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Why a Prospective Client Should Choose You

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There are thousands of other freelancers out in the wild, so why should a prospective client choose you over your competition? They aren’t to know what will happen if they do or don’t hire you and they aren’t to know how you’ll carry out their project but if they somehow did know then they would choose you, wouldn’t they?

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What to Do When You Lose a Steady Client

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It happens to the best of us. Sometimes it’s because of budget cutbacks or communication issues or some other reason. But eventually, most of us experience the loss of a steady client. Fortunately, losing one client isn’t usually as devastating as getting laid off from a full time job. Sure, it’s a blow to your ego (and your bank account), but often it’s also an opportunity to grow your business and take on new challenges. Here’s how to handle the transition.

Don’t Take it Personally

Usually it has nothing to do with you or the quality of your work. I recently parted ways with a client because he wanted someone who would commute to his office (two hours away from me) at least one day per week. Some freelancers would have bitten the bullet and done it, but a short commute is one of my favorite perks of freelancing. Other times a client relationship may end because the client’s needs change or there’s a personnel change. Whatever the reason, don’t let any negative feelings spill into your other projects. Clients come and go as a natural part of the freelance cycle.

Evaluate the Client Relationship

Not that you should take things too much to heart, but losing a client is a good time to think about how you approach client communications and what did (or didn’t) work. Last year I lost a client and realized there were several red flags I should have addressed before the stuff hit the fan. Lesson learned. This is also a chance to re-examine the direction of your freelance business. Maybe you’d like to pursue more work in this niche or perhaps you’re itching to try something else. Here’s your chance.

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The Importance of Asking

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You’ve got to ask! Asking is, in my opinion, the world’s most powerful – and neglected – secret to success and happiness.

We work. We work hard! Yet, sometimes we forget to do the simplest of things to advance our business and earning ability. Personally, I’m terrible at networking (quite possibly the single most important act!). Needless to say, I’m awful at making small talk in elevators as well. Typically, I’m that guy who acts as if he’s on the phone – all for the sake of avoiding the awkward silence while waiting to arrive at my chosen floor (Another good trick is to act as if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to chat. Repeatedly looking at your watch helps.) However, I have learned one extremely important task for any business situation. I ASK.

Let me explain a bit further. When completing a project for a client, I typically send him or her a final thank you letter. In it, I mention that, if he happens to come by a colleague that needs a similar service, I would appreciate it if he would pass my name along. It may not sound like much, but I promise you that, over time, you will benefit tremendously. Such requests may seem trivial, but they aren’t. It could be argued that, ironically, they are more important than the job itself! The job leads to the request. The request leads to the referral. The referral leads to increased income. Then, the cycle repeats itself, exponentially.

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