5 Keys to Avoiding Social Media Fatigue

It’s rare that you’ll see a well-rested, socially adjusted, and emotionally fulfilled individual publish rants to a blog or Twitter page. But if you take sleep, confidence, and satisfaction from the happiest of people you’ll quickly see sniveling, snapping beasts emerge.

They’re not evil. Just fatigued. Unfortunately, “I was tired” won’t fix the damage caused by unsightly outbursts. You can avoid many of their mistakes by putting the following into practice…:


It’s rare that you’ll see a well-rested, socially adjusted, and emotionally fulfilled individual publish rants to a blog or Twitter page. But if you take sleep, confidence, and satisfaction from the happiest of people you’ll quickly see sniveling, snapping beasts emerge.

They’re not evil. Just fatigued. Unfortunately, “I was tired” won’t fix the damage caused by unsightly outbursts. You can avoid many of their mistakes by putting the following into practice…: Leer más “5 Keys to Avoiding Social Media Fatigue”

Business Intelligence Tools for Marketing Your Services

Ever wonder how those savvy though somewhat annoying know-it-all’s can always quote the latest statistics or tell you exactly which color converts a sale and why your email newsletter template simply won’t do?

Well I won’t tell you to join the ranks of the snobby-but-accurate, but I will share with you some business intelligence tools to get the inside scoop on what works when marketing your services, not to mention a great method for reverse engineering the competition and showing your client how what you do will help them dominate their industry.
Websites for Spying on the Competition

Whether you’re researching what leaders in your (or your client’s) industry are doing to win market share or you’re interested in felling the guards at their gates to gain insider knowledge on their marketing strategy, these business intelligence solutions will help you spy on the competition and gain priceless knowledge on how to do them one better, or at least get a solid foothold in the game.
SpyFu

I love this site for digging into a website’s pay-per-click strategy. Imagine what it would be worth to your client (regardless of the services you’re offering) to know how much money his top competitor spends each day on paid search traffic, or the other top competitors in the space he may not have been aware of that spyfu ingeniously reveals. Find out what top PPC advertisers are bidding on – because those keywords are obviously making them money if they’ve been bidding on them for four months or longer (and top bidders are usually paying close attention and analyzing their campaigns – they don’t just let them run and hope it’s working).

What if you offer graphics design? How would this be useful to you? Well if I were you, I’d use this site to study my prospect’s competition, then see what their PPC landing pages look like, what types of graphics they use, where they’re placed, how they fit in to the overall strategy. If they’re good, you can get some great ideas to present to your prospect. If they’re bad you can now tell your prospect that their formidable opponent has a clear kink in their armor and like Achilles’ heel, you’ll help your prospect laser-focus their own graphics strategy to strike right at the heel and take over.


Ever wonder how those savvy though somewhat annoying know-it-all’s can always quote the latest statistics or tell you exactly which color converts a sale and why your email newsletter template simply won’t do?

Well I won’t tell you to join the ranks of the snobby-but-accurate, but I will share with you some business intelligence tools to get the inside scoop on what works when marketing your services, not to mention a great method for reverse engineering the competition and showing your client how what you do will help them dominate their industry.

Websites for Spying on the Competition

Whether you’re researching what leaders in your (or your client’s) industry are doing to win market share or you’re interested in felling the guards at their gates to gain insider knowledge on their marketing strategy, these business intelligence solutions will help you spy on the competition and gain priceless knowledge on how to do them one better, or at least get a solid foothold in the game.

SpyFu

I love this site for digging into a website’s pay-per-click strategy. Imagine what it would be worth to your client (regardless of the services you’re offering) to know how much money his top competitor spends each day on paid search traffic, or the other top competitors in the space he may not have been aware of that spyfu ingeniously reveals. Find out what top PPC advertisers are bidding on – because those keywords are obviously making them money if they’ve been bidding on them for four months or longer (and top bidders are usually paying close attention and analyzing their campaigns – they don’t just let them run and hope it’s working).

