Winning work is an ongoing challenge for freelancers. As an employee, someone’s always passing you the next project. But, as an independent, you need to be selling and delivering at the same time.
How is that possible?
Repeat clients, referrals and reputation are by far the easiest routes to new business. But, they take time to build.
And anyway, sometimes you want to stretch out a bit with new challenges, new sectors or simply new faces.
Here are three useful resources:
- Four Ways To Build A Strong Online Reputation – this a great post by Ryan Robinson on Forbes.com. In a nutshell he says:
- Strengthen your portfolio
- Bolster your background
- Showcase your expertise
- Foster continual engagement
- Hard Truths and Etiquette – This is from the Stage 32 screenwriting blog, but the lessons are easily transferable to any freelance scenario.
- Rain Making by Ford Harding – this is my go-to book. It’s written for professionals, though not necessarily the sovereign kind: architects, consultants, accountants etc. Sound advice about playing to your natural, professional strengths.
All of these are worth a read. You need to find for yourself a technique that feels authentic. But, that’s not an excuse to avoid “selling”. If you feel that way, Daniel Pink’s To Sell is Human is a useful antidote.
Even A Dog Can Shake Hands
By way of a bonus, I was looking for an image and the one above reminded me of this, slightly jaundiced, Warren Zevon classic…
He wants twenty percent
‘Cause he knew you back when
Now they all want a piece if the band
Everybody’s trying to be a friend of mine
Even a dog can shake hands
Happy reputation building.