Ok, let’s work out what marketing is for a freelancer. Tweeting all day and talking in forums and going to events will feel like you have done something but “hours put in” does not mean “more work” and while we are here – doing free work to get your foot in the door is dumb too.
My tip: make the person who wants you to do the free work buy you lunch and to discuss how they’d like it done and write it in front of them there and then. See how they value their time over your time in this situation.
Save your free work for the charity that saved your child’s life NOT for getting your foot in the door with someone who does not want to pay.
It is all about the relationship, which means connection and understanding NOT giving your business card to as many people as you can.
I stopped using business cards because I found it easier to hand one over and pretend I done some ” business development” than sticking with that person and asking them a few qualifying questions.
Are simple not rude questions that you can ask people to see if they are serious about working with anyone, let alone you.
People (like me) love to talk about possibilities and dreams. We love to map out what we could do and forget it might cost around £5k.
Unless it is a round at the bar with the company credit card at midnight EVERYONE works out what to do with their money beforehand, even if they do the wrong thing.
The Right Answers
So if people don’t have answers to questions like what is the deadline date, how many people in your team are working on this? How long will it take you to get a return on this? Have you built a website on that platform before? How many developers worked on it?
Who else in the luxury real estate industry has an e-commerce section of London mansions on their site?
These type of questions will save you hours of dicking around and waiting in vain. Also, if the person is serious they will see you are too.
A qualifying question for app development a tech agency I worked with was “what do you want it to do?”
It seemed that no one else asked people this! App people just wanted to sell them an app.
We saved significant fucking around AND made people think.
Of course, we could have sold people stuff they did not need, and I am sure some of them would never have realised they did not need an app. We built trust with people and saved ourselves a lot of crap agony, in the space of a question.
We did not get the sale then but five years later we have the relationship and you can’t buy relationships.