What if you offer graphics design? How would this be useful to you? Well if I were you, I’d use this site to study my prospect’s competition, then see what their PPC landing pages look like, what types of graphics they use, where they’re placed, how they fit in to the overall strategy. If they’re good, you can get some great ideas to present to your prospect. If they’re bad you can now tell your prospect that their formidable opponent has a clear kink in their armor and like Achilles’ heel, you’ll help your prospect laser-focus their own graphics strategy to strike right at the heel and take over. Leer más “Business Intelligence Tools for Marketing Your Services”

SwitchTip: Manage Multiple Facebook Pages with Hootsuite

For some reason, there are many people with multiple facebook pages. Sometimes this is for a business or community group, or a special hobby. For example, perhaps you admin a different fan page for each of the characters for Twilight. In this case, it’s imperative that you make sure that you don’t accidently post something on Edwards’s page that should have gone on Jacob’s page, or else you might risk an epic vampire/werewolf battle royale. And who wants that to happen?

One easy way to do this(manage the facebook page, not the battle royale) is with HootSuite. Not only can you manage your multiple twitter accounts (just in case you’re tweeting as Bella and as Edward), but now you can manage your various Facebook pages.


For some reason, there are many people with multiple facebook pages. Sometimes this is for a business or community group, or a special hobby.  For example, perhaps you admin a different fan page for each of the characters for Twilight.   In this case, it’s imperative that you make sure that you don’t accidently post something on Edwards’s page that should have gone on Jacob’s page, or else you might risk an epic vampire/werewolf battle royale.  And who wants that to happen?

One easy way to do this(manage the facebook page, not the battle royale)  is with HootSuite. Not only can you manage your multiple twitter accounts (just in case you’re tweeting as Bella and as Edward), but now you can manage your various Facebook pages. Leer más “SwitchTip: Manage Multiple Facebook Pages with Hootsuite”

8 Books to Sharpen Your Ninja Marketing Skills

You may not be a marketing consultant by trade. But each of us, once hired to handle work for our client, becomes part of the giant grinding wheel of marketing; and even a cursory knowledge of the marketing basics, along with some hot tips from the minds and sciences on the bleeding edge, will give you the sharper dueling blade you need to pull ahead of your competition (but no beheading please).

To get the most out of this list, here are a few tips:

* I recommend getting a digital book reader or even just downloading Amazon’s free Kindle App for your PC or Mac. Why? Because I’ve noticed my ability to read and digest massive amounts of information increased dramatically when I started buying and reading my books digitally.

I believe this is a) because I spend so much frickin’ time online that my brain is trained to move through information much faster in this context and b) because if you’re anything like me you get stir crazy at home and it’s nice to get away to a cafe or a new locale and that’s hard to do when you’re hoisting around fifty books. And yes, I reference my hundreds of books regularly.
* These books are not your typical Marketing 101 books. These are deep immersions into neuroscience-based branding, neuro-linguistic programming, culture codes, what motivates us, and so much more. Savvy entrepreneur clients and business leaders are aware of these books and will be impressed that you are too. Smaller businesses and professionals who are not aware of these books will benefit so drastically from your garnered knowledge here that packing this extra value into your current skill and knowledge sets will do wonders for your freelancing career.
* Some people revere books the way they revere the Mona Lisa. Keep ‘em crisp, keep ‘em clean, if it looks used, it’s been abused!! Well I’m of the opinion that a book well used is a book well loved. My physical and digital books are swimming with notes carved into their margins, highlights and scribbles dashing through the text, and errant notes like mohawks jut out of the pages where I’ve run out of room and added a torn sheet from my notepad.

Because these are the kinds of books you’ll reference often, I recommend loving your books thoroughly and not being afraid to show it. : Use a highlighter or the “Notes and Marks” tool on your e-reader to mark key passages and as they ignite ideas, be sure to jot them down in the book or a notebook/document you keep handy that houses all your brainstorms.
* Don’t believe in the power of a single book? I recently had a potential launch client with a massive brand tell me that my prior work lacked the quality and verve they were looking for (they wanted heart instead of hype and as we copywriters must give clients what they want, most of my past client clips demonstrated elegant hype).


