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Freelancing Fundamentals

Marketing beyond your professional network


From:

Freelancing Fundamentals

with Tom Geller

Video: Marketing beyond your professional network

I've emphasized how essential people are to your freelance career. They give you guidance, expand your capabilities, and help you get clients; but your professional network does have its limits, especially if you're moving into an unfamiliar area. Let's talk about how to reach an audience if you don't already have contacts within it. You'll have to get inside this new group, first by identifying it and then by gaining allies there. Here are three ways to do this: The first has the lowest barrier to entry. Get to know the unfamiliar field as well as you can through online research.
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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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Freelancing Fundamentals
2h 12m Appropriate for all Jan 30, 2013 Updated Mar 20, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author and seasoned freelancer Tom Geller shows you how to prepare for a transition to freelancing. Begin by taking a look at your career goals, the systems that will support you, and proper ways to plan for success. Find out how to marshal your resources, refine your portfolio for presentation to clients, and estimate your costs to avoid any surprises on the financial front. Plus, discover how to create invoices, manage your books and taxes, expand your client base with marketing, and grow your business.

A bonus chapter covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field.

Topics include:
  • What is freelancing?
  • Defining your career goals
  • Funding your startup
  • Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
  • Setting prices
  • Finding work through agencies
  • Getting referrals
  • Working with time and project management tools
  • Increasing your rates
Subjects:
Business Productivity Project Management Business Skills Freelancing
Author:
Tom Geller

Marketing beyond your professional network

I've emphasized how essential people are to your freelance career. They give you guidance, expand your capabilities, and help you get clients; but your professional network does have its limits, especially if you're moving into an unfamiliar area. Let's talk about how to reach an audience if you don't already have contacts within it. You'll have to get inside this new group, first by identifying it and then by gaining allies there. Here are three ways to do this: The first has the lowest barrier to entry. Get to know the unfamiliar field as well as you can through online research.

Find out who is important in it, where its practitioners hangout, what is important to them and the terms they use to describe themselves. You need to know both the subject and the culture surrounding it to get your foot in the door. Then find and read active online discussions in that community and contribute when you feel ready. Relationships naturally form this way, as you get to know them and they get to know you. The second method is to research the new field, then approach someone for what is called an informational interview.

Make it as low commitment as possible and make it absolutely clear that you're looking only for advice, not a job. I know it sounds unlikely, but think of it. If you got an email from someone nicely asking you for a little advice in your area of expertise, wouldn't you provide it? And if they were local and offered to buy you lunch, wouldn't you take it? The third method is to research the area then get to know the people involved through real world group meetings. I found the trade shows are great for this because the mix of exhibitors tells you exactly what's important in a given area.

But user groups, trade association meetings, parties, and lunches are all good as well. Again, you're not there to sell. Rather you're there to figure out who wants to buy what you're offering or how to change it, so they will. So, you found your new audience, how do you reach them? Here are a few ways: If all is gone well with your research and interactions, you'll have gained new contacts and the field is no longer outside your professional network, so you can just market your services as usual.

But if you haven't gained that foothold, you'll want to use online methods to drive this new audience to your website. There are free ways to do that along with paid advertising such as Google AdWords. lynda.com has courses for both types of marketing. Then there's the whole world of traditional advertising: radio, TV, prints, billboards, direct mail, you name it. These are the marketing methods most people think of first, but I would encourage you think of them last. They are usually the most expensive and least target specific.

We started out with the idea that you would go outside your network, but in reality, you're pulling new targets into it. The results are the same though: you gain access to new audiences for your services.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Freelancing Fundamentals.


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Q: This course was updated on 3/20/2013. What changed?
A: We added a bonus chapter that covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field, such as "How do I use Craigslist or other job boards to grow my freelance business?" and "How do I find clients?"
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