Well-fed challenge – Week one

Phone series # 4

When you need help staying motivated and on-task, it makes sense to issue yourself a challenge. And what better way than to publicly challenge yourself. If you’re game, join me and we can have a mini-contest.

The other day I started reading The Well-Fed Writer (I’m reading the ebook version until the hard copy arrives). So now I have a plan of action.

I started out with my local library’s business database. I did a search for companies in my local area with more than 20 employees. I also made sure they had web addresses, so I can do a little research while I make my cold calls.

Using a free database like this, though, I could only print/download up to 25 records per search. So that meant searching repeatedly. Anyway, I have a list of about 200 businesses now.

My goal is to make 400 calls in the next 20 workdays, starting tomorrow. That gives me until August 20, 2009. When I’m not able to call, I’ll send out cold emails at least, and I’ll follow-up with a phone call.

So that’s the first step in my quest to becoming a “well-fed” writer.

Reading the book re-motivated me, and it reminded me that cold calls aren’t really that scary. You just have to make yourself do it. I’ll report back next week.

Would you like to join me on my Well-Fed Challenge? How do you approach cold calling?


15 Responses to “Well-fed challenge – Week one”

  1. Interesting i would like to join u ..kindly let me know more details

    • Theda K. says:

      Hi Christian, if you want to join me, just make a cold calling goal, and we can report back to each other how we’re doing.

  2. Crane Repair says:

    Interesting, I’ve always been shy about cold calling but you’re right you just have to make yourself do it and it’s really not that bad. I’m curious, though, what do you say? Do you just ask them if they need a writer or do you have a more clever approach?

    • Theda K. says:

      I just ask for the person in charge of marketing, and either I get them or their voicemail (or email address).

      I just tell them what I do and ask if they ever need a freelance writer. They either do or they don’t. And then I go on to the next number on my list.

      Nothing clever or tricky. “Just the facts.”

  3. You raised interesting tips. I know that this will actually work- for anyone.

  4. You should set up some automated emails anyway. Just be sure you put in an easy way for someone to opt out if they want to. Don’t want to alienate any potential clients. Once you have a healthy list, you could then pull back on the updates to something monthly or bi-monthly, depending on your schedule.
    .-= Jacqulyn Richey´s last blog ..Las Vegas Housing Market: Foreclosures Down, Sales Up =-.

  5. Pamela DeLoatch says:

    Great idea, Theda. I am interested in joining you– as soon as I get the book. I’m wondering if you had any other criteria in selecting your companies, in addition to size and web address, i.e. type of business.

    Thanks.

    • Theda K. says:

      Hi Pamela,

      For now I’m looking at just local companies (no long distance charges and I don’t have to use my Skype). I did make sure to include some advertising agencies and graphic design firms, but I’m calling everyone. I started with the end of the alphabet.

      No other criteria. Just as many as possible. I’m trying to get my list up to 500 in my spreadsheet.

      Let me know when you get the book (hopefully through my link), and we can encourage each other!

  6. Spot says:

    Wow, this is an admirable goal. I myself am terrible at cold calling. Perhaps you’d consider writing a future blog post with tips?
    .-= Spot´s last blog ..The Kindle 2 vs The Kindle DX =-.

    • Theda K. says:

      Great idea Spot!

      I will offer some tips soon, as soon as I finish calling about 100. I’m up to 70 now (I’ll write a post about my slow progress soon too).

  7. Eren Mckay says:

    Awesome! You go girl!
    When I had to cold call my mindset was not looking at the results but at the amount of times I tried. So lets say I tried 20 times and got one response I was happy because I had gotten that one out of a result of trying 20 times. That way I wouldn’t feel disappointed after each no.
    That really helped me to move forward. You can do it!
    All the best,
    Eren
    .-= Eren Mckay´s last blog ..Learning how to organize office files & organizing papers =-.

  8. Lena says:

    Positive motivation. An interesting suggestion .. I will definitely join.

  9. I am terrible at talking. Cold calling is not for me.

    How do you guys do it?
    .-= Ravi@How to make quick money´s last blog ..Free Unlimited One Way Backlinks =-.

  10. That’s alot of phone calls in that time period. Good luck on that! That’s dedication.