The Simple Tricks Experts Use to Always Get Paid For Their Time | Copyblogger


The Simple Tricks Experts Use to Always Get Paid For Their Time

by Laura Roeder

When I think about it, I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I was chatting with a woman with an interior design business about the changes she needed to make in her website. The conversation was going well — she loved all my ideas and was ready to rebuild her site.

I started getting excited, thinking I had found my next project. I was already putting together her proposal in my head. Then she uttered those dreaded words …

“I’d love to take you to lunch and pick your brain sometime.”

I didn’t know what to say or do. I felt my face turning red and I stammered out an excuse about getting back to her when I checked my calendar.

Requests for “brain-picking” are rampant in any business, and they’re never fun if you’re the one whose brain is being picked. It used to happen to me so much that I found myself becoming resentful.

Every time I spoke with someone new I heard a little voice in the back of my head saying “Ugh, I bet they’ll never hire you, they just want a bunch of help for free”.

That little voice was not very helpful for landing clients

If you’ve ever been in this situation, there is a way to turn this around. There is a way to handle these situations with grace and without frustration.

There’s even a way to make those freebie requests go away — or, even better, turn into paying clients.

It is your job, and your job alone, to set appropriate boundaries and clear up what you’re happy to give for free and what you charge for.

That might be hard to hear. But if you want to move through these situations with grace (and encounter them less often) you have to stop placing blame — and start making it a policy to get paid for your time.

Sound impossible? It’s not. Here’s how:

1. Take full responsibility

The most important thing you can do is stop being angry at the prospect for asking.

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. If you were given the choice between getting a new computer for free or paying for the same computer, you’d pick free every time — and you’d never think about the company who doesn’t get paid for the sale. Why would you?

I know free is my favorite price for everything.

It is your prospect’s prerogative to ask for your time for free. Let me say that again — it is their prerogative to ask.

In fact, they’d be missing a golden opportunity if they paid for something when they didn’t have to. You can’t blame the prospect for taking the smart route.

You’re also missing the subtle compliment that goes with being asked for advice.

When someone asks you for your time for free, be grateful that they view you as someone who can offer valuable advice. Gary Vaynerchuk constantly says how grateful he is to get thousands of emails a day — he doesn’t take it for granted that every one of those people thinks that he is worth taking time out of their life to write to him.

Everyone asking for your time is already “sold” on you to a degree — they must be or they wouldn’t be asking you for more! Instead of viewing them as a dead-end cheapskate, see them as someone who is so invested in you that they’ll either be a potential client or a source of referrals.

2. Clearly establish your service offerings

Sometimes people ask you to work for free because you haven’t given them anything to buy.

When I offered web design I didn’t have any packages for ongoing support. I charged clients a per-project fee, and considered the project done when the client signed off on the design.

Invariably, people would contact me after the project was officially “over” with some tiny request — things that literally took 5-10 minutes of my time. Crafting a new invoice for this small request seemed silly, yet all of these requests were starting to seriously eat up my time.

I started to feel like I had to provide free service for life for each one-time purchase, and I felt like people were taking advantage of me when they asked for these small favors.

Looking back, I can see that they weren’t taking advantage of me. The issue was mine. I should have had a clearly-defined ongoing support package to offer in response to those requests.

That would have made things clear — either you had purchased my ongoing support or you hadn’t. As it stood, everyone was in the grey zone.

If you don’t like people asking for your time for free, but also don’t have any sort of well-defined offer in place to charge them for that time, the blame falls squarely on you.

vía The Simple Tricks Experts Use to Always Get Paid For Their Time | Copyblogger.

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How to Blog Like Bond. James Bond.

When it comes to being a badass, few can hold a candle to good old 007.

Calm, cool, and collected under pressure, Bond is known as much for his seductive personality as he is for his incredible ability to get himself out of any situation in one piece.

What he isn’t known for is writing a successful blog.

