There is an ancient Indian tradition which relates to knowledge. It goes by guru-shishya parampara.
Guru-shishya, in Sanskrit are two separate words that translates into teacher-student. Paramapara is tradition.
This learning method needs a good teacher and an attentive student. You didn’t need bark, papyrus, paper, copper plates or stone tablets to get educated in Vedic India. The guru recites the mantras from his memory, the student hears it carefully and after sufficient practice repeats back.
Missed a word or muddled up the pronunciation?Start all over again, young ‘un.
I was reminded of this tradition when I was listening to the replays of the International Freelancers Day 2010 sessions a week ago (videos get taken down on Oct 31). All these guys were at the top of their game and they were telling us some seriously useful stuff.
Again I don’t want to sound too fanboyish or fawning but these guys are good role models to look up to if you are a freelancer or an entrepreneur.
If you were a copywriter you probably want to write like Brian Clark.
If you wanted to build your brand on Facebook in a short time organically you better pay close attention to Mike Stelzner.
If you are a freelancer now you are probably aspiring to be at Steve Slaunwhite’s or Ed Gandia’s levels.
B2B sales your playground?Your benchmark has already been set by Jill Konrath.
I can go on but you get the idea. Listening to each of them talking about their strategies, telling their stories, offering a behind the scenes peek into their networking strategies was pretty illuminating.
It was pure gyaan- another Sanskrit word loosely translated into wisdom or knowledge.
Unfortunately these videos will be taken down on Oct 31. They can’t be saved for later viewing either- everything has to be seen online. A YouTube search will probably come up blank for most of them.
Since the videos would be gone I decided to do the next best thing and create a gist of the most relevant ones. So I blocked few hours everyday and listened to the videos, took down notes and spent almost 3 days formatting this monster.Phew!
I didn’t note down all videos because I was strapped for time. I only took notes of those videos which looked more interesting or talked about something that I could use immediately.
So since I was not planning to write a book any time in the near future Dan’s presentation was skipped. Again I am undecided on video, therefore you won’t see David’s presentation being talked about
However, I am building this as a resource not only for myself but for others too. So if you have the notes for the presentations not here feel free to mail them to me. I will add them here with full attribution.
I won’t link back to content farms, pr0n or other dodgy stuff.A personal blog or a FB /Twitter profile goes best. Again, don’t sic a spambot’s Twitter page on me.
It goes without saying that everything here is my interpretation of the videos. If you think I messed up please correct me in the comments.
Enjoy, read and share.
UPDATE: This was originally a hidden page. However my theme didn’t allow painless sharing on individual pages or letting people comment. It was also not showing up in my RSS feeds. Bummer!
So I decided to make this a post.
I don’t intend to make this post sticky.But the link to it will always be available from under the Resources section, just below my bio on the top right sidebar.
Table of Contents
How Facebook Can Supercharge Your Freelance Business- Michael Stelzner (@smexaminer)
- FB is #2 trafficked website with 48% members over 35, has 500 million active users out of which 50% log in daily
- It is accessed by 150 million mobile devices
- FB is great for business serving a particular area- case study mentioned is integration of Facebook and Foursquare by Russ Robinson Photography where fans who visit the page earn badges on Foursquare and get rewards.
- Use fan specific messages
- Use message buttons for easier communication
- Help people easily share your content
- Extend Facebook to your site
- Interact with fans -give promotions and gifts to your 100th or 500th or your 1000th fan
- Also create events, polls, breaking news
- Share other people’s content on your page
- Ask questions- they get people talking
- Create a strategy that fits your particular brand
- Use custom tabs
- Create an experience, not a page
- Your content should add value-tips, advice and useful info is particularly good for this
- Also consider using video, both in the welcome tab as well as part of the content
- Spread passion about your brand
Create a killer network to build and boost your business- Pam Slim (@pamslim)
- You need connectors, mavens and salesmen in your network
- Connectors know a lot of people and they love to connect.Pam is a connector herself.A connector get a lot of referrals
- A maven knows a lot about a particular product or market or service. They are usually subject matter experts and authorities.Mavens are great resources.
- Salesmen like the business aspect of the product or service. Salesmen enjoy promoting your work
Your network needs three kinds of layers or circles
- Circle one are your peer mentors. They are in similar stage of professional development as you are but can be either inside or outside your niche.
