Blog Archives

Freelancing Millennials network differently from Boomers: Here’s how

I like to attend professional networking events with freelancers a generation younger than me. It’s fascinating how millennials network much differently from boomers. Here is what I’ve observed:

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Freelance success: decide how you will market first

Conventional wisdom recommends that the first order of business for freelancers is to determine the service we will offer and whom we will offer it to. We should narrow our specialty niche and our target market very narrowly so we know where to find these prospects, say the universal “they.” We look into our souls and dig deep to embrace our paths.

However, as I observe how people are marketing today, I suspect that it is more realistic and efficient to determine how we will market and then narrow in on services and specialties that work with our marketing channel.

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Our greatest interest is ourselves, right? (The marketing conversation)

In an initial marketing conversation, you want to get the other person to talk about themselves, especially their business and their business problems. You are using their talking to learn what they are doing, to see if there is an interface between the problems they face and the problems you solve, and to hear the language they use to frame these problems.

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Why live networking feels so uncomfortable and what to do about it

Don’t rush into networking groups that don’t feel right. If you attend once and there is no chemistry, they probably are not your perfect community. You may wish to give it one more try. Or simply don’t go back! Give yourself permission to trust your gut. Save your energy for people who are right for you.

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A most unusual networking lesson

Why not look for “connections” rather than “networking”? The difference is to only connect with people with whom you will cultivate true business relationships. It is not about the numbers.

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It’s not your fault! Why you don’t have a network of freelance / consulting clients in place

Despite good intentions, many corporate employees are unable to develop a strong network of personal relationships, even if they expect to quit their job (or be terminated) in favor of freelancing and consulting. The reasons isn’t laziness–it’s because regular jobs are structured to prevent networking.

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Freelancing and consulting: 13 better icebreaker questions for networking

What do you say when you meet someone new at a networking event? Probably: What do you do? Let’s explore alternatives that offer a little more originality and take our conversation down a less expected path.

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Social media marketing: boon or boondoggle?

The most fitting uses of social media for independent professionals are not brand awareness, market visibility, or even attracting new prospects. Instead, its best uses are one avenue (among others) to network with your existing contacts and to follow up with prospects you attract in other ways. In other words, social media can play a part — and perhaps a small part — in your marketing plan. It can’t carry the whole plan. You need to use other strategies to attract prospects in the first place, and other channels to follow up with them after you do.

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What’s a friend? And what’s a Facebook friend?

The best way to approach someone for a professional type of friendship on Facebook is to suggest professional relevance without downright propositioning for business at the first exchange.

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Can you get solopro assignments solely thru online networking?

Andrea Stenberg wrote an interesting blog post recently that describes one of the least understood—yet most important—aspects of social networking: how to deepen a surface-only online relationship into a business relationship. She recommends taking the conversation offline by making a phone call or meeting face to face.

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