Monday, April 7, 2014

Increase Your Chances of Success by Making Smarter Attempts (Part 4)

The previous two cases of "missing the mark" as a freelancing professional had more to do with taking a proactive approach to landing a project, and yet, still getting turned down for reasons like not having the right credentials or the prospective client not needing your services at the moment.

Here's the next and last reason that points to the greatest flaw in a freelancer's self-promotion:

Case Number Three: Clients not having you in mind because you don't have a specialty

I've talked about the disadvantages of being a "one-stop shop," or generalist, in freelancing. Spending your first few years taking in every job outsourced to you is not bad, provided that you will soon figure out which tasks you found most enjoyable or which ones allowed you to prove your competence the most.

But if you still haven't developed a specialty on your third or fourth year as a freelancer, see that as a sign that you may be scattering your efforts in different directions and not assessing the value of each project that comes your way.

That would also mean a delay in having a regular cash flow. One of the best ways that freelancers can be assured of an almost steady income is to have around six to eight, or more, repeat clients who would need their services throughout the year. This will lessen their need to make cold calls, or email, absolute strangers.

Lastly, probably the greatest disadvantage of being a generalist is you creating less of an impact to potential clients through your marketing materials, like your website, brochures, flyers, even business cards.

To illustrate, I once stumbled upon a website that advertises the services of a talented pool of resume writers. They claim that they can get their clients hired in 30 days after they have created or polished their resumes, and even offered a money-back guarantee if clients found themselves still unemployed in 30 days.

I was mildly surprised after reading their claim, because it sounded like they were putting everything at stake. But their no-nonsense approach to creating resumes, backed up by years of experience and plenty of glowing testimonials from satisfied clients, are more than enough to bait more people to have their resumes done by them.

It never dawned on me before that by narrowing their specialty down to just one -- resume writing -- a thriving business would have evolved, and they price their services at competitive, although still reasonable, rates.

As I round up this article series in my next post, I'll cite feasible solutions to being a "one-stop shop." 

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