- These people can be found offline or offline. Mastermind groups help too.
- Stay with highly motivated people.
- Second circle are technical mentors.They have expertise in things that are important to you
- They can be copywriters, graphic designers, coders etc
- For entrepreneurs starting out on their own they have to be careful about information overload and not become a information junkie. These mentors can help with that
- Also not all technically adept people are a good fit. Some might be bad teachers
- The third circle are your High Council of Jedi Knights.
- They have accomplished something very significant which you hope to replicate
- They have high integrity and share the same values with you
- They can be younger or older in age than you.
- Technical mentors, depending on the occasion can become your High Council members
- You can come to them later if you have problems
- Connecting with them only on the basis of fanboy-ism or fangirl-ism is not sustainable
- Add value and seek opportunities to connect with them
- Build a strong network over time-smart networks beat smart people every time
SEO Copywriting Made Simple for Freelance Writers- Brian Clark (@copyblogger)
- Highly technical
- Unethical and dodgy
- Ethical and helpful
- Good SEO is lucrative
- It is simple to execute
- Understand the language of the audience
- Good content is vital
- Inbound links establish authority
- Use keyword research tools like Wordtracker and Google Adwords Keywords tool.
- Be as specific in your keywords as you can- target real estate Austin attorney instead of attorney or Austin attorney
- Understand which search terms are heavy in keyword- you can trust relative ranking of keywords
- Content should be highly relevant to end goals
- Support development of cornerstone content which can satisfy the searcher’s needs. This leads to linking
- Every site is built on cornerstone content.Create cornerstone content for both yourself and your client to rank highly in Google.Also use keyword research to support that content
- Write about what people need to know and answer business questions
- Think carefully about <title>- our cornerstone content has keywords like Copywriting 101.
- The ultimate copywriting goal is to get links.Create content that attracts these links.Create a grand piece, a comprehensive guide and answer the searcher’s questions.
- Make a content landing page and get ranked for it- this is easy for bookmarking and sharing.
- One central place for the links focuses all links on one page
- It’s easier to optimise one page
Main areas of focus for freelance writers are
- Keyword should be in the front, closer to the beginning
- <title> tag is what Google sees
- <meta> description is important- It is a reinforcement of title and is good for communicating to people about what the page is. A good <meta> description encourages people to click
- Google needs at least 300 words to index.
- Use subheads, italics and bold space for people
- Avoid keyword stuffing and keep a low keyword density.
- Density is related to frequency.Keywords should not make up more that 5.5% of the article. More than this and it becomes counterproductive
- Link out to relevant topics and cross link within your site (Wikipedia is a good model for this-Bhas). Links should come ideally after every 120 words
- Relevant anchor text is also important.
How to get links?
- Good linkable content is a no brainer.
- Activity on social media aggregators like Digg and StumbleUpon vital.Post your content there.
- Reblogging and guest blogging.
- Twitter and FB are great sources of links. Twitter links are no-follow though.
- If you have more than 3 RTs you will get indexed faster
- SocMed sharing helps both SEO and humans
- Link out but also establish relationships with other people
- Link to authorities. They will notice. Then introduce yourself on social media
- Do not beg for links.Organic linking is the best
- You can write for people or for Google. But writing compelling content for people is ultimately good for SEO.
- Above all be honest and genuine
Bryan also pointed to two resources in his presentation. They are awesome- I have read them before
I actually got the idea of putting together this big-ass post with the synopsis of the presentations while watching Bryan talk about cornerstone content and creating a landing page for it. My original idea was to split the synopses into separate pages but I opted to go Wikipedia style in-page navigation.
How to Determine if There’s a Viable Market for Your Freelance Services!-Pete Savage (@petesavage)
- Find your niche and determine your USP.
- It becomes easier when market viability is determined-is there a market for you?
Ask yourself these questions
- Do the companies in this market really need (spend money) this kind of service?
- Are there enough companies doing this type of work for you to provide you with ample business?
- Do prospects gather together in person or online? Hang out there
- Can you easily identify a buyer within these companies?
- Is this prospect group being marketed to already?Trade mags,journals etc are good places to start.More mags means bigger market
- Are there other competitors?If they are there it’s good.
If you have answered yes to 5 or 6 of these questions you can safely go ahead. If it is yes to 4 or lower you might have to do some rethinking.
