“Gigs”

If you’re a service based business provider (B2B), you already know how challenging it is to find new clients.  Even harder if you’re relying on them finding you.  Forget about your website, forget about your online and offline marketing tactics, standing out in the sea of all others, is the equivalent to being the needle in the hay stack.  So then, how in the world are you suppose to find clients if your business’ site doesn’t rank on Google’s top 10 or your clients don’t know who you are?

You find THEM!

One of the most simplest tactics that may turn some heads or raised a few eyebrows is browsing a site that is infamous for scandal and scam: Craig’s List.  I know, I know — but bear with me here.  Although Craig’s List is sketchy and has been known to make the headlines in a very bad way, it is also a good source to find leads — depending on what kinds of services you offer.

Under the  “Gigs” tab on the Craig’s List home site, there are a handful of categories that fall under the types of gigs people are looking for help with.  Being realistic here, you have to cast your net wide and often.  You are not the only person who is scanning to see what’s available, so the more often you frequent this section, the more likely you’re gonna to stumble on a few worthwhile chases.  Also, be aware that some people already have a dollar amount in mind what they’re willing to pay for what they need.  You can negotiate if you feel the task is worth more or you  can take what’s offered.  Up to you.  In other cases, you’ll be able to set your own prices.  Depends on the agreement.

Avoid, as with any other posting, any listing that sounds like a scam, that gives you very few details or has a link that directs you to a more sketchy site.   The goal is to reap clients from an unlikely source, not be taken by some con artist.

Craig’s List is not for everybody.  Maybe the thought of doing of business from someone on Craig’s List disturbs the holy hell out of you — that’s completely understandable.  It does take some time to feel comfortable navigating those waters.  You may want to try Freelancer.com, People for Hire or Fiverr.com.  Those sites are much more reliable, but work is harder to find because much more people are competing.  If you want to see results and change things up a bit, you’re going to have to step outside your comfort zone.  And Craig’s List does border outside the green zone.  You know what they say, “In order to gain something you never have, you have to do something you never done.”

Just sayin’.

Overqualified

It seems like the only time it’s perfectly acceptable to be well-overqualified is when we’re self-employed.  Because that’s exactly what our clients want.  They want someone who they believe is an expert, has more than enough experience and can ultimately resolve their pain points.  At any other time in our professional careers, we would never want to have too little or too much experience — just the right amount.  Just enough to land us the job.  But now that we’re running the show, being overqualified is in our favor.

And we are overqualified.  Sometimes we just don’t realize how much experience we have.  Any time a client ask about our professional background and how it relates to our business, make sure they hear about ALL of our related experience, no matter how unique their issue or project is.

Keep in mind, our experience didn’t begin from the moment we decided to go into business for ourselves.  It started well before then. we just need to backtrack:

  • If we ever worked for someone else — and most of have — that’s experience under our belt
  • If we’ve ever volunteered, no matter the organization or the length of time, although more time equates to more experience
  • If we ever helped out a friend or family member, or a friend’s family member, or a family member’s friend or whoever, that counts
  • Any and all related school and training is experience
  • If we’ve ever freelanced, that most definitely counts as experience
  • If we’ve ever taught — and make no mistake about it, not all education takes place in the classroom.  We’ve could have taught a community class, hosted a workshop, we could have been the ones providing the on site or on the job training, whatever.  Teaching someone else clearly illustrates our understanding and knowledge base

So the next time a client requests to know a little more about your experience and professional history  — over share and share it all.  It is so much more better to be overqualified to a client than to not know what the hell you’re doing.

Part Of The Community

I was extremely hesitant about writing any kind of response to the news of George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict.  I thought it would be very tasteless to try to work in some self promoting ideology about national affairs and businesses.  I didn’t want to make light of the news and I didn’t want to downplay it, and I definitely didn’t want to make is some kind of after school special in which ‘everything would work itself out for the better’.   But I do want to highlight the issue that stood out in a conversation I had with a colleague about this current event: COMMUNITY.  It’s something that every business owner, CEO, entrepreneur or wanna-be, is a part of.  And what takes place around us, affects the person we are and the businesses we run.

I’m not saying go out and hold up of signs of support or protests, march the streets and hold vigils.  But be aware of the community you are doing business in.  These people, your customers, your clients, are the same people who are affected day in and day out by the events taking place in their community.  And when we encounter those people, they leave these pieces of the community — our community– with us.  As either a reminder of where we are or who we identify with.

We may be business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, CEOs or whatever title we’ve awarded ourselves.  But we are also a community member.  And whether our community needs us to rally behind them for support or stand by them in protest, we should find ways in which we can best support the members of our community.  After all, our businesses are designed to be part of the community in which there is equal give and take.  And when we’re afforded the opportunity, let’s take the steps to build a better community in which fewer headlines like these make the front page.

 

Great Advice From a Freelance Copywriter

Most people aren’t fond of writing and coming up with catchy things to say, especially if it’s going to be viewed by many.  But in the case of Heather Robson, she’s made writing her freelancing career.  And although I’m not sharing her story so that everyone knows how to become a freelance writer and love what they do, Heather does touch upon some very helpful tips that anyone in business for themselves can and should be using.

  • Market yourself consistently, even when you’re busy
  • Watch and follow the trends of the market
  • Find clients you REALLY want to work with (I stress that because I can remember taking on clients to satisfy financial obligations but in the long wrong run, I had relationships with a clients in which they didn’t want to return and I didn’t want them to return)
  • Find marketing methods that appeal to you – find methods that you know you can stick with for a certain amount of time to measure the results
  • Set up realist time frame to meet goals before you give up on them
  • Keep your professional profile up-to-date to reflect your current and best services

{video credit: awaivideo/ AWAI}