Freelance Fortune: the Newsletter (No.7: Feb 2010)
This is a free, private-roster newsletter that celebrates the free
agent lifestyle and provides techniques for business success.
© 2009 Seth Kahan. You are encouraged to share the contents with
others with appropriate attribution. You may forward this newsletter
This issue of Freelance Fortune is in sections:
- Five Ways to Put the Market in Your Favor
- Build Your Client Base in 2010, Wash DC breakfast workshop Feb 16
Five Ways to Put the Market in Your Favor
The two most important lessons I have learned as a solo entrepreneur are:
(1) my state-of-mind is my most important asset – when I am clear-headed, upbeat, and creative, I can work miracles.
(2) It is absolutely mandatory that I get clients to come to me, to see me as the solution to their issue or the best man for their job. It is the latter that is responsible for my success as a free agent.
For example, if a client wants a facilitator, they can find one in DC who will work for $500/day. However, if they want Seth Kahan, they will find my rates start at ten times that. What allows me to charge so high, even in times of economic downturn? Because I can guarantee the quality of my efforts to be the very best and my clients know this. They only come to me when it matters most and that is when I want to see them.
When they seek me out it is because of one of two things, either they have a real problem that they must address successfully or they have an opportunity they cannot afford to miss. In either case, I am a sure bet. They bring me in as an expert and they follow my instructions accordingly. When the stakes are high, I need this allegiance to practice my craft. This allows me to set circumstance for a sure win.
You must realize that you are the expert in your field, and then do everything in your power to produce results commensurate with your standing. This will not only enhance your reputation, it will provide your clients with extraordinary returns. And that is your ace in every game.
Here are six ways to get your clients coming to you:
1. Gather testimonials to share. As soon as they get their results and express appreciation, ask your clients to put something in writing. Tell them, The shorter, the better. Make sure they know a few words are the best. It is not an onerous task, but one that can be fulfilled quickly in the spirit of the moment. Ask them to put it on their stationary and sign it using their job title. Simply the act of writing down what you have done for them increases the odds that they will hire you again.
Then you must share your testimonials. Third party endorsements are one of the best ways to communicate your value. Use them on your website, upfront. Collect them and include in your press kit. Select one or two to share with special clients as points of pride.
2. Publish in media your preferred clients patronize. Understand the reading habits of your clientele. If they read the Wall Street Journal, find a way to appear in the WSJ. If they watch the local news, get on TV. Discover what they read by asking them. Every time you are with an ideal client, inquire as to where they go for information and news. Then, write an article, do an interview, get to know the editor, do what you have to start appearing in that media.
3. Start conversations that matter. When I began targeting CEOs, it was March 2009. My first symposium was entitled, Leadership during Economic Uncertainty. This was foremost on everyone’s mind at the time. Find the threads that are most on peoples minds. Build your reputation around interactions that make a difference.
4. Proactively position yourself as a thought-leader. By hosting my CEO Symposia I made a name for myself