You may not be a marketing consultant by trade. But each of us, once hired to handle work for our client, becomes part of the giant grinding wheel of marketing; and even a cursory knowledge of the marketing basics, along with some hot tips from the minds and sciences on the bleeding edge, will give you the sharper dueling blade you need to pull ahead of your competition (but no beheading please).

To get the most out of this list, here are a few tips:

  • I recommend getting a digital book reader or even just downloading Amazon’s free Kindle App for your PC or Mac. Why? Because I’ve noticed my ability to read and digest massive amounts of information increased dramatically when I started buying and reading my books digitally.

    I believe this is a) because I spend so much frickin’ time online that my brain is trained to move through information much faster in this context and b) because if you’re anything like me you get stir crazy at home and it’s nice to get away to a cafe or a new locale and that’s hard to do when you’re hoisting around fifty books. And yes, I reference my hundreds of books regularly.
  • These books are not your typical Marketing 101 books. These are deep immersions into neuroscience-based branding, neuro-linguistic programming, culture codes, what motivates us, and so much more. Savvy entrepreneur clients and business leaders are aware of these books and will be impressed that you are too. Smaller businesses and professionals who are not aware of these books will benefit so drastically from your garnered knowledge here that packing this extra value into your current skill and knowledge sets will do wonders for your freelancing career.
  • Some people revere books the way they revere the Mona Lisa. Keep ‘em crisp, keep ‘em clean, if it looks used, it’s been abused!! Well I’m of the opinion that a book well used is a book well loved. My physical and digital books are swimming with notes carved into their margins, highlights and scribbles dashing through the text, and errant notes like mohawks jut out of the pages where I’ve run out of room and added a torn sheet from my notepad.

    Because these are the kinds of books you’ll reference often
    , I recommend loving your books thoroughly and not being afraid to show it. : Use a highlighter or the “Notes and Marks” tool on your e-reader to mark key passages and as they ignite ideas, be sure to jot them down in the book or a notebook/document you keep handy that houses all your brainstorms.
  • Don’t believe in the power of a single book? I recently had a potential launch client with a massive brand tell me that my prior work lacked the quality and verve they were looking for (they wanted heart instead of hype and as we copywriters must give clients what they want, most of my past client clips demonstrated elegant hype).

    Leer más “8 Books to Sharpen Your Ninja Marketing Skills”

Finding a Niche as a Freelancer

Freelancing can be one of the most rewarding career paths in this technology-dependent age we live in. Earning your own money based on your own sweat and hours laboriously poured into your work – there’s just no better feeling!

What many beginners get caught up in are the details of their enterprise. Freelancing is a very general term and there are so many routes to take. You may ask yourself, how do I find a niche that’s right for me? How do I know what skills I will excel at?
Locating your Inner Passions

The most popular career path among freelancers is web design. It’s a skill that doesn’t take too much effort to learn and can be picked up in just a few short weeks of intense study. The pay isn’t too bad (if you know where to look) and the work can be very entertaining. Plus there’s always new things to learn and it’s an ever-changing industry.

However, this isn’t your only choice. There are many web developers/programmers and even writers who work freelance. You shouldn’t box yourself into the “norm” of the freelancing community – review what skills you have and can perform, then look for your market.

Another interesting career path may be into freelance Internet marketing. It’s a job which can be done from home or any place with an Internet connection, and once you know how to market articles and bring in traffic to blogs you’re practically a hot commodity!


Freelancing can be one of the most rewarding career paths in this technology-dependent age we live in. Earning your own money based on your own sweat and hours laboriously poured into your work – there’s just no better feeling!

What many beginners get caught up in are the details of their enterprise. Freelancing is a very general term and there are so many routes to take. You may ask yourself, how do I find a niche that’s right for me? How do I know what skills I will excel at?