Can you broaden your focus?
Don’t ask everyone.Maybe ask people who are experts or research these questions
Workday Nirvana: How to remain inspired and productive when you work alone-Mike McDerment (@mikemcderment)
- Nirvana is an elevated state of mind. It comes from having self respect.
- Workspace is important-an area or space that is dedicated exclusively for work.(a desk is best, with space for a computer monitor), a comfortable chair and a headset even though you are using a cellphone.
- Keep office supplies like printer,paper, pen,ink and staplers readily available.
- Have a room where no one comes.
- Work in week long blocks, week starts on Sunday nights when you plan ahead for the week .
- Dress like you are on the job…helps you slip into a working frame of mind.
- Pick a specific start time for the day. End the day at the same time.
- Do this consistently.Don’t let the day bleed from one task to another. Set boundaries and work in a disciplined pattern.
- Start your day with a specific task-like reading email. End your day with specific task, like tidying your desk. Jot down stuff that still remains in your head.
- This habit will take around 21 days to form.
- Set basic annual goals- yearly. monthly and weekly. Say, your yearly goal could be having 5 customers.
- Have small goals along with hard to achieve goals on your list…that makes it easier to strike them off the list and gives you momentum.
- When you are stressed drop everything,take a pen and a piece of paper and write down everything that is going on in your head. You can then start taking action on these individual problems and prioritize.
- This staves off that feeling of helplessness and lethargy
- Highly recommended book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.(Amazon affiliate link)
- Ask for referrals when you start work, tell your customers that when you do good work they will refer a contact who needs the same kind of work you offer.
- Networking is very very crucial.Reach out to advisers who are ahead of you.
- Meet them. Join groups in your area like associations and trade bodies.
- If you want to start your own group. Have a network with many nodes and loose connections, not a network with few nodes and strong connections.
Don’t do everything yourself
- Some are control freaks or they haven’t thought about delegating. Don’t solve a problem when someone else can do it for you.
- Focus on things you enjoy. Don’t work on your weak points when they are directly not relevant to your business- as a writer you don’t need mad Photoshop skills.
- Partner with someone for that. No one is good at everything.
- The game is marathon, not a sprint.
- Don’t work too hard.
- Have self respect.
- Set boundaries when you work- don’t answer work emails after a specific time.
- Don’t waste time on stuff that get into your way. Concentrate on your core job.
- Enjoy what you are doing.
The Master Marketing Formula™ to Landing Great Clients-Steve Slaunwhite (@steveslaunwhite)
Best definition of marketing-marketing is all the things you do consistently to get people to know, like and trust your services. Aim for that.
The Master Marketing Formula™
1 Find high probability prospects
- Build a prospect list from business directories and membership lists
- Business information services-infousa.com,jigsaw.com.
- Find groups of prospects in associations, industry publications,online forums, industry events, social media
2 Generate leads
- When high probability prospects respond to your marketing efforts they became a lead- networking, cold calls, articles are lead generating tactics.
- Leads are important and 25% to 50% of new leads become customers in the next year to someone. Become that someone.
- You can use direct mail letters and email- don’t spam.
- Telephone prospecting, networking,articles and publicity,public speaking, advertising and referrals are also good lead generating strategies.
- Do not pick a lead generating strategy that is not a good fit for you.
3. Turn leads into opportunities
- A prospect has a specific need or project in mind for your services and is talking to you.- this is an opportunity.
- Do the right thing and turn 2 of 3 opportunities into paying clients.Follow up is the best way to generate opportunities.
- A lead is 4 times likely to become an opportunity if you follow up effectively.
- Follow up immediately and stay n touch with qualified prospects over the long-term.
4. Close the sale by
- Having an effective conversation
- A well designed website
- Project meetings
- Quotations and proposals
- Phone,email,follow up
- Portfolio samples
This entire process works because it mirrors the formula clients use to find freelancers.
How to Build Your Brand As a Freelancer- Dan Schawbel (@danschawbel)
- You need to figure out who you are.Do it in a unique way, Position yourself in a niche
- When you do a good job managing your brand the impression you have of yourself is the same as the perception others have that of you.
- Have a personal branding toolkit-ebook, resume, portfolio,testimonials. Go on social networks. Also focus on a few social networks. Don’t spread yourself thin.
