For some weird reason, I’ve had several conversations about personality tests with clients and potential clients during the past few weeks. Reading that, I’ll bet that your brain immediately took one of two paths: Option #1 is that you immediately thought about your own personality test results, whether Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DiSC profile, Enneagram, or whatever. Option #2 is that you think they’re mostly or completely unscientific BS, no more valid than astrology or reading goat entrails. [Read more…]
I belong to a forum of business owners that meets for a few hours once a month to share stories, solve problems, and keep each other accountable. During last week’s session, the forum leader asked: What three business problems are keeping you up at night?
I reckon we’re about 10 minutes into the 15-minute fame run of the Yanny vs. Laurel dust-up. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can give it a whirl here.) I was firmly in the Yanny camp until late in the day yesterday, when I watched a video that explained the effect—after which I only heard “Laurel,” and couldn’t switch back. Weird how the brain works! In any case, I think the Yanny vs. Laurel divide offers a nifty jumping-off point to discuss client communications and the importance of perception in business.
I’ve got a longtime client—more important, a mentor and friend—who does the most amazing, thoughtful networking introductions. You can’t help but feel like a rock star, whether she’s introducing you in person or via email. Not surprisingly, she’s also one of those people who seems to know everyone in town, in any industry you can name.
As freelancers, we can’t exist in a vacuum, because success goes beyond raw creative talent. The market needs to view you as a person who’s connected to other people who can help them accomplish their goals—even if you’re not directly involved in a given project. (See also: complementary freelance creatives.) That takes effort and it can’t happen if you only network with people in your own specialty. It’s an investment in your business. [Read more…]
What does your ideal freelance client look like? Great (and fast) payer…high-profile (and rewarding) projects…lots of positive feedback…sends plenty of referrals…prompt, responsive, and easy to work with? I agree. Over the course of 18 years of running my own business, though, I’ve found it comes down to this: Do your clients want you to succeed as a freelancer? And do you want them to succeed, too?
Last week, I wrote about the challenges of managing vague creative feedback, and provided a couple of thoughts on how to bring such situations to resolution. The good news? That post was based on writing feedback on a real-life freelance project, and the next step went smoothly. Woohoo!
How did I move the client from uncertainty to approval? Pretty simple, really. But you need a little more backstory than I provided last time. [Read more…]