Locating your Inner Passions

The most popular career path among freelancers is web design. It’s a skill that doesn’t take too much effort to learn and can be picked up in just a few short weeks of intense study. The pay isn’t too bad (if you know where to look) and the work can be very entertaining. Plus there’s always new things to learn and it’s an ever-changing industry.

However, this isn’t your only choice. There are many web developers/programmers and even writers who work freelance. You shouldn’t box yourself into the “norm” of the freelancing community – review what skills you have and can perform, then look for your market.

Another interesting career path may be into freelance Internet marketing. It’s a job which can be done from home or any place with an Internet connection, and once you know how to market articles and bring in traffic to blogs you’re practically a hot commodity!

Marketing Yourself and your Skills… Leer más “Finding a Niche as a Freelancer”

You Know You’re a Freelancer When . . . Part II

I am utterly in love with the fantabulous readers of FreelanceSwitch! Your dozens of comments and additions to the original post were classic, creative and straight comedy!

Here’s the sequel post, inspired by and attributed to the brilliant and magnificent readers of FreelanceSwitch:
You Know You’re a Freelancer When . . .

1. Your idea of a casual day out involves being dressed to the nines with an extra splash of *bling bling* because, hey… “after six weeks in PJs, I’m ready for my close up dahling!” ~ Inspired by Storm and Izabela Tenenboim
2. Your internet playground PC (or Mac – yeah that’s right, I’m not a hater!) that used to be your gateway to World of Warcraft is now your productivity prison. “Ah and I used to have a life!” ~ Inspired by Nabeel Amin
3. Your therapist starts asking you why you talk to yourself… and answer yourself… and then said therapist asks you to click “Send” to submit your response. ~ Inspired by Mark Hawkins
4. I’ve got TWO WORDS for you: Bunny Slippers!! ~ Inspired by Ben Tzu
5. You are overly and dangerously obsessed with checking your mail. {And your baffled mail man is wondering why you’re tugging at his pant cuff instead of the rabid dog he’s used to fending off.} ~ Inspired by Susan Johnston, Izabela Tenenboim, Amanda, and Michael Kwan


I am utterly in love with the fantabulous readers of FreelanceSwitch! Your dozens of comments and additions to the original post were classic, creative and straight comedy!

Here’s the sequel post, inspired by and attributed to the brilliant and magnificent readers of FreelanceSwitch:

You Know You’re a Freelancer When . . .