- Blogs are good for branding and establishing one to one relationships.
- Network- form relationships in the real world. Get your name and face out there constantly.
- Give before get.Talk constantly but also listen.
- Who knows you is very important, more important than who you know.
- Maintain your brand, keep a positive image online.Use Google alerts to know what people are talking about you.And respond appropriately.
- Establish relationships with the media.Start small and scale up.
- Keep updating online profiles.
- Your success triangle- passion, expertise, support system (this is the base).
- Have core values with a mission (what do you do to your clients) and vision (where is this all going) statements.
- Have a human face, with an open door policy. Be accessible.
- List your prices and don’t make them flexible.
- Use online network to promote articles written by you.Give the places which have let you put your writings up the traffic from your network.
- You will be charged on first impressions online.Website designers are paid based on how good their websites look.
- For new freelance writers, establish connections with other publications
How to Attract Freelance CLIENTS with Your Blog (Not Other Freelancers)- Michael Martine (@remarkablogger)
- Blogging is fantastic to market your freelance business
- But most of your readers are not your clients.They are your competition
- You need a blog that your prospects want to read
- How to use industry news to appeal to your prospects? News is timely and relevant.Don’t repeat. Explain what the news means to clients- impact, preparation, results (talking about results makes you a visionary,especially when what you predicted happened)
- Take a stand
- Use industry news to qualify-this filters out clients.
- How to get your prospects to imagine success with you?Storytelling is one way.Tell stories about your clients
- Client success stories provide a road map and lets them to substitute a previously successful client with themselves
- Stories present a vision (Qualifies/polarizes).
- Stories are an under the radar way to explain your process. They make you a leader and forces your competition to react.Competition cannot use these tools because they will look like imitators
- How to market without overt selling or bragging in a way that prospects actually love?Never sell or blatantly market in blog posts.Make the client the hero and focus on them
- Blog posts featuring customer success stories are like under the radar testimonials
- Take yourself out of the equation by using audio or video interviews
- So you are selling without selling and marketing without marketing
- You are going to beat your competition hands down.
- How to write useful posts and still attract clients? Conundrum about how much info to give-concern that if we give away too much then people won’t buy from us.
- Tell them what and why but not the how.So if I serve a fantastic meal from ingredients, I will say how the meal was prepared, describe the cooking, but not give out the recipe.
- Or over explain in excruciating detail-make them see that they really need you to do the job.
- People who will want to do on their own will never hire you.
- People who want to hire you don’t really want to know how they will do the job. They merely want to be reassured that you know how to do it.
- Deep secret to freelance blogging success:know your client- their pain points, their dreams and what keeps them awake.
- Know your product- create packages and bundles,create the product to specifically address client needs
- Know your process- Success stories work better when you work within a process, and it is a product of your values.
- Things to do-write down or collect info about client, product and process-define these if you don’t know them well.
- Brainstorm about blog post ideas to create a list of key or pillar posts.
- Now create these posts for your freelance blog
How to Trigger The Big 5 Subsconscious Buy-Buttons Without Feeling Like A Slick Idiot-Jonathan Fields (@jonathanfields)
- What you need to do is not to sell your stuff but see whether you can fulfill your client’s needs. Figure out if you are a good fit for them and they are a good fit for you.
- Connect with their deeper core drivers which has pushed them towards you. Get someone to tell you “This is what really matters to me”. And then try to address that need.A laundry of features does not cut any ice.
The 5 tips are
- Before selling anything, it is trying to figure out what the person the needs and providing an intelligent solution.
- Use storytelling in all your selling. It’s a very persuasive method.Structuring a story in such a way that it mirrors the problem the client is facing and then leading to the solution you offer gets you that much closer to a sale.Draw upon your real life experiences with your clients. Don’t bullshit though.
- We are programmed to genetically reciprocate. On a sales level,give before even receiving.Give away free stuff, valuable stuff.Use social media to give your clients value consistently. The people who will benefit from it will over time give back.
- Price implies quality. If the price for a particular service is low people would be concerned about low quality and you will attract problem clients or no clients. Charge towards the higher end of the spectrum. But you need to justify your price.
- Have multiple choices with your offerings but don’t overwhelm with choice.Also when you have three choices most people would go for the intermediate priced one.
