Networking to Freelance Success

Networking to Freelance Success

I often come across freelancers who just don’t like networking, and usually because: They are too busy. If you’re someone who’s busy then, of course, this is great. I hope that everyone reading this is very busy. Networking doesn’t work for them. Often because the person who says this to me says that they go to one meeting, hand out numerous business cards and nothing comes back. The problem is that networking works differently for…well…different people. Firstly, you can’t be too busy. I mean, you can be busy. You can be extraordinarily busy, but networking can still play a big part in the future success of your business. However, it won’t if you plan to go to one that only has your target audience in, where you can turn up, throw some business cards around and then leave. How Networking Works Best People don’t remember business cards. My draw is full of cards from people who – when I look at the card – I can’t remember meeting, what they did, and what they were like as individuals. Try to spend time having a proper conversation with 2 or 3 people, rather than the scattergun approach with 20. Success happens when you build relationships over time, which can help you to fill in the gap when that “order book” starts to drop. Or, better still; reduce the chance of that slide even happening. Use networking as a way of getting to know the person behind the business. Look for a spark in the conversation that a relationship can be built upon. We’re all so much more than the businesses we...
You Can Catch More Flies With Honey Than With Vinegar – A Guide To The Most Effective Business Attitude

You Can Catch More Flies With Honey Than With Vinegar – A Guide To The Most Effective Business Attitude

“I’m best of breed within my industry. I’ve got plenty of charisma and I’m not bad looking. I’m one of a kind.” “My social life; my personal life don’t mean anything to me. I live to work, that’s all I do.” “I take cut throat and ruthless to a completely new level. The only focus for me is myself. I’m cold and hard. I am unstoppable” TV shows, such as Dragons Den and The Apprentice (from where these lines are taken), are heavily edited to draw in an audience and create “edge-of-your-seat” viewing. I’ll leave you to decide if they succeed, with that. Therefore, anyone starting a business for the first time may be forgiven for thinking that this is the way business should be done if someone wants to succeed. That it’s all about one-up-man-ship and backstabbing to get to the top. However, I’m going to let you into a secret: It’s not!  One of the most challenging but rewarding aspects of building a new, professional relationship is establishing rapport and trust. For this, you need to make it clear from the offset that you are one of life’s good people, by showing credibility and empathy with your new connection. Forget this TV-driven world of corporate bickering and focus your energies on generosity and reciprocity. For example, when you help another business owner to overcome a challenge, there is a high chance they will look to help you back one day. Even if they don’t, you’ll feel good for helping and will quickly build a reputation as a trusted business professional, which will act as an attraction tool itself. We...
Can Freelancing Make us More or Less Prone To The Blues?

Can Freelancing Make us More or Less Prone To The Blues?

Could it possibly be true that the freedom and self-controlling world of freelancing can actually make us more prone to the blues? Is freelancing more motivating or depressing for you than being employed? And why is it so rarely talked about in the media or forums? For many years, job satisfaction – or dissatisfaction – has shown to have a significant impact on both our mental and physical well-being. Amazingly, national polls on the subject of well-being show the self-employed are least likely to report themselves as “thriving” (at 14% – compared to 22% for the unemployed). Thankfully, there are freelancers who are prepared to share their views on the topic. As highlighted when I posted this question on the Freelance Heroes Facebook Group: I’ve read many articles which indicate that a considerable proportion of freelancers suffer some kind of mental or psychological issues. Yet, it still appears to me to be a taboo subject, which is why I’m bringing it up. How do you keep mentally healthy during the challenging times of owning a business? What support has helped you e.g. walks, mindfulness techniques, etc? How has mental heath affected you, or other freelancers that you know? Now, I’m going to respect the anonymity of these respondents, to anyone outside of the group, but there have been some positive comments and very honest feelings shared too. Here are just a few: “My mental health issues came to a real peak after I had my son, 4 years ago and it took six months to realise and get help for PND. 3 and a half years later I am still...