In this hangout we heard from some freelancers and business owners on how they tackle networking, client acquisition, and balance that with onboarding automation and personal development.
Networking is not just about who you know, but who knows you – and how to get yourself known by the people that matter. Going to a tech conference like Peers can be great, but if you only network with the people that do what you do, you’re not necessarily expanding your network to people you can do business with. Try going to events that have nothing to do with development to meet potential clients.
Consider giving out discount cards for say, 20%, and giving out another one for that person to give to someone else too. Selvin used to customise the business cards he gave out to go to a landing page specific to the event he was at.
Whether it’s because you’ve got too much work on, or because the client isn’t right, or there are red flags, remember to say no to projects that aren’t right. If the project is too small and you’ve been wanting to do more work in a specific area, consider turning down the project and spend that time instead learning a new technology or some way to improve yourself (provided that you couldn’t learn that new tech on the project being offered).
We heard both sides of the argument for presenting yourself as a freelancer or as a business entity. Some prefer to sell themselves and their personality, as the client hires them rather than a business, but we also discussed how ‘freelancer’ can be seen as unreliable or a potential weak point. Whichever stance you take, be sure to own it and be certain about how you present yourself.
When it comes to income that isn’t project based, some alternative ideas to just exchanging time for dollars:
Gui talked about how he reached out to people that were doing things well in branding, presentation, websites etc and met with them to discuss how they ran their businesses. This not only helps to gain knowledge in how successful business are run, but also makes a lot of connections.
✏️ Notes by Daryl Knight