  1. Your idea of a casual day out involves being dressed to the nines with an extra splash of *bling bling* because, hey… “after six weeks in PJs, I’m ready for my close up dahling!” ~ Inspired by Storm and Izabela Tenenboim
  2. Your internet playground PC (or Mac – yeah that’s right, I’m not a hater!) that used to be your gateway to World of Warcraft is now your productivity prison. “Ah and I used to have a life!” ~ Inspired by Nabeel Amin
  3. Your therapist starts asking you why you talk to yourself… and answer yourself… and then said therapist asks you to click “Send” to submit your response. ~ Inspired by Mark Hawkins
  4. I’ve got TWO WORDS for you: Bunny Slippers!! ~ Inspired by Ben Tzu
  5. You are overly and dangerously obsessed with checking your mail. {And your baffled mail man is wondering why you’re tugging at his pant cuff instead of the rabid dog he’s used to fending off.} ~ Inspired by Susan Johnston, Izabela Tenenboim, Amanda, and Michael Kwan
  6. You can’t relate to Office Space, but Freelance Freedom has you off your chair in stitches. “Yep, been there…” ~ Inspired by Janed
  7. You’ve got to schedule intimacy into your To Do list and your family begins communicating with you via email. (Just to make sure you heard me, even though I’m sitting right next to you… hello? Are you even paying att… oh forget it.) ~ Inspired by Kathy and Amanda
  8. You’re beginning to suspect that your iPod is developing an uncanny intuition or an unyielding sense of devilish humor. “Oh I love this song!” quickly evolves into “Wait, didn’t I just hear this song?” ~ Inspired by Andy and his 1200 song iPod playlist
  9. Virtual colleagues you’ve never met know more about you than your physical friends. Plus you start telling more stories about them than you do about your own life… (yep, that’s right. Get out of the house much?) ~ Inspired by Natalia
  10. 9 to 5 sometimes means PM to AM. Yeah that whole growing without sunlight thing… funny how that works. ~ Inspired by Barbara Camisa
  11. Blogging about every position your cat collapses into… or that hot new brush palette for Photoshop… actually feels like you’re engaging in a social life {Yes comments = “my life has meaning” and I’m okay with that!} ~ Inspired by ameetkarn
  12. Your car still has the full tank of gas you put in it a week ago and you’re curiously intrigued by everyone’s meltdown over gas prices. ~ Inspired by Misti Sandafar
  13. Showers get regulated to the afternoon, evening or… because hey, you can take that first 8am (or 11am in my case!) phone call in your PJs. And then the follow up emails, oh and that fascinating conversation happening on Facebook, oh and I better update my status so everyone knows my dog just farted, and… ~ Inspired by Vio
  14. Your friends have to ambush you 20 days in advance (and don’t forget how they strong arm you into pre-purchase tickets with your credit card) just to get you out to the cinema for an evening. ~ Inspired by Marta
  15. Love in your household means knowing how to say “Yep honey, just finishing up this email!” ~ Inspired by Marta and Ginette
  16. Rush hour traffic no longer affects you. You’re just glad to be driving anywhere because AMEN! it means you’re out of the house! ~ Inspired by Julie Parenteau
  17. Your idea of a heinous disaster is losing internet access or being relegated to dial up speed. “What do you mean the internet will be spotty here? I was told when I purchased these plane tickets that I’d have internet access! {Um yeah… it’s coming from SPACE and you’re 30,000 frickin feet in the AIR!} ~ Inspired by Rexaniel and a hilarious Conan O’ Brien skit with Louis C. K.
  18. You reorganize your family’s sleeping arrangements just to make sure your home office is a write off. ~ Inspired by Chris Cade Leer más “You Know You’re a Freelancer When . . . Part II”

Are You Dating Your Client?

The other day I realized that the relationships that I have been developing with my clients are similar to what I remember of the dating world. Of course, it’s been over 20 years since I was allowed to date anyone other than my wife, but from what I can recall, the similarities are there. Curse her and her “no dating” rule!

What kind of relationship are you in with your clients?

Flirting – You’re interested in each other, but haven’t made a commitment to do anything yet. Perhaps they are currently committed to another, but that relationship is struggling and you have an opportunity to provide this client with something fresh. You are regularly searching for a reason to call them, to get their attention, in hopes of creating that first date project.

Dating – You’ve been working with a new client and you are still trying to impress them at every opportunity. You aren’t exclusive yet, but you both like the work that has been produced and don’t see any reason to stray. You are looking forward to their calls, and they readily answer yours.

Married – You know what your client likes and dislikes, and you know how to ask in order to meet your creative or budgetary needs. You are mutually exclusive – you don’t do any work for their competitors, and they only use you for projects within your skill set. You might have had a few fights, but the relationship is strong, and you are fiercely protective of their business. You are seeing your creative projects grow over time, and the affect they are having on the business is positive.


The other day I realized that the relationships that I have been developing with my clients are similar to what I remember of the dating world.  Of course, it’s been over 20 years since I was allowed to date anyone other than my wife, but from what I can recall, the similarities are there.  Curse her and her “no dating” rule!

What kind of relationship are you in with your clients?

Flirting – You’re interested in each other, but haven’t made a commitment to do anything yet.  Perhaps they are currently committed to another, but that relationship is struggling and you have an opportunity to provide this client with something fresh.  You are regularly searching for a reason to call them, to get their attention, in hopes of creating that first date project.

