Create a system for BD and never worry about a low revenue month again

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Solopreneurs are responsible for everything a business needs, from sales and marketing to client delivery, backend admin, invoicing, bookkeeping, taxes, and more– all of it. It can get extremely overwhelming and lead to burnout if you’re not careful. Learning what can be automated to help you work efficiently is crucial to sustainable success.

With that in mind, we’re breaking down how you can create a business development system that drives business for you while you sleep. This post will cover investing in a system, setting up that system, the tools you can use- including a full sample tech stack- and how to make it successful. 

Let’s get into it. 

How to build a system that works for you

Any system is going to take more work upfront to get it set up and running smoothly so it saves you more time in the long run. Spoiler alert: no system can ever be fully automated. Any system that you build will still require you to check in on it regularly and make some tweaks. With that said, here’s how to start setting up a system that works for you. 

The ingredients your system needs to succeed  

If you don’t have the budget to invest in software that will automate (almost) the entire process for you immediately, you can create your system. It requires a few things to be successful: a list of contacts, personalized outreach to send to them, plus the time and ability to analyze performance metrics. 

The list of contacts you have shouldn’t just be random people from an old email newsletter. You want to be sure these are people who fit your ideal client profile (ICP) and you have the time or other resources to create personalized messaging for them. Where you reach out to them also matters– you can use LinkedIn, email, or a mix of both for the most potential impact. 

Be sure you also take the time to analyze how your outreach is performing. From the number of people you’ve reached out to, how many have responded? That gives you your response rate. If you’re reaching out via LinkedIn and email you can see if one channel is having more success than the other and adjust your outreach methods and/or messaging accordingly. 

If you do have the budget, consider investing in a tool that does the majority of the work for you. (More on those options in a subsequent section.) 

Setting your system up for success

We’ve already touched on the required ingredients for success: a great contact list comprised of your ICP and compelling content for your outreach notes. These notes should communicate how you specifically are unique, differentiating you from anyone else in your field. The best notes introduce you and your unique selling proposition and highlight the pain points of the person you’re reaching out to, with the ultimate aim of starting a conversation. You want them to see you as someone who gets what they’re going through but don’t make a hard sell immediately. 

You’re not coming out of the gate strong but you’re not just reaching out to blandly “connect” either. Somewhere in the middle is the best balance. 

Tools to use in your system

Solopreneurs always have to balance the tools they choose to invest in with how much time those tools are ultimately saving them. Time is money when you’re running your own business and have to do everything yourself. 

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for your fractional consulting tech stack, here are a few options to consider: 

  • Zapier: Zapier allows you to set up a whole flow in their system. Upload a contact list from a CRM or a Google Sheet and a trigger can kick off that sends out a personalized outreach note from your Gmail address. 
  • Automated email client: One example of this is Woodpecker, which costs around $50-60/month. This tool has a built-in AI that identifies responses as positive or negative so you can immediately see what the response rate is to your outreach. 
  • LinkedIn: There are a ton of different tools to choose from for LinkedIn outreach including Expandi, Lemlist, LinkedHelper, DuxSoup, and more. They all send out connection requests and follow-up messages for you after you upload a CSV or otherwise enter a list for outreach. 

The pros and cons of different outreach channels

Should you use email or LinkedIn? Ideally, you want both as part of your overall strategy, but for direct outreach your budget and/or time constraints might force you to choose one over the other. For that reason, we’ll break down the pros and cons associated with both. 


On the plus side, email has: 

  • Fewer barriers to sending: emails don’t require you to “connect” first before you can send one, like on LinkedIn 
  • Personalization is easier: tools with AI integrations make it easier to craft personalized outreach beyond what you can do manually

On the other hand, the cons of email outreach include: 

  • Open rate can be terrible: busy people often simply delete unread emails without looking at them when they get overwhelmed by their inbox 
  • Deliverability is a risk: your emails can be sent to spam, ignored in the promotions folder, and there’s always domain credibility to worry about

A further note on domain credibility: if the content of the outreach notes you’re sending isn’t resonating to the point that you keep getting marked as spam, your domain can get blacklisted and then you have to rebuild from scratch. To get around this some fractional consultants use a separate domain for cold outreach. 


The pros of LinkedIn include:  

  • Your audience is already there: people (most importantly, decision-makers) already spend time on LinkedIn consuming content, posting, and interacting with other content 
  • You’ve already established authority: if you’re already building your reputation as a thought leader on LinkedIn you have a head start

A combination of thought leadership plus personalized outreach will get you the most inbound leads– if your ingredients are right. That means the content you’re sending is high quality and tailored to your ICP.  

The cons of LinkedIn include: 

  • You can’t message just anyone for free: someone needs to be a connection or you have to pay for premium features (but even that strategy can put you in a separate inbox) 
  • Low connection rates: the best connection rate is 30-35% if your messages are not hyper-personalized 

Any automated notes on LinkedIn aren’t going to be hyper-personalized. If you’ve found a way to do this, please share in the Mylance Community

Final thoughts 

It will take time to set up the perfect system for you and your specific fractional consulting business. No matter how you do it- setting everything up yourself or investing in a tool that does it all for you- there will be a cost. You have to invest in sales and marketing to run a successful business. If a tool seems too expensive to you, consider how long it will take you to manually do all the same tasks and calculate that time at the rate you charge your clients. If the tool saves you more time, then it’s worth it. 

While there is no perfect system we can give you right out of the box with guaranteed results, we can give you an example of a system to try: start with a Mylance lead list (we admit we’re biased) where you get a highly curated lead list for your fractional business. Pair that with Zapier and build a flow that does outreach either via email or LinkedIn– and create the system so that each lead that’s being added is also going into your CRM to further build your contact list. You can use tools like Piperdrive, Zoho, or HubSpot for that. Tap into OpenAI to craft personalized messaging for your outreach that you can further tweak. 

Ideally, you want to do outreach via email and LinkedIn alongside the rest of the work you’re putting in to fully leverage LinkedIn as a platform for your fractional business. Be sure you’re regularly reviewing performance metrics across your system and making adjustments where necessary. Your check-in cadence at first should be daily to make sure nothing is off the rails, then you can drop down to once a week to check for open and response rates. 

That can tell you, for example, if you need to tweak the subject lines of your outreach or the messaging in the body. If your open rates are high but the response rate isn’t, the subject line is good but you need to work on the body content. This is the part of the process that can never be fully automated. 

The right tools can save you enough time that you can devote the rest of it to putting in the work that really matters, one hour at a time


This value-added article was written by Mylance. Mylance specializes in identifying the highest quality, most curated leads for your fractional business. We use 5 different criteria to identify companies and decision-makers who are likely to need your expertise:

  1. Matches your niche / unique expertise.
  2. Likely to have the budget.
  3. Gaps on their team in your function.
  4. Are fractional-friendly.
  5. Have warm connections from your network.

To apply for access, submit an application and we'll evaluate your fit for the service. If you’re not ready for lead generation, we also have a free, vetted community for top fractional talent that includes workshops, a rates database, networking, and a lot of free resources to support your fractional business. 

Written by:

Bradley Jacobs
Founder & CEO, Mylance

I help tech professionals refine your consulting niche so you can land 5-figure per month consulting deals.