parties involved.

Guest blogging and content exchanges

Offer to contribute guest blog posts on reputable websites or invite others to write for your platform.

This allows you to tap into each other’s audiences and gain exposure to new potential clients or collaborators.

Collaborative content exchanges can also help establish your credibility and expand your reach.

Attend webinars and online events:

Participate in webinars, online workshops, virtual conferences, or panel discussions related to your industry.

Engage with speakers and attendees through live chats or Q&A sessions.

Virtual events provide valuable networking opportunities even if you can’t physically attend in-person gatherings.

Follow up and nurture relationships:

After networking or collaborating with someone, be sure to follow up and nurture the relationship.

Send personalized thank-you emails, connect on social media platforms, or schedule follow-up meetings to deepen the connection.

Building long-term relationships is key to fostering collaborations that can lead to mutual growth.

Track & Analyze Results


Tracking and analyzing the results of your efforts is crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of your strategies and making informed decisions to optimize your performance.

Here are some key steps to help you track and analyze results:

Set clear goals and metrics

Define specific goals for each aspect of your work, whether it’s lead generation, content marketing, networking, or collaboration.

Establish relevant metrics to measure progress towards these goals.

For example, track metrics like:

  • Website Traffic

  • Conversion rates

  • Engagement levels

Utilize analytics tools

Take advantage of various analytics tools available to gain insights into your performance.

Google Analytics is a widely used tool to track website traffic and user behavior.

Social media platforms also offer analytics features to monitor engagement and audience demographics.

Use these tools to collect data and measure the impact of your efforts.

Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs)

Identify the KPIs that align with your goals and regularly monitor them.

These could include conversion rates, click-through rates, customer acquisition costs, or return on investment (ROI).

Continuously track these indicators to gauge your progress and identify areas for improvement.

Analyze audience feedback

Pay attention to feedback from your audience, clients, or collaborators.

This can come in the form of comments on social media, customer reviews, or direct communication.

Analyzing feedback gives you valuable insights into what is working well and what needs adjustment.

Compare against benchmarks

Research industry benchmarks or standards to compare your performance against.

This provides context and helps you understand where you stand within your industry.

Benchmarking can highlight areas where you’re excelling or areas that require improvement.

Identify trends and patterns

Look for trends and patterns within your data by analyzing them over time.

Identify any recurring patterns or correlations between certain actions and outcomes. This analysis can help you uncover valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.

Experiment and test

Implement A/B testing or experiments to determine what strategies or tactics yield the best results.

Test different variations of your marketing campaigns, content formats, or outreach methods to see which ones resonate most with your audience.

Use data from these tests to optimize your approach.

Regularly review and adjust

Schedule regular review sessions to assess your progress and make necessary adjustments.

This could be monthly, quarterly, or annually depending on the nature of your work.

Use these review sessions to:

  • Reflect on your goals

  • Analyse data

  • Identify trends

  • Refine your strategies


Developing an effective outreach process is crucial for freelancers looking to attract qualified leads.

By identifying potential clients, personalizing messages, and fostering relationships, freelancers can increase their chances of securing work opportunities that align with their skills and expertise.

This leads to higher job satisfaction, fewer wasted hours, and a more sustainable freelance career.

By leveraging tools like ClientManager, freelancers can manage and streamline their client interactions, further enhancing their outreach efforts.

So, take the time to plan, strategize, and execute your outreach process, and watch as qualified leads come knocking at your door.

Hope this helps 🙂

Kyle & CM Team

About Author

Hey, I’m Kyle Prinsloo. Founder of ClientManager, StartupStarship & FreelanceFam.


I enjoy business and helping people create a business around their desired lifestyle. 

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