Tuesday, April 14, 2009

30-Day Persistence Challenge: Querying new markets

The economy is down. Your dream market list has been decimated by shutterings and late payments (or so you hear through the grapevine). So when you do query, you're sticking to the tried-and-true and bewildered by where to go next.

Has this happened to you? If you're not there, let me just tell you: It's a baffling and scary place to be.

Because I'm there.

I've realized in the past few months that I'm continuing to hit my query mark--the number of queries I aim to send out a week--but the risks I'm taking with contacting prospects has plummeted. Add this to the clients I've let go of in the past year, and I'm clinging dangerously close to clients that have started to pay later and later.

Talk about lack of workplace serenity!

So here's what I'm thinking of trying, and you can try it with me and we can check in at the end of the challenge to see how it went:

Create a bottom line for number of new prospects I contact a week/month. It seems reasonable to query a new market every week, or a total of four new markets a month, especially if I do it in conjunction with a marketing plan that directs my querying toward specific markets.

The things I'm thinking I'll need to make this work effectively:

Research on which markets are continuing to buy queries/not running through their inventory

One of my target markets is working through inventory, so I hear, so I've cut down on querying them. But I may still send one or four queries to them this year. You never know when they'll start assigning again.
An organized list of queries

I'll write about how I'm addressing that in another post.


I don't do anything without support from fellow writers. Especially querying is too scary and challenging to do without a few attagirls from your cheering section.


At the end of every month, I add up the number of queries I sent, to higher/lower paying markets and how many assignments I get. I think tracking this will give me more motivation--and persistence--because I expect that it will show results.
What do you do to get yourself to continue to query new markets?

Photo by Bistrosavage.

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