- Reframe your previously highest offering in terms of an even higher priced package to get people to stop buying more of your lowest priced packages. Also, think deeply when arranging the prices in ascending or descending order- a $100 to $500 jump might develop price resistance while a $500 to $100 will seem like a steal.
Real-Time Marketing & PR: How to Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now-David Meerman Scott (@dmscott)
Note: Most of this presentation, to me, didn’t strike as being directly applicable to freelancers and solo businesses. However I can see the logic of why this presentation is here- many of us will no doubt work on client projects where having this kind of real time attitude is good for the client.
And by extension, it is good for us too
Anyhoo, here goes
- Some companies have been doing PR and business on a real time basis and kicking ass.Examples in media are TMZ, Politico and Huffington Post
- Speed and agility are crucial in today’s business environment.United Airlines neglects to respond to the viral Youtube video ‘United Breaks Guitars’ portraying mishandling of luggage. They lose a valuable opportunity to connect with customers using the same media.
- Even real time organizations like airlines do not respond to media in real time
- Amazon quietly deletes the copies of 1984 from customers Kindles. They don’t respond real time to customer outrage and takes a long time to apologize publicly.
- Big organizations plan three or four quarters ahead for everything. But interaction is real time and can’t be planned ahead.
- Grateful Dead does real time products- they create CDs in real time at concerts. They also created an iPod app which gives streaming content for the concert. They also use Twitter extensively. Grateful Dead’s albums take 20 minutes vs. other bands’ which need 6 months to produce an album. This is real time business.
- News these days can be created by any organization and any organization or individual can insert themselves into breaking news- example of pornographic political robo calls and a media watchdog.
- Organizations need to have a real time officer dealing in these issues and a strategy to deal with real time media.
- Dave Carell’s viral video about his broken guitar was used as a marketing material to advertise a guitar repairing shop few days later on YouTube. This is real time marketing.
Content Rules: What Stories, Blogs, Video & More Should Be Doing For You- Ann Handley (@marketingprofs)
- Ann was asking around for camera recommendations- she got a message from CMO Kodak telling her to buy one of their entry level models. Smart companies are reaching out to consumers in a very interactive way.
- Rules have changed. Earlier it was interruption marketing powered by newspapers and TV. The web has changed that.
- Also customers don’t need to approach you directly to buy from you, where you get to control your sales pitch.They can do it unobtrusively.
- Everyone is a publisher. Brands are now media.
- If you are looking to use the Internet to market you need to create great content consistently. It is hard but it is worth it.
- Content encompasses everything created on your site or anything created by you on social networking sites
- Killer content is packed with utility,seeded with inpiration and is honestly empathetic- it connects with people.
- Killer content consistently created will create attention, trust, establish credibility and authority and convert readers into fans and buyers.
- Great content has no expiry date.
- Good content is the soul of who you are. It’s an extension of your brand and personality.
- If you have engaging content you will win.
- Hubspot says that 55% more website visitors for companies that blog, 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages.
- 12% B2B companies do not use content marketing, 88 % does. Survey of 1100 companies in North America shows content generation, generating leads. They are using social media.
- Companies have these problems with content marketing-producing engaging content, producing enough content, budget to produce content,lack of C level buy-in and producing a variety of content
Nine rules for killer content
- Give your brand a personality. Have a voice and be different. Kill corporate speak and buzzwords
- Content should have an objective. Content should build momentum and build conversion
- Be a brand butler- create utility and curate information for your industry.Serving is the new selling eg Roberts and Durkee Law Firm and Chinese Drywall problem
- Be committed-have an editorial calendar
- Be consistent
- Do something unexpected-create surprises.
- Reimagine your content, don’t recycle. Can you create several pages out of one thing? Blog posts can be packaged into ebooks, customer stories can be packaged into blog posts.
- Create connections and build relationships
- Create wings your content. Enable your content to spread socially and have easy sharing options. Gives social validation.
New media means engagement. Online content needs engagement with customers.
How to Land Bigger Freelance Clients-Jill Konrath (@jillkonrath)
Set your sights higher.Don’t always target smaller companies.Small companies usually don’t appreciate your skills and sometimes for a small business owner the choice is between taking a vacation or paying you .
Big businesses are not full of smart people and they desperately need freelancers like you who are smart and savvy.
