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Beating The Feast Or Famine Cycle: Safety In Numbers

It is gratifying to receive positive feedback for one of my posts, especially if it is a personal request for a discussion.  Actually, I received inquiries from two freelancers who had read last week’s post regarding my recruiting efforts for In The Black Partners.  They wanted to know if our program would fit their needs.  I was pleased to learn that I had made an impression on these folks and we scheduled a time to talk.   

I was interested in learning how they promoted their business.  What were they doing to overcome the “feast or famine cycle?”  Were they making a seamless transition from one project to the next?  This question is important to me as our value proposition addresses this issue.  I learned that they need help promoting their businesses.  They are mostly focused on word-of-mouth marketing and networking.  None of them talked about any digital marketing efforts.

Many freelancers rely on word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.  I am a firm believer in WOM as it is a powerful way to build a business.  I endorse it completely.  However, word-of-mouth marketing is too passive to be an exclusive promotional strategy.  It is based on the hope that clients will say good things about you.  As the saying goes, “hope is not a strategy.”  Even WOM promotion must be managed proactively.

If you have made it to the point where you are ready to become a freelancer you probably have a well-established network.  This is your principle asset.  The goal is to turn those relationships into recurring revenue.  The challenge is maintaining top-of-mind awareness for your brand.  By managing your network you can create a Business Development machine.  However important, this can be a time-consuming endeavor for free agents.

Time is the freelancer’s nemesis.  If they focus 100% on their current projects there is no time left to prospect for new business.  When you're not selling you aren't generating revenue. The first step in breaking the cycle is to schedule time to pitch your business.  Making a commitment to spend one day a week promoting one’s business is an admirable goal. But, it is a goal that is very difficult to achieve.  Most freelancers will agree.  

Developing the skills to develop and execute a digital marketing strategy is also time-consuming.  In fact, one could easily question the rationale for developing these skills unless one’s practice is related to marketing and public relations.  It is generally better to focus your efforts on your strengths and employ outsourced solutions to compensate for your weaker areas.  This is a sensible decision if funds are available.

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Executive search is as close to pure marketing as I have seen.  There may be better examples, like direct mail marketing or network marketing but few other businesses seem to come close.   Whomever I talk with is a prospective client, a prospective candidate, a referral source, or all of the above. Everyone!  My work is all about talking to people, so every point of contact is brand building and selling in one form or another.  Even so, in addition to networking, I employ a fairly comprehensive digital marketing strategy.    

As mentioned in my last post, helping freelancers break the feast or famine cycle is part of our mission.  Now, more than any other time in history, we have powerful tools to promote your business.  Email marketing, social media marketing; blogging; and webinars, for example, have been game changers.   However, it is still difficult for a single freelancer to find the time and resources to network, and to execute a digital marketing strategy.

Let’s face it, selling isn’t easy.   For many freelancers, it’s dreaded; especially dealing with rejection, a normal part of the process.  Rejection can be painful, and we humans tend to avoid pain.  So, we devote less time to selling.  Cold calling is the worst.  Forget about it!  But, we must sell or face the famine!  To become a successful freelancer you must leverage your time and financial resources.  The best way to accomplish this is to become affiliated with a larger group of free agents.  We recommend an association with an organized group of freelancers working together as a brand.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope you enjoyed my point of view and would like to receive regular posts directly to your email inbox. Toward this end, put your contact information on my mailing list.  

 

Your feedback helps me continue to publish articles that you want to read. Your input is important to me so; please leave a comment.

 

Jim Weber, President

New Century Dynamics Executive Search

JimWeber@NewCenturyDynamics.com

Author of: Fighting Alligators: Job Search Strategy For The New Normal

 

 

Job Search Strategy For The New Normal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Assignments

1. COO- Atlanta-based Casual Dining Restaurant Company – New

2. Director of Business Dev, Atlanta-based B2B Professional Services Company: Complete
3. Payroll-Benefits Manager, Atlanta-based Retail Company:  Complete
4. Senior Accounting Manager – Atlanta-based Manufacturer. Complete
5. Controller – Atlanta-based Restaurant Company: New

6. Outplacement Assignment – Atlanta-based Manufacturer:  New

 

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Jim Weber Bio
Prior to forming New Century Dynamics in 1999, Jim Weber spent 22 years with Fortune 500 franchising companies in the Food Retailing Industry where he developed a broad-based portfolio of “hands-on” line and staff experience in growth and turnaround situations.
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October 7:  ITB Partners closed a deal to help a client get their franchised business up and running.  The client signed our contract to help them develop a franchise area agreement.

August 14, 2017: New Century Dynamics Executive Search completes Controller Search for an Atlanta-based Consumer Products Company.

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June 14, 2017: New Century Dynamics Executive Search lands Controller Search for an Atlanta-based Consumer Products Company.

April 20, 2017: New Century Dynamics Executive Search lands Outplacement Assignment for Key Client.

April 4, 2017: New Century Dynamics Executive Search Announces that Offer of Employment has been accepted for Senior Accounting Manager Search assignment: Atlanta-based Manufacturer.

March 13, 2017: New Century Dynamics Executive Search Announces the Completion of a search for a Human Capital Manager.

March 1, 2017: New Century Dynamics Executive Search Announces a new Search Assignment: COO for a Southeastern-based Casual Dining Brand. Your interest and referrals are welcome.

January 8, 2017: New Century Dynamics Executive Search announces new assignment: Controller for a Southeastern-based Casual Dining Brand.

January 16, 2017: Bill Black Joins ITB Partners

Bill Black brings over three decades of accomplishment-laden marketing experience in the food service and retail industries, having served as a Marketing Executive for some of America’s most recognized and loved brands, including Starbucks Coffee Company, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin-Robbins and Krystal Hamburgers. Read more at: http://www.itbpartners.com/bill-black.html

November 23, 2016: New Century Dynamics Executive Search announces new assignments: Payroll-Benefits Manager – Atlanta Based Retailer; Business Development Manager; Atlanta-Based Marketing Research Company.

June 29, 2016: New Century Dynamics Executive Search announces a new assignment: Senior Accounting Manager – Atlanta-based Manufacturer

June 4, 2016: New Century Dynamics Executive Search announces a new Coaching Client.

May 31, 2016: New Century Dynamics Executive Search announces a new search assignment: Controller, Orlando, FL based restaurant company.

May 29, 2016: “Fighting Alligators: Job Search Strategy For The New Normal” By James E Weber, is now available for purchase on Amazon.com.

May 17, 2016: New Century Dynamics Executive Search announces a new search assignment: AP Specialists for an Atlanta-based Manufacturer with a global reach.

April 27, 2016: New Century Dynamics Executive Search announces a new search assignment: General Manager for Southern Sports Club.

April 4, 2016: New Century Dynamics Executive Search announces that our candidate has accepted our client’s offer to become Plant Manager for Lawrenceville, GA plant.

March 7, 2016, Jim Weber announces the pre-launch of his new book: Job Search Strategy For The New Normal. Refer to new page, “Book” at our Website.