Dating – You’ve been working with a new client and you are still trying to impress them at every opportunity.  You aren’t exclusive yet, but you both like the work that has been produced and don’t see any reason to stray.  You are looking forward to their calls, and they readily answer yours.

Married – You know what your client likes and dislikes, and you know how to ask in order to meet your creative or budgetary needs.  You are mutually exclusive – you don’t do any work for their competitors, and they only use you for projects within your skill set.  You might have had a few fights, but the relationship is strong, and you are fiercely protective of their business.  You are seeing your creative projects grow over time, and the affect they are having on the business is positive. Leer más “Are You Dating Your Client?”

5 Twitter Tools for Analyzing Your Stats

One of the great things the internets gives us is the ability to track and analyze anything and everything. You can find out how many people are on your website, commented on your blog, or liked your Facebook status update, and it doesn’t take much more than a few clicks.

Whether you are looking at it from a competitive, professional, or personal point of view, you’ve probably figured out that you should start using Twitter tools to check your stats.

Here are a Twitter analytics tools to help you determine where you are in the Twitterverse:


One of the great things the internets gives us is the ability to track and analyze anything and everything.  You can find out how many people are on your website, commented on your blog, or liked your Facebook status update, and it doesn’t take much more than a few clicks.

Whether you are looking at it from a competitive, professional, or personal point of view, you’ve probably figured out that you should start using Twitter tools to check your stats.

Here are a Twitter analytics tools to help you determine where you are in the Twitterverse:

Klout – Your Twitter presence is graded based on 25+ variables, including how well you engage with your audience, how often your posts are retweeted,  and your level of twitter activity.  Nice tool, measures quickly, and the results actually seem to be useful. Leer más “5 Twitter Tools for Analyzing Your Stats”

The Job Reply I Want to Write


PG

Many of us do things that aren’t particularly healthy. Sometimes these bad habits are not only unhealthy, but completely unproductive, too. For example, my RSS mostly contains blogs and news sites I follow to keep up on the topics I write about. But in among them, for some reason, I still keep a few feeds to writing job boards. Normally, I skip over the low-paid and no-paid ones pretty quickly and move on with my day.

But lately, I’ve seen some where the requests are so egregious I feel I need the respond to the poster. But in the interest of not burning bridges, I won’t.

Instead, I present to FreelanceSwitch: The job ad reply I wish I’d write. All names have been changed to protect the annoying. Leer más “The Job Reply I Want to Write”

Why a Prospective Client Should Choose You

Creating this list should be fairly easy, if you already have a business plan then you’ll have done all of your SWOT analysis on your competition and yourself so you’ll know what your strengths are over your competitors. If you didn’t do this then don’t fret. Do some SWOT analysis research now and not only will you be able to create the list but you may also find out some interesting facts about your competitors and yourself that could help you out in the future too. You can use these strengths to create your list which should just be a snappy little headline and a small paragraph of text going into some brief detail on how you have this advantage and what benefit this has on the client.


There are thousands of other freelancers out in the wild, so why should a prospective client choose you over your competition? They aren’t to know what will happen if they do or don’t hire you and they aren’t to know how you’ll carry out their project but if they somehow did know then they would choose you, wouldn’t they?

What you could do is just tell them straight up five or ten reasons why they should hire you instead of your competition. You can set up a new page on your website or send out an email to a prospective client and give them a list of five, ten, or however many reasons you think they’ll need that will convince them that you are the freelancer they should choose for their next web project. Try and keep the list short and snappy though so it doesn’t turn out to be the length of a 4-year-old’s Christmas wish list. Leer más “Why a Prospective Client Should Choose You”

Finding Creativity in Unexpected Places

I’ll confess to a certain amount of pride in seeing that my relative’s ideas have come to life in a place with an employee bulletin board celebrating hiring anniversaries, boxes full of products awaiting shipment, and lively discussions about how best to grow the company. This place makes products that took a lot of scientific and engineering creativity to devise. And the machines that make them didn’t come from off the shelf at Acme Manufacturing Equipment. They had to be designed and custom-made to the specifications of this plant.

