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Announcing your availability

From: Freelancing Fundamentals

Video: Announcing your availability

Let's say you're all set up and ready to go. You know where you'll be working, your office systems are in place and you're ready to show your portfolio to prospective clients. Now it's time to find those prospective clients, and more importantly, to let them find you. In another video I talked about building your professional network but cautioned at that stage not to hit them up for work. Now it's time to get a bit more aggressive. First, follow up on all past leads. Always keep track of who you talk to, when, and why as you go. Make that a habit.

Announcing your availability

Let's say you're all set up and ready to go. You know where you'll be working, your office systems are in place and you're ready to show your portfolio to prospective clients. Now it's time to find those prospective clients, and more importantly, to let them find you. In another video I talked about building your professional network but cautioned at that stage not to hit them up for work. Now it's time to get a bit more aggressive. First, follow up on all past leads. Always keep track of who you talk to, when, and why as you go. Make that a habit.

That's how you build your professional network over time. Once that's done, here are some things you can do to make yourself more accessible and attractive to clients going forward. The first is to beef up your website. In an earlier video, we talked about preparing your portfolio and, of course, that's going to become a substantial part of your site. But there are a few other elements it needs as well. First, a description of what you do. Put it front and center, preferably, on the homepage. This is where you express all the soul-searching you did earlier while sharpening your market focus.

It should define your business in terms of the skill you're selling, the industry you'll target and the type of customer you'll sell to. Other elements include information about your credentials. That is, why people should trust you with their projects. Finally, make sure it's easy to find a way to contact you and that's it. You can also add other elements and I recommend you start paying close attention to other freelancers' sites for ideas. But your website is not done yet. You'll also need a domain name and a place to host the site.

Your site will also need occasional maintenance. A website isn't just a set it and forget it kind of thing that won't take a lot of time. But you'll either need to get the necessary skills or hire someone who has them. In either case realize that the benefits you get from your site are directly proportional to the attention you give to its planning, creation, and promotion. Your website is only one way to announce your availability online. You'll also want to have presences on the big social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.

I recommend that you do a land grab on those services for a name that reflects your business, even if you're not ready to add any content yet. And don't forget to add yourself to professional directories related to your skill and location. But eventually you will start building out your social media homes. Twitter of course, is only as good as the regular post you make to it, but there is a little space for self-description. And on Facebook it's possible to display quite a lot about yourself. On both systems, as on other social sites, there are opportunities for responsible promotion.

A final way you can get the word out is by using standard advertising techniques and I talk more about those later. But really, the two most important parts when you get started are that first, you have information that's clear and easy to access. And second, that you started taking advantage of the connections in your professional network, while at the same time growing it. If you follow the tips in this video, you're well on your way.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Freelancing Fundamentals

42 video lessons · 24271 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 10m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 53s
    2. What is freelancing?
      2m 53s
    3. How freelancing and employment differ
      2m 33s
    4. Preparing your mindset
      3m 31s
  2. 9m 24s
    1. Defining career goals
      2m 48s
    2. Sharpening your market focus
      3m 18s
    3. Transitioning to freelancing
      3m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Preparing your portfolio
      3m 11s
    2. Estimating costs
      3m 10s
    3. Funding your startup
      2m 42s
    4. Establishing your workspace
      3m 35s
    5. Building your professional network
      3m 33s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
      2m 15s
    2. Creating contracts
      4m 23s
    3. Finding professional service vendors
      2m 13s
  5. 12m 54s
    1. Setting prices
      3m 13s
    2. Establishing payment systems
      1m 36s
    3. Invoicing and getting paid
      3m 50s
    4. Keeping the books
      2m 32s
    5. Managing taxes
      1m 43s
  6. 14m 41s
    1. Announcing your availability
      3m 16s
    2. Finding work through agencies
      2m 2s
    3. Onboarding clients
      2m 59s
    4. Avoiding scams
      3m 25s
    5. Choosing assignments
      2m 59s
  7. 11m 27s
    1. Interacting with clients
      2m 11s
    2. Delivering quality work
      2m 28s
    3. Getting referrals and recommendations
      2m 34s
    4. Losing and firing clients
      4m 14s
  8. 10m 48s
    1. Deconstructing big jobs
      3m 34s
    2. Adopting time-management tools
      2m 35s
    3. Creating schedules
      2m 30s
    4. Turning off the clock for "me time"
      2m 9s
  9. 20m 6s
    1. Staying motivated
      3m 3s
    2. Increasing your rates
      2m 52s
    3. Marketing beyond your professional network
      2m 56s
    4. Growing through hires and partnerships
      3m 30s
    5. Building passive income
      3m 48s
    6. Changing focus
      3m 57s
  10. 4m 52s
    1. Case study: Publishing a book
      2m 47s
    2. Next steps
      2m 5s
  11. 12m 42s
    1. Freelancing Q&A
      12m 42s

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