Everywhere you go, people tell you the secret to packing your client list is networking. Schmooze like there’s no tomorrow, befriend everyone, hand out your cards, trade e-mails, IMs, IDs and CVs. Go to conferences, buy everyone within a 100-foot radius a beer (or non-alcoholic organic vegan hemp-nut smoothie).
For sure, the fastest way to grow your business is cultivating relationships. Problem is…there’s only one of you and infinite opportunities for you to spend time, energy and money connecting with a whole lot of people, only a few of whom will ever really throw any significant business your way. Which leaves us which a question. How do you choose who to be-friend?
What do you hate most about freelancing? I expect right up there will be either sales or not having enough work. Cold-calling, pitching, struggling to pay bills, worrying if you are doing the right sort of promotion, freelancers have enough stress without all this sales stuff.
You can tell when you are doing well with your freelance business, instead of chasing new work, clients come to you. The most successful have to reject work, it seems they are beating customers off with a stick.
How do you achieve that dream scenario?
- Potential clients need to know you
- You need a hook
- Leads are only half the equation; you need to close
When you start out you have the greatest challenge. Getting your name known and building a profile should be high on your agenda but this needs to be combined with creating a compelling hook.
The fifth episode of Freelance Radio, the official FreelanceSwitch podcast, is hot off the presses! This episode, the panel is full again and we talk about some site news, contract adjustments, Craigslist and more!
Something you hear as common advice for new freelancers is “Don’t work for free.”
That’s true, for the most part, but there’s an exception. And it’s a big one. Give away your advice for free, and you can grow your business and make much more money in the long run.
I don’t recommend that you take on jobs for no money – that’s just devaluing your services and your profession. Your work is worth money, and you need to be sure to get paid. Giving away services is a bad idea in general.
But if you can give away your advice … which is really a service … and not charge a dime, that’s a great strategy. If your advice is good, giving it away can result in amazing growth and lots of new business. Continue Reading
Editor’s Note: Mosso are a FreelanceSwitch sponsor, this review was written by Corby Simpson, a freelancer who we interviewed in September who volunteered to write about Mosso. This review was unsolicited and unrelated to our relationship with Mosso.
As a web developer or designer, there’s no better way to make some extra money than by providing website hosting for your clients. It can be as simple as an invoice and when you have enough clients, you can just watch the money roll in to early retirement!
However, there’s a decision to be made and it’s this: “Who am I going to rely on for hosting my websites?”
There are so many options to choose from. You can choose a cheap $20/month “Host unlimited websites” provider that you will no doubt have problems with as you grow and require technical support (Been there, done that!). On the other hand you can purchase an expensive dedicated server as long as you know how to maintain, manage and operate it… Continue Reading
One option for finding freelance work these days are job bidding sites. In our Monster List of Freelancing Job Sites we listed 18 such sites, some of the more well known being sites like eLance, Get-a-Freelancer and Rent-a-Coder.
These sites work by allowing job posters to post up their job and details of the job and freelancers bid for the job. They vary in that some of them actually bid (like at an auction) whereas others are closer to the a regular job board (like we have on FreelanceSwitch).
I must confess I have never used job bidding sites and I know there are arguments both ways about whether they undermine freelancing prices or generate more work and leads. So I thought I’d put it to you, the community. Continue Reading
As a freelance journalist, I’ve come to realize that while articles are my final product, my main business is selling ideas. Most publications have staff writers to cover obvious day-to-day happenings, what makes a quality freelancer whether you show up with good ideas.
The problem is that far too often I’m stuck with no ideas at all. No ideas means no money. Hence, I’m always interesting in new brainstorming techniques.
Recently a post on Litemind by Luciano Passuello really caught my eye. The gist of is to solve a problem by sitting down and writing out a list of 100 solution ideas. In one sitting! The purpose is to combine stream-of-consciousness writing with a list – I guess you could call it “ordered stream-of-consciousness.”
It sounds insane, but hey, I like insane. So with a freshly brewed pot of coffee at my side, I sat down to give it a try and began pounding out “100 Article Ideas for FreelanceSwitch.” Continue Reading
There’s nothing like thanking someone to make them want to be nice to you. It’s positive feedback, just like Pavlov would have used and works on anyone and everyone, including your clients. Saying thank you for their work, time and effort, during the holiday season is a great way to leave a good impression on them to ensure you are remembered when it comes time to hire someone in the new year.
And not only will it leave a good mark, but saying thank you is a great opportunity for giving your clients notice about when you’ll be closed for business, any specials you might have and when you’ll be back at work. With 2007 fast fading into the rear view mirror, it’s time to think about ways you can say thank you to your clients. Here are seven innovative ideas you might like to try:
1. Buy a Sheep … on Their Behalf
Do something good for the world on your client’s behalf and purchase something from Oxfam’s Unwrapped service. You can pay to have a poor farmer’s land irrigated, buy books for school children or invest in a fair trade coffee coop. Last year Cyan and I bought cows on behalf of our clients and named them after major projects we’d worked on. It was amusing, heart warming and something that gets your clients talking and mentioning your name at every christmas and new year party they go to. Continue Reading
In case you’ve never seen it before, Linkedin is the web 2.0 equivalent of networking. Where other social networks like Facebook are focused around your personal life, Linkedin is all about your professional life. It’s a great concept and one that has attracted more than 16 million users.
Back in January Guy Kawasaki took a poll of 10,000 people and 70% reported finding Linkedin “Useful”. For freelancers and for job seekers, the service is a great way to find work.
As with any type of networking it’s all about having a wide circle of contacts, people recommending you and then making sure your network knows your available. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to help you find work through Linkedin.
As of today, I (Collis) am your new site editor … ooooo. After 8 months of captaining FreelanceSwitch, Cyan and I have swapped roles so that I can have a more day to day role on the site while she is going to be working on a new, as-yet-unreleased Eden project. So anyhow that’s pretty exciting (for me) and though I won’t be changing anything radically, you can expect more posts from me! Cyan is still going to be about, as I don’t think I could drag her away even if I wanted to, and she’ll certainly on the podcasts. I’m hoping to tell you all about the new project she’s working on soon too!
Additionally some of the upcoming things we have planned on FSw include: Continue Reading