But everyone’s favorite fictional, womanizing secret agent has more to do with writing killer copy and running a great site than you might think.

Here a few things you can learn about great blogging from everyone’s favorite snappy dresser/sex addict/paid assassin.
Know exactly who you are

From the specific type of drink he orders (martini, shaken not stirred) to the unique presence he commands when walking into a room, James Bond always knows exactly who he is (yes, I realize I sound like an American Idol judge, but it remains true).

When you’re dealing with James Bond, you know what you’re going to get. If you’re a psychopathic villain bent on world domination, you don’t want to find out that Bond is on your case because you’re most likely going to end up dead.
Readers should know exactly who you are within minutes of coming to your site.

* When you visit Copyblogger, you know you’re going to learn how to write great content that builds both your business and your reputation.
* When you visit The Art of Nonconformity, you expect a point of view that challenges the status quo. You also learn very quickly that author Chris Guillebeau has made it his mission to visit every country in the world.
* When you visit Man Vs Debt.com, you know you’re getting a guy trying to destroy his debt.
* Spend three minutes on any of Gary Vaynerchuk’s sites and you feel like you’ve known the guy for years.

Your reader should know not only who you are but also what you’re providing within just a few lines.

It took me nine months of writing every day before I finally found the right “voice” and felt confident enough to use it. Once I finally embraced my personality and injected it into each post, my site really caught on with new readers and became much more enjoyable for me to write.


by Steve Kamb | //copyblogger.com

image of martini glass

When it comes to being a badass, few can hold a candle to good old 007.

Calm, cool, and collected under pressure, Bond is known as much for his seductive personality as he is for his incredible ability to get himself out of any situation in one piece.

What he isn’t known for is writing a successful blog.

But everyone’s favorite fictional, womanizing secret agent has more to do with writing killer copy and running a great site than you might think.

Here a few things you can learn about great blogging from everyone’s favorite snappy dresser/sex addict/paid assassin.

Know exactly who you are

From the specific type of drink he orders (martini, shaken not stirred) to the unique presence he commands when walking into a room, James Bond always knows exactly who he is (yes, I realize I sound like an American Idol judge, but it remains true).

When you’re dealing with James Bond, you know what you’re going to get. If you’re a psychopathic villain bent on world domination, you don’t want to find out that Bond is on your case because you’re most likely going to end up dead.

Readers should know exactly who you are within minutes of coming to your site.

  • When you visit Copyblogger, you know you’re going to learn how to write great content that builds both your business and your reputation.
  • When you visit The Art of Nonconformity, you expect a point of view that challenges the status quo. You also learn very quickly that author Chris Guillebeau has made it his mission to visit every country in the world.
  • When you visit Man Vs Debt.com, you know you’re getting a guy trying to destroy his debt.
  • Spend three minutes on any of Gary Vaynerchuk’s sites and you feel like you’ve known the guy for years.

Your reader should know not only who you are but also what you’re providing within just a few lines.

It took me nine months of writing every day before I finally found the right “voice” and felt confident enough to use it. Once I finally embraced my personality and injected it into each post, my site really caught on with new readers and became much more enjoyable for me to write. Leer más “How to Blog Like Bond. James Bond.”

Marketing by Cheryl Cole, David Beckham & Marmite…

After months of meticulous planning, a hotly debated X Factor performance and the fastest-selling single of 2009, Cheryl Cole’s solo album sold in record numbers as a result of some clever micro-marketing and a lot of hard work. A glance behind the glitz of the album release, though, reveals an industry in flux, and shows how labels are changing in the face of mass digital piracy and plummeting profits.

Peter Loraine, general manager at Fascination Records, the pop label behind the album and part of Universal, put it bluntly. “There is less money to spend these days and you have to make it go further,” he said. “You have to be a lot more creative, with a lot fewer resources.”

