When should you give up?

Last week, I had an interesting chat with a woman who is relatively new to freelance copywriting. She told me about how she launched her business after a ten year career in PR and communications. “Frankly, my corporate job was going nowhere fast,” she said. “So I decided to jump into freelancing with both feet.” She quit her job. Ordered some business cards and letterhead. Set up a website. And began an aggressive outreach program to land what she hoped would be the first of many clients. She contacted everyone in her network to announce the news about her new business – former colleagues, professional acquaintances, friends, family. “Even our lawn care company got letter from me,” she joked. Then she wrote and published a short special report related to her specialty (which is, coincidently, writing special reports) and mailed it out, with a cover letter, to a targeted list of prospects. But she didn’t stop there. Soon after that mailing, she began a daily program of contacting prospects by email and other means and introducing herself and her freelance services to them. Over a period of three months or so, she reached out to more than 400 prospects this way. And if that weren’t enough, she also became active on two LinkedIn groups where she was able to connect with more prospects, as well as a few potential referral sources. After four months of this kind of hard work and determination, you’d think she would have attracted all the clients she could handle. But that wasn’t the case. In fact, although she had several “hot prospects” in the...