In short, I saw a lot of creativity in this place.

Okay, enough manufacturing. Now let’s look another field that isn’t renowned for creativity, plumbing. Last year, I wrote about my experiences as a post-Hurricane Katrina reconstruction volunteer in coastal Mississippi. Some, but not all of my fellow volunteers were employed in the construction trades. One of the professionals was a master plumber from Georgia. For the better part of a week, he and his volunteer crew worked on a real brain-twister: Re-floating a house boat.


In Janet Martin’s August 4 FreelanceSwitch article on creative activities, we read about the importance of building new creative muscles.

The end of this article included a list of five suggestions for expanding one’s creativity:

  1. Try photography
  2. Make something by sewing it or employing another craft
  3. Learn stop-motion animation
  4. Take a writing class
  5. Take a drawing class

These are very good suggestions, but, to me, they don’t go far enough. All too often, we creatives are criticized for not understanding how non-artists work. So, it’s time to break out of our artistic bubbles and explore the rest of the world. And, not to worry, there are plenty of friendly tour guides out there.

Take, for example, the manufacturing plant I visited in late July. A relative co-founded the company, and I’ve heard him talk about it for years. But I’d never been there. Now, you may be thinking that I just visited the dullest, most uncreative place on the planet. I mean, come on. A manufacturing plant. How exciting can that be? Leer más “Finding Creativity in Unexpected Places”

How to Sell Yourself to Do-It-Yourselfers

Aw, darn. After writing what I thought was a bang-up proposal for a ready-to-buy client, I get word that he’d rather do a basic website himself.

This, despite the fact that he’d already said that he wanted to present a professional image of his organization to grant funders. I seriously doubt that, by going the DIY route, that he’ll create such an image.

So, what’s a freelancer to do, especially after you thought you qualified that prospect to the point that you didn’t think that he or she would have any second thoughts? For starters, learn how to sell yourself. Here are four ideas for selling your services to would be do-it-yourselfers:


Image courtesy of johnnyberg @ SXC

Aw, darn. After writing what I thought was a bang-up proposal for a ready-to-buy client, I get word that he’d rather do a basic website himself.

This, despite the fact that he’d already said that he wanted to present a professional image of his organization to grant funders. I seriously doubt that, by going the DIY route, that he’ll create such an image.

So, what’s a freelancer to do, especially after you thought you qualified that prospect to the point that you didn’t think that he or she would have any second thoughts? For starters, learn how to sell yourself. Here are four ideas for selling your services to would be do-it-yourselfers: Leer más “How to Sell Yourself to Do-It-Yourselfers”

What Professional Associations Have You Joined?

There are a number of professional organizations available offline to help you meet new associates, new suppliers, and ideally, new customers. From formal and well established associations like the Chamber of Commerce, to newer social media and offline networking Tweetups.

Some freelancers are more comfortable with the anonymity that cold calling and cold emailing provides, while others find that they are more successful in acquiring new business in face to face situations.

Here are a few offline associations for you to investigate in your area:

Chamber of Commerce. Your local business owners, making decisions on behalf of the local business community. Expect lots of networking events, as well as opportunities to volunteer to make changes within your community. Cost: You pay an annual membership to be a part of your Chamber of Commerce.


There are a number of professional organizations available offline to help you meet new associates, new suppliers, and ideally, new customers.  From formal and well established associations like the Chamber of Commerce, to newer social media and offline networking Tweetups.

Some freelancers are more comfortable with the anonymity that cold calling and cold emailing provides, while others find that they are more successful in acquiring new business in face to face situations.

Here are a few offline associations for you to investigate in your area:

Chamber of Commerce. Your local business owners, making decisions on behalf of the local business community.  Expect lots of networking events, as well as opportunities to volunteer to make changes within your community.  Cost: You pay an annual membership to be a part of your Chamber of Commerce.

