The Costs of Going Alone You May Fail to Consider
By Gemma Humpries
Being a successful freelancer means achieving the delicate balance between pitching for the clients you know you can achieve and pitch for the clients you want. The fact is that we are all working to earn a living. We need to pay our mortgages, put food on the table, get our kids through college. Money makes the world go round, and your world won't go around without it! Unfortunately, that often means taking on the bread and butter jobs we'd rather not do more often than we'd like and leaving the convoluted pitches process for highly sought after jobs we'd like to do to those that are younger and have more time and fewer responsibilities. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here are three overlooked ways to pitch for the business that you really want and actually succeed:
Spend Time Maintaining Relationships
Most small businesses and freelancers understand the importance of generating solid leads, but so often one those leads how been generated they forget to maintain those new relationships and cultivate a culture of mutual understanding and respect. Although it won’t directly add to your revenue, it is important to take a couple of hours out of your week and spend it talking to your customers: existing ones, potential ones, ones that you have been working with for years and those that are newly acquired. Follow up on every business opportunity you are offered and make sure that you are maintaining a good reputation within your community. This might not immediately lead to an uptake in your services (remember that 73% of newly generated business to business sales leads are not ready to purchase) but all of these things are important to building your business identity and ensuring that, if and when they need the services that you provide, the right people will know where to find you.
Believe in Yourself
It’s so easy to criticize yourself and make excuses for why you won’t get a job, or why it’s not worth pitching to that new client. Often in business, we can be our worst enemies and the more we listen to our inner critic, the less proactive we are in reaching out, networking, and reaching for those goals that might seem unobtainable right now. This is particularly true as our responsibilities grow and we juggle running our businesses with the needs of our family. It may sound a little twee, and like something out of a Disney movie, but believing in yourself is one of the very best things you can do to boost your business success. Confidence comes from many different things, but if you lack confidence in yourself or your brand then why not have a makeover? A new website, new business cards, updated email signature, even a haircut, can all help to increase your confidence in your brand and enable you to sell it to others in a much more positive way.
Leave The Comfort of Your PC
We live in a modern internet age that makes it much easier to arrange all the marketing for your business from behind your computer screen while you sit in your jammies. While engaging in online social networking, utilizing social media and having a great website certainly will help you to generate leads for your business, nothing beats leaving the comfort of your PC and going out and meeting people. Show people who you are and what you do: being visible is the very best way of ensuring that you will be remembered by potential clients, and you can impress upon people the wide range of services you can provide for them much more comprehensively in the flesh than you ever could over the internet. Understand your business niche and know who your target market is, then get out of the house and go and target them! You could do this by attending national conferences, professional events for individuals in the same market as you, or even by going out and talking to local small businesses. The key is to put yourself out there and ensure that as many people as possible know who you are.
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Jim Weber, President
New Century Dynamics Executive Search
Author of: Fighting Alligators: Job Search Strategy For The New Normal
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. Offer Accepted
5. Controller – Atlanta-based Restaurant Company: New