Another advantage with working for big companies is that you get referrals from different divisions in the same company. In Jill’s case her $8000 contract ballooned to half a million dollars in 8 years with the same company.
- Figure out the types of companies that can hire you- start with your own personal background
- You may have no credibility and rep as a freelancer but you have expertise as part of your previous job experience. Leverage that.
- Focus on 10-15 companies that you think can use your services.
- Now research. Figure out the business units and then break them down into divisions. Become more and more focused and find the person whom you can contact.
- With big companies its harder to find names on the website. So use resources like the Advanced Search option in LinkedIn and find out the names of the people. Some other good resources for this are Jigsaw and Zoominfo.
- Don’t go and call switchboard operators manning reception desks. You will get nowhere
- People don’t answer the phone these days-the decision makers don’t pick up the phone. The call goes into voice mail and maybe deleted.
- People are pretty stressed out at big companies. So you need to know what to say. Non salespeople’s messages are usually crummy.If you start with a nice introduction, brag about yourself in vague and generic terms and end with a request to meet the voice mail gets deleted.
- Talk about value propositions.Word your stuff in such a way that it resonates with the client problems. Craft different messaging scripts -about 8 or 10 dovetailing them to specific problems.
- Also be persistent- 8 calls are minimum to set up a working relationship. Don’t let one person be a bottleneck.You need to engage multiple contacts in the company to get your foot through the door.
- The market is huge as outsourcing is more and more in vogue.
5 Tips for Increasing Your Competitive Advantage Over Other Freelancers- Rebecca Matter (@RebeccaMatter)
It’s easy to complete with many freelancers out there inspite of the crowded market .Surveys showed that over 75% freelancers miss their deadlines. Don’t do that, ever ever ever.
These tips will ensure that your clients
-Properly value you and your work
-Are willing to pay your worth
-Give you repeated work
1.Do not miss deadlines
-You will inconvenience people
-Make your client look bad
-Can cost a client ton of money, in copy and design
-Can risk company’s revenue
If you can’t meet the deadline tell the client in the beginning. Else don’t take the job. That way you will stay more competitive- never agree to a deadline and miss it
2. Give your best work
-Don’t get lazy
-Clients are not impressed with they get a piece of work not at par. It’s irritating and they will know
-Treat every project like it is your first
-It takes one mediocre project to negate all the good work done earlier
-That means competitors can get a shot
3. Become an Idea machine
-Contribute new ideas whenever possible. They might be shot down or modified but you become an idea person.It creates value with client and opportunities for you.
-Ideas can be for anything-marketing, offers, products, design, guarantee, research methodology etc etc
4. Learn the complete marketing system
-How your copy, design, strategy or layout will be used?
-What happens next in the marketing process,what happens first and then what comes after that.?You are hired to do a landing page for a product but what if you write a landing page for a free e letter? Stick autoresponder series?Sales landing page? Retention autoresponder series? Website content for members?
Total income before-$500, total income now- around $ 3000
You make more money from every client, save clients time and money and become more valuable for clients
5.Pitch your services
-Could your write that landing page better?
-See something that needs a press release
-Is your client’s competitor doing something?
-Should the homepage design be refreshed?
-Are there new formats your client could test?
Do’s and Don’t s
-Don’t wait your client to call you
-Don’t ask if there’s something you can do
-Do suggest something specific
-Do take advantage of every opportunity to pitch
-Do ask questions about your client’s goals
-Do turn those goals into pitches for your services
Become an Expert at Optimizing Web Content for Social Media-Nick Usborne (@nickusborne)
- Every new opportunity begins with a problem- which is the web being overwhelmed by low quality content.Does not attract readers, designed to attract search engines and are high volume content- they are called landfill or backfill content.
- None of these low quality pages go viral because they are not worth sharing
- Almost a billion people across different platforms are engaged in social media and they share the good stuff
- The opportunity is-create content that is optimized for social media.The search engine optimized market is crowded
11 web content ideas that get content spread wide through social media.
- Create some top 10 lists-people love to read and share them
- Tell your readers what’s new
- Add some slideshows
- Add comment forms, even on static web pages. Google Friend Connect is one very good way to do that
- Conduct a series of interviews
- Say it with a chart and a diagram
- Show it-demonstrate how things work or look
- Add a simple poll to any content page
- Share some useful checklists
- Feature something offbeat
- Ask the expert
- Inforgraphics are great way to create shareable content
Above all,write great content.
