Top 5 Limitations to Freelancer’s Growth

October 27, 2009

Which of these is keeping a limit on your results?

1. Self-esteem – confidence in your worth or ability to deliver a solid contribution that improves others’ circumstances

2. Delivery Capacity – ability to execute based on experience, expertise, and competency

3. Marketing Savvy – know-how to reach the right people and attract them to you

4. Engagement Skill –  expertise to involve clients, articulate valuable work, and negotiate effectively

5. Service Mindset – Primary focus on improving clients’ needs from their point-of-view

Go through each of these and rate yourself:
1- below average          2 – normal           3 – above average         4 – world-class.
The lowest rating creates the ceiling for your overall performance and results. Those that rate lowest provide the greatest return on investment of your effort.  Here are preliminary ways to address each:

1. Improve self-esteem by articulating your accomplishments. Make a list and read it. Dialog with an enthusiastic client and listen. Document in your marketing materials and share it. Practice in front of a mirror: “I am so worth your time and investment! I am easily worth more than I am charging you, that is why hiring me is such a good return on your investment.”

2. Increase delivery capacity by studying new methods and skills, then putting them to practice. Every experience, including pro bono, improves your ability to execute.

3. Develop marketing savvy by delivering value to your ideal clients. Practice in every conversation. Give speeches. Write articles. Author and circulate white papers. Create tools your clients can use. Put them in their hands and ask for feedback: Is this helping you? What could I have done additionally? What are you looking for?

4. Enhance engagement skills by (1) identifying who your best clients are (hint: they can write a check, like working with you, and you like working for them), and (2) create and practice an engagement framework which lays out the engagement process from first contact to sitting down to discuss business and is easy to remember.  Here’s the one I use:
a. Create rapport
b. Request permission to help
c. Make a contribution right there on the spot
d. Suggest a time and place to discuss your contribution to their work

5. Cultivate a service mindset by paying close attention to others, what they care about. Practice participating in conversations that follow the other person’s interest. Repeat what you hear others saying and ask them for verification – did you get it right? Pay close attention to what you miss. Watch body language and listen to tone.  Work steadily to improve your ability to see the world from others’ points-of-view.

Nobody is perfect. One or more of these is always limiting your growth. Learn to enjoy identifying which it currently is and address it. Your results will speak for themselves.

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