As you probably know there are tons of freelancers out there, probably more than customers, even I am a freelancer myself (freelancer is commonly used word for individual that works on his/her own, learn more form Wiki). They/we are all bidding to get new customers and often find that experience very painful and not quite as they/we imgined.
That speaking I have to say that I’ve already learned a few things from my around-two-week old journey as a web publisher and designer. What I’ve found out is that internet is not so promising and magical as I thought (Now what about that, huh?). Actually it is a marketplace where competiton is so harsh that you really have to bid so low that making money for a living becomes quite impossible.
I’ve tried lots of methods to build my way into business and have to say they were all crushing or even disastrous as they brought me only vistors with an average length of a visit of 30 seconds or lower. I didn’t lost much money but have thrown away a lot of my time to design presentation pages for services and blog itself.
So what now?
I was surfing the web to find some good resources that would guide me to, hopefully, more promising future in business. That speaking, yesterday I came across a really astonishing article that really opened my eyes and gave me much clearer picture of my position and opportunities I have. Funny, it is 6 years old (an ice age for internet) but still gives some really good piece of advice that could be used in modern practice of selling services online. Now, let’s see what lessons I’ve learned about attracting new clients and which options I’ll pursue in a very near future:
- Step 1: Prospect
I didn’t do much in this field so this step will probably be cruical one. I’ve decided that pursuing customers worldwide wasn’t such a godd idea. Instead of the I will put all my efforst in comming weeks to target some of my local businesses instead of hoping for better days on the internet.
- Step 2: Research Local Businesses
As I am now graduate student from business informatics I will put my efforts to hunt for industries that are more in my field of knowledge (informatics, economics).
1. Yellow Pages
2. Department of Small Business Development
3. Search Engines
- Step 2.1: What if the Company Does Have A Website?
If the company does have a Website I will have two choices: either to move on, or further evaluate their existing site. If I will choose the latter, this is what I should look for according to article listed before:
* Is the site visually appealing?
* Are the site’s resources being used effectively?
* Are there means for a sales transaction?
* Does the site have a domain name?
* Is site listed in search engines?
* Were meta tags used effectively?
* Does the site load quickly?
* Is there essential contact information available?
* Are there broken links or missing images?
* Do you see a sales strategy that they are missing?
- Step 3: Organize My Thoughts
Before calling a client, thera are some questions I’ll look after:
1. How can a new or redesigned site increase the owner’s profits?
2. How much money will I need to charge?
3. Are there similar sites on the net that I can show as examples to the client? Try to show the owner how company XYZ profited from similar steps.
4. What design and graphic choices will I choose?
5. Are there add-ons that aren’t necessary, but effective?
6. (If aiming for a redesign) What changes would need to be made to better the site?
- Step 4: Making the Call
- Step 5: Preparing for the Meeting
- Step 5.1: Create a Mockup
- Step 5.2: Concept Chart
- Step 6: Meet The Client
- Step 7: Sell, Sell, Sell
- Step 8: Word of Mouth Sells
I would write more but I guess it makes no sense to use words of others twice. My intention is not to pollute web space so please visit this website, where you’ll find all the lines expalined in details if you’re interested.
So what now again?
- I will concentrate more on other freelancers
- I will do business more locally
- I will try harder