12 Strategies for a “Well-Fed” Freelancing Career!-Peter Bowerman (@wellfedwriter)
- Don’t fall into the passion trap-Passion is over rated and waiting for that perfect thing will keep you stuck.If you don’t find something that aligns perfectly with your passion don’t worry. Find something that you pretty much “like” and then fine tune the details. Also, within reasonable limits what you are doing does not matter as much as what you get out of it (I might be passionate about writing plays but if I end up living in a cardboard box or in a homeless shelter it’s not worth it-Bhas) (Updated, thanks PB)
- Understand that this is a game for adults– If you want to have a healthy income and great life it needs a lot of dedication and a willingness to bust your butt. Talent and smarts help but they are not the sole qualifiers to a great freelancing lifestyle. (Updated, thanks PB)
- Understand what marketing is and what it isn’t- Marketing is reaching out to prospective clients repeatedly and in a way that communicates your value uniquely in a variety of ways. Success is more about a process than a personality for a freelancer. It isn’t arcane and esoteric science that MBAs specialise in. Expansion of knowledge is the best bet for success.
- Know what you are worth, get what you are worth- You need to seek out the best rewards for you. To make the top fees you need the top skills, however. Don’t play at a level you are not ready for.Upgrade your skills.
- Make conservative start up projections– Don’t give off desperate vibes, cut your expenses before starting the career and have savings of up to 12 months. This takes a lot of things off your mind.
- Focus on the freelance life, not the fear- A freelancing life has plenty of risks associated with it. But the rewards like healthy lifestyle and freedom are also great. Associated point- for a successful freelancer discipline is not a dreaded taskmaster but a helpful friend. Once you make a living out of freelancing you don’t have to force yourself to work- you will do it on your own.(Updated, thanks PB)
- Decide why you are in it- People don’t buy from you because you have what they want; they buy from you because they believe what you believe. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And if you talk about what you believe, you’ll attract those who believe what you believe.(Updated, thanks PB)
- Competence, professionalism and reliability will land great clients- There are lots of sloppiness out there. Underpromise and overdeliver.
- Don’t be afraid to be the dunce- You don’t have to know everything in your client’s field. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions ensures you know what the clients want.
- Stay connected to people, in person not virtually-Freelancing is a solitary proposition and you need to get out and network in real life.Human contact is vital.
- Unplug regularly- Take at least one day off every week. You will be productive the rest of the week. Get away from work at least a week a year.Take a vacation.
- Milk the freelance life- Take advantage of the benefits of the freelancing lifestyle- flexible workhours, healthy meals and more time with family.
- Bonus point– Get passive income.Ebooks, webinars, books and teleseminars are good sources of passive income. Think about it, even if it’s in long term.
Negotiating Your Way to Success-Michel Fortin (@michelfortin)
- Sanborn Maxim- The customers who are willing to pay you the least will always demand the most.
- People who nibble, haggle or extract concessions should raise a red flag and they will be a problem client. Drop that client. They will suck up your energy and time
- Qualify your clients by being reluctant and playing hard to get.Project an image of you being in demand.
- Time is valuable to you.Put a dollar figure on your time.
- Do that for everything, even in case of free consults. If you do a free proposal also quote a dollar value.
- Ask several questions about prospects and increase the barrier of entry a little bit.
- The “THUD” factor– Itemize and add a value to each.People pay more when the product is bigger.People attribute value with quantity.
- Break down your service into as many component parts as possible and add a value to each one.Don’t be excessively detailed and give off a troublesome vibe but make it seem like you are offering multiple services.
- A single job requires a lot of small things to get done.
- Discount devalues-offer economical alternatives. Discounts gives off a signal that you don’t value your work yourself.
- Always ask for a trade off, one less item from your list. Asking for a trade off means your time is valuable and tells the client that if they asks for concessions you will ask for concessions too.
- Maybe the concessions will be non monetary like extra referrals, repeat business.
- If you give monetary concessions people will keep on asking more and more.
- The Olympic factor-Make two or three offers. Don’t give a single quote. Create multiple packages where lesser services are offered for lesser prices. That shuts off negotiations. More offers will confuse people, though.
Photo credit: Gustavo Cunha via Flickr