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Getting referrals and recommendations

From: Freelancing Fundamentals

Video: Getting referrals and recommendations

If there is one message I hope you get from this course, it's that people are what count, and your professional relationships will ultimately be a big part of how you grow your business. People you know can help you land other work through two mechanisms: referrals and recommendations. We'll start with recommendations. There are a few kinds available. The weakest is the Unsourced quote. This is where someone says something good about your work but doesn't give permission to include their identity.

Getting referrals and recommendations

If there is one message I hope you get from this course, it's that people are what count, and your professional relationships will ultimately be a big part of how you grow your business. People you know can help you land other work through two mechanisms: referrals and recommendations. We'll start with recommendations. There are a few kinds available. The weakest is the Unsourced quote. This is where someone says something good about your work but doesn't give permission to include their identity.

The better kind is the Sourced quote where the person cited has confirmed that it's okay to give his or her name, position, and organization. Between these two is what we can call a semi-sourced quote. I found you get those when it's okay to use the person's name, but the company doesn't want their name used. In that case, you can substitute the company name with a descriptor such as "a large telecommunications company." Best of all though is the active reference. This is when someone agrees to not only provide a sourced quote, but also to talk with your prospective clients one on one.

In practice it's fairly rare that you'll need that service, but it's good to know that you have someone to turn to when you do. If you do get someone who is willing to do this, don't ever send a prospective client to them until you've contacted the reference to give them a heads-up. That will give you a chance to brief your reference about this prospective client, so they'll know exactly what they should talk about. You might also have recommendations on a social media site such as LinkedIn.com. If you do, ask the person who wrote it if you're allowed to copy it over to your own site.

That brings us to referrals. A referral is sort of like a recommendation except it's written by someone who connects you directly with a prospective client. The best kind is where they offer to introduce you to each other, usually by sending an email to both of you. If they're not willing to do that, it's still valuable to ask them whether they know of other people who could use your services. Then you can follow up on those referrals yourself. The easiest time to ask for a referral is when you've had a good relationship with someone.

But now for some reason it has to end. For example, if the person is getting a new job or the company decides not to use freelancers anymore. Then your contact will usually be happy to help you out. After all, they might need your help some time. If you have good relationships, recommendations and referrals will come naturally, and you'll be happy to give them out as well.

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This video is part of

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Freelancing Fundamentals

42 video lessons · 24261 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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