High street record stores may have disappeared, but a huge, and growing, range of online retailers needs to be catered for. Cheryl’s label made sure that each one got a special piece of her to offer fans. Amazon got 200 signed albums; Play.com, a meet and greet and a shopping trip offer; HMV.com, personalised calendars; Orange, signed lyrics; and iTunes, an exclusive track, digital booklet and remix bundle.

“We had to make sure we were catering to every fan out there,” said Loraine. “Every outlet felt involved and excited about the release – no one was left out.”


by jeremywaite

After months of meticulous planning, a hotly debated X Factor performance and the fastest-selling single of 2009, Cheryl Cole’s solo album sold in record numbers as a result of some clever micro-marketing and a lot of hard work.  A glance behind the glitz of the album release, though, reveals an industry in flux, and shows how labels are changing in the face of mass digital piracy and plummeting profits.

Peter Loraine, general manager at Fascination Records, the pop label behind the album and part of Universal, put it bluntly. “There is less money to spend these days and you have to make it go further,” he said. “You have to be a lot more creative, with a lot fewer resources.”

High street record stores may have disappeared, but a huge, and growing, range of online retailers needs to be catered for. Cheryl’s label made sure that each one got a special piece of her to offer fans. Amazon got 200 signed albums; Play.com, a meet and greet and a shopping trip offer; HMV.com, personalised calendars; Orange, signed lyrics; and iTunes, an exclusive track, digital booklet and remix bundle.

“We had to make sure we were catering to every fan out there,” said Loraine. “Every outlet felt involved and excited about the release – no one was left out.” Leer más “Marketing by Cheryl Cole, David Beckham & Marmite…”

Silicon Valley Is Not Most People’s Reality

Writing checks casually for $100k, selling companies for hundreds of millions of dollars, and then throwing back drinks with semi-well known rappers (see videos below) … this is what Silicon Valley is made of. It’s also only two days of activity. The Valley is an environment where life-time successes are celebrated for half a minute before the next guy cashes a check bigger than yours. Dave McClure raised $30 million for an investment fund in under 6 months but is that really all it took? Definitely not. The founders of Playdom built and sold a gaming startup (now what most people would consider an empire) in a couple years. But is a couple years all it took? Hell no.

It’s pretty easy to become disconnected from reality when the people surrounding you are building companies that generate hundreds of millions of dollars each year in revenue. These are truly the things that dreams are made of (for some) and in Silicon Valley it’s probably one of the only places where people who have a bank account with $10 million is a casual thing … or at least appears to be. If you want to throw around the size of your bank account as part of a contest you can go do so, however one thing that is more common than multi-million dollar bank accounts here is passionate people.


Posted by Nick O’Neill

Silicon Valley Companies IconWriting checks casually for $100k, selling companies for hundreds of millions of dollars, and then throwing back drinks with semi-well known rappers (see videos below) … this is what Silicon Valley is made of. It’s also only two days of activity. The Valley is an environment where life-time successes are celebrated for half a minute before the next guy cashes a check bigger than yours. Dave McClure raised $30 million for an investment fund in under 6 months but is that really all it took? Definitely not. The founders of Playdom built and sold a gaming startup (now what most people would consider an empire) in a couple years. But is a couple years all it took? Hell no.

It’s pretty easy to become disconnected from reality when the people surrounding you are building companies that generate hundreds of millions of dollars each year in revenue. These are truly the things that dreams are made of (for some) and in Silicon Valley it’s probably one of the only places where people who have a bank account with $10 million is a casual thing … or at least appears to be. If you want to throw around the size of your bank account as part of a contest you can go do so, however one thing that is more common than multi-million dollar bank accounts here is passionate people. Leer más “Silicon Valley Is Not Most People’s Reality”

Code Read

erhaps the highest profile use of the technology right now is in the Cola Wars. PepsiCo has an early “strategic partnership” with Stickybits, the provider of a free mobile app that uses bar-scanning technology to attach digital content to physical objects, while Coca-Cola is in talks to form a partnership with Stickybits. Currently, Coke is running a program in which a Stickybits-enabled phone can scan a Coke can and see a stream of comments and content from users and from Coke. Such content includes a “Coke Mythology” video that promotes a summer campaign centered around the soft drink’s “secret formula.”