Business Network International (BNI). Partnerships and arrangements are created within the local chapters to allow each member to refer any other member.  You carry the business cards of the businesses within your chapter, and they all carry yours.  When a situation arises where it’s appropriate to recommend their business, you provide the referral.  Cost: There is an annual fee to be a part of a BNI. Leer más “What Professional Associations Have You Joined?”

Benefits of Business Networking

Firstly we should pay close attention to the places where social interaction can occur that may enrich ourselves and our businesses. The list below outlines just a few of the potential networking opportunities that could benefit you over time:

* Blogging: Passing on your own knowledge or contributing useful comments.
* Forums: Showcasing your skills, helping others, getting support and more.
* Conferences: Word of mouth, chatting with experts and learning new skills.
* Social Networks: Gaining support, friends and followers with links or content.
* Side Projects: Money earners, extra-curricular activities or contributory work.
* Mentoring: Potentially gaining potential employees or job opportunities.
* Meet-ups: Getting like-minded people together to interact and gain leads.
* Skill-swaps: Offering services for others in return (bi-directional outsourcing).

Each of these sources has their own pros and cons so it’s worth weighing up the cost vs benefit ratio before undertaking a specific method of socializing. It’s also worth highlighting that it depends on the amount of time, effort and energy you put into each that will determine what kind of response you get. Not every solution will be suitable for every kind of person but finding something that works for you (over the long term) may undoubtedly help you escape the trappings of freelance isolation.


Freelancing can get quite lonely and you may feel rather disconnected from the outside world. While many advocate working in an environment filled with others (such as your local Starbucks), the fact remains that you just don’t get the same benefits of being able to bounce ideas off of colleagues. While this may seem an unfortunate side effect of going solo, I have the mindset that working independently doesn’t mean that the array of community focused efforts online can’t benefit you.

Freelance Isn’t Loneliness

Being a freelancer means being in charge of your destiny, it doesn’t mean that you need to become a caveman in some contact free environment. Whether we are emailing, tweeting, reading the latest Freelance Switch article or something entirely different, it’s the way we choose to communicate that dictates how we run our businesses and keep our knowledge current. Participating in social events at our own choice can increase our sense of independence whilst maintaining useful relationships.
The loneliness we suffer is often caused by our own lack of willingness to spend time outside the projects we work on for clients, effectively leaving us as drones of our own productivity. While the idea of putting aside an hour a day to cultivating yourself socially may seem like wasting time, the fruits of your labor make themselves apparent as you’re not only helping others better themselves but you gain meaningful personal and business relationships that may well help you in the future. Leer más “Benefits of Business Networking”

5 Ways to Help Your Clients Network

Another great thing about being a freelancer is the number and diversity of clients you can have. By introducing them to each other, you are creating valuable connections that will likely result in more work for you. If you can help your clients be successful, it’s almost a sure bet that you will benefit, too.

Here are 5 ways to introduce clients to each other:

Drink More – Ok, maybe not alcohol, but schedule a coffee meeting between two or three clients that share a similar industry (but not direct competitors). Introduce them to each other, and see how the conversation goes.


Another great thing about being a freelancer is the number and diversity of clients you can have.  By introducing them to each other, you are creating valuable connections that will likely result in more work for you.  If you can help your clients be successful, it’s almost a sure bet that you will benefit, too.

Here are 5 ways to introduce clients to each other:

Drink More – Ok, maybe not alcohol, but schedule a coffee meeting between two or three clients that share a similar industry (but not direct competitors).  Introduce them to each other, and see how the conversation goes.

Eat More – Host a BBQ and invite a few of the clients that you enjoy working with.  Don’t have a place to have a BBQ?  Plan a picnic in a local park or at the beach.  It doesn’t have to be a large expense, just tell them that you’ve reserved a spot, and they are welcome to bring their own picnic lunch and have a relaxing day. Leer más “5 Ways to Help Your Clients Network”