Posts Tagged ‘freelance’
An a amazing talk by one of my favs Seth Godin. I honestly don’t believe that you can watch this and not take away some great stuff.
I love this lady. Marie Forleo is an incredible force of inspiration and positive thinking. I always look forward to anything she does.
Visit her website at www.marieforleo.com and sign up for the email alerts. They will help keep you on the right track in your business and your personal life.
Out in the real world and online I have heard freelancers claim that they don’t have time to promote themselves and that is effecting their being successful. Is it that they don’t have time or that they don’t know where to start?
Often someone stepping into the world of freelance starts with building a Facebook page, maybe they open a Twitter account and they also spend a few hours building a website. As I have heard many times in other articles, just because you build doesn’t mean they will come. So, let’s take a look at what you are doing to market yourself.
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Facebook Page?
Online marketers have rammed it down our throats that Facebook can solve all of our marketing problems. Not true. Facebook is one of many tools that can help build an online presence. Here is a big problem I see with Facebook users that are trying to promote their business, they forget that they are promoting their business and start throwing in personal posts that are not relevant to their product or service. Your posts should connect with other users but at the same time it needs to have value. For example, as a writer I may post articles form my blog that have nothing to do with selling my service but they have value because it reflects my writing talent. If I was to post about how my grandson made the honor roll or post a cute cat video it would be irrelevant and a waste of time
Sell. Sell. Sell. Right? No. Stop It. Now.
Look at what you are posting and be honest. Don’t over-post. I have deleted more “friends” because they continually try to ram their products or services down my throat without supplying any interesting content. Let’s say you own a plumbing company and you want to promote your residential services there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. You could post once or twice a day some information on your company and the services you offer or you can show your potential customers that you are an expert in the field of plumbing. Write a short post on an interesting subject such as inspecting your pipes for damage caused by tree roots, how to avoid freezing pipes, new trendy fixtures and so on and so on. Now do you see the difference? You can apply this to any industry. If you post your article in the morning or in the early evening more people will see it. People tend to check their Facebook pages before work and after. Also if you are paying attention to what you post and when you post you can add content a couple of times a week and get more impact than posting bland, irrelevant posts a couple of times a day. If you can’t write your own content hire someone who can. Ha! There it is I just wrote an article to share on my social media sites that promotes my business. Shameless, aren’t I?
Spread Your Message Like a Bad Cold
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you are taking the time to write the post, why not add it to your website, your blog or post it on Twitter and other social marketing sites. Spread your message around. Use the content you create over a week to create newsletter that you email to your existing customers. The world may be your stage but if you don’t build a strong platform to stand on not everyone in the audience will hear your message.
If you find that you don’t have the time or ability to create informed content that gets results I can help. No, really. Visit my website at http://www.laurabwilliamsdesigns.com. I specialize in web content writing and also with my background in graphic design I can give you a hand with all your marketing materials.
The other day I wrote the post titled Presenting Yourself to a Client: In Person Pt. 1. Today I want to address how you should deal with a client online. First of all take a look at what your website or blog communicates about you as a professional. Is your blog full of cute videos about cats or is it interesting content that will show a prospective client that you have the skills that they are looking for. Make sure that there is a photo of yourself on your website, blog and all social media. This photo should be a nice, clean head shot that looks professional and you should be smiling. You probably should avoid photos of you passed out after a night of partying with friends. Believe it or not I saw that on a Facebook profile of someone advertising for work. Wow. Be honest with yourself, would you hire you based on your website or blog or social media sites? Make sure you have a portfolio of your work or information about your product or services that truly communicates the value of what you are offering. A DYI website is not a good idea if you are not a talented designer, hire a professional and you will increase your sites impact.
Second, develop some email templates that you can use with clients. You may need a few for responding to ads that you come across that advertise for someone with your skills. I have a few including one for graphic design projects, there’s one for general web content and another for writing for blogs. Then I may change them depending on the particular client that I am pitching. I also have templates for responding to clients that contact me through my blog, website, Facebook or Twitter. I have found that by using templates I can easily adjust the information to meet the needs of that particular piece of communication but I maintain a consistent voice throughout all my communications.
Next, be honest about what you can offer. For example on the design side of my business, for the most part, I stay away from web design. Not because I can’t do it but because it is very time consuming and there are other projects that I would rather do. Often I work with another designer friend and I sub-contract the work to her and that works well for me. I work with my clients the way I want someone to work with me first and foremost I LISTEN. A client interview is not all about you. By the time a client emails you they have probably visited your website or blog and have a general idea of what you have to offer. It is now time to find out what they need and who they are. I have noticed that a lot of freelancers need to LISTEN more. Take notes as you talk so that you do not miss any important information that will make your job easier. Do not accept jobs that you think you might be able to do. It’s better to turn down work then to send a project to a client that is shoddy and amateurish.
Here’s a good one that I think is very important. Do your research! Whether you are seeking work or a client is contacting you, if possible research their business before communicating with them. If you do that you will be able to better understand their needs, their mission and you will sound better informed.