– Noreen O’Leary
UPCs, those bar codes featured on packaged goods, are turning into an unlikely new media opportunity as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft, Campbell Soup, Procter & Gamble and others link with mobile technology providers.

Proponents of the technology say it provides a new stream of consumer communication, but critics say it will be of limited interest. At the moment, many major packaged-goods marketers are dipping their toes in the water with low-key pilot programs.

Perhaps the highest profile use of the technology right now is in the Cola Wars. PepsiCo has an early “strategic partnership” with Stickybits, the provider of a free mobile app that uses bar-scanning technology to attach digital content to physical objects, while Coca-Cola is in talks to form a partnership with Stickybits. Currently, Coke is running a program in which a Stickybits-enabled phone can scan a Coke can and see a stream of comments and content from users and from Coke. Such content includes a “Coke Mythology” video that promotes a summer campaign centered around the soft drink’s “secret formula.” Leer más “Code Read”

The latest news / ReadWriteWeb


Google Editions: Google Plans to Launch E-Book Store This Summer

google_books_modern_logo.jpgGoogle is getting ready to launch its own e-book store and challenge Apple and Amazon. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chris Palma, Google’s manager for strategic-partner development, announced the timetable for the launch of the company’s e-book store during an event at Random House‘s Manhattan offices earlier today. Google Editions, as the new store will be called, will launch in late June or July. Leer más “The latest news / ReadWriteWeb”

Weekend Reading: Social Networking for Businesses, by Rawn Shah – ReadWriteStart


social_network_mar10.jpgWe have talked about the power of utilizing social networks for businesses before in our Weekend Reading series with books like The Facebook Era, by Clara Shih and Crush It!, by Gary Vaynerchuk, and this week we’ve got another book under a similar vein. Published just last month, Social Networking for Businesses: Choosing the Right Tools and Resources to Fit Your Needs, by Rawn Shah is a guide for companies looking to take advantage of the collaborative communities of social networks to improve their business.

Author Rawn Shah has plenty of experience in this very subject as he is the Best Practices Lead on the Social Software Adoption Team at IBM. In Social Networking for Businesses, Shah breaks down the essentials and methods of modeling social experiences for businesses to get the most out of their users and customers. One of the most important factors to the success of social business experiences is the leadership of those experiences, says Shah, who points to the success of blogs and Wikipedia as examples.

“The success of each blog is a result of the leadership of its owners, who independently set the rules for what to publish and who can contribute,” says Shah. Wikipedia, he says, only succeeded when its leadership structure changed to let anyone to contribute, allowing the best content to rise to the top and be curated by public editors.

shah_cover_mar10.jpg“This defining change in how people could make decisions on the content and direction of the site — a leadership model that allowed anyone to become an editor and leader — drove Wikipedia’s overwhelming success,” says Shah.

Other topics covered by Shah in his book include building skills to create and manage social experiences, building a social culture within your business, collaborating with customers and users on ideas, and measuring the results of social environments.

“Online communities and social computing software are rapidly appearing both on the Internet and within organizations as a means to allow people to collaborate, although quite frequently without a plan or a link to organizational and business value,” says Shah. “By framing collaboration around specific goals and methods instead of herding people towards generic ideas, social computing can help develop and direct innovative development in an organization.”

This book is a little more of a deep-dive than some of the other books we’ve recommended over the last several weeks. If your startup is looking to encourage unique social interaction between your users and your business, this could be a great book to check out.

Disclosure: A review copy of Social Networking for Businesses was provided to ReadWriteWeb by Pearson Education and Wharton School Publishing.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/start/2010/03/weekend-reading-social-networking-for-businesses.php

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