PROOFREAD all communication. If you are seeking a writing gig and there are a couple of typos in your email you can probably forget about getting that job. Good grammar and proper spelling says that you are a professional and that you take yourself seriously.
Take yourself seriously. If you call yourself a freelancer than this is your business, it is no longer a hobby. Build your brand and create a professional image for yourself. Every client communication is a chance to market yourself and grow your business. Take advantage of that opportunity. Keep in mind that doors can open for you but they can also close. As a freelancer, at least in the beginning you are often a one man (or woman) show and it is vital that you understand who you are, what you have to offer and that you use that information to communicate to potential clients.
Here are some of my favorite books on freelancing. They are all available on Amazon.
Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
Amazing websites for freelancers:
Word Count- http://michellerafter.wordpress.com
Pro Blogger- http://www.problogger.net/
This blog post is a compilation of articles and resources. The information provided is very helpful for all freelancers and for graphic designers. It is important to educate yourself. It gives you an advantage that you can use to compete.
I was at a local coffee shop recently and noticed two people sitting at a table close to me. One was dressed in a t-shirt, baggy pants and looked like he needed to wash his hair. The other was well-dressed and professional looking. I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation. Turns out that the guy who looked like a hot mess was a graphic designer and the other guy was meeting him to discuss a logo he needed to have created. No really, the designer had shown up to a client meeting and looked like he had just crawled out of bed. I also think he may have been stoned.
This is the kind of representation that gives us professional freelancers a bad name. So I thought that I would give those that need it some tips on how to present yourself to a client in person.
- Let’s begin by stating that a client meeting is nothing more than a job interview. Treat it like one.
- Dress appropriately. If you look professional the client will get the impression that you may know what you are talking about. No pajama bottoms, baggy pants, sloppy t-shirts, etc.
- Know what you are talking about. If your client has a website check it out and get an understanding of what their mission is and what they offer. If you have not done work for a similar client in the past, research, research, research. Go in to the meeting with your guns loaded, so to speak.
- Prepare a presentation. I am not kidding. If you take the time to lay out what you are going to say and how you are going to say it you will feel more comfortable and your client will get the information they need. This can be a list of bullet points or an actual presentation that you created that can play on your laptop or iPad. Make sure that if it requires and internet connection that you have tested it in the place that you are meeting beforehand.
- Make sure that you have all the tools you need with you such as, your business card, laptop or iPad if needed, your portfolio, a pad of paper, pen, etc.
- Take notes. You will not remember everything your client said and you may miss some vital information.
- Stay on topic. Do not become distracted by your surroundings. Your client is a paying customer and deserves all of your attention.
- Freelancing is a business. Act like a businessperson. If you don’t you will not be taken seriously.
- Make sure that your portfolio is designed to attract business. Do not use art projects from school or personal projects. Fill your portfolio with projects that will attract business to you, even if that means making up a few companies and developing an imaginary brand and then creating all of their marketing materials and or website. You may be awesome at fantasy at but unless you are trying to get a job doing character creation for a gaming company it is probably not relevant to the project you are pitching.
- This is very important. DO NOT arrive stoned. Seems like a no-brainer but it happens.
This all seems like common sense to me but like the late, great Will Rogers said, “Common sense ain’t so common”. You never know what importance that interview may have for your future. You may pick up a job for a logo design but then it turns out that the fledgling business becomes very successful and they are so thrilled with you and your work that they want to give you all their design jobs and now you can pay your bills.
The interview between the graphic designer and the potential client mentioned above did not go well. The client left saying he would think about it and give him a call. I could tell that was just a polite way to blow the guy off. I was hoping that the designer would be the first to leave so that I could walk over and give the potential client one of my cards, but alas he was not hanging around one minute more than he had to.
New Book Idea: Business Blogging Isn’t For Dummies ( I am probably getting myself some hate mail for this one)In Freelancing on March 30, 2013 at 8:51 am
I came across a blog post this morning that made me cringe. The post is titled
I almost feel bad for what I am about to say. This post is awful. I can’t believe that the author reread this and considered the work to be of the quality needed to be considered an expert opinion on writing of any kind. I would not be commenting on this if it was a post about the cutest thing their cat did today but when you post an article that makes you sound like an authority on anything, then there you must meet the expectations of your claims. Period.
Please read this and let me know what you think.
Today I will work. For a change I feel pretty darn good. It’s hard for me to sit at the computer on my good days because there is so much I want to do out in the world. Like walk with my grandson down to the lake. Have lunch with a friend. Go to the mall with my daughter. Breathe fresh air.
But today I will work. I have some assignments to finish up and research to delve into for a couple of projects I am working on.
I think I am going to start a series of blogs on building an online brand image. That should keep me busy. I also am starting an article for kids on bees.
Today I will work. I hope to get enough accomplished that I can enjoy the afternoon without guilt. I think I will make sure to make the time to take my grandson for that walk. I can use a dose of looking at the world through his two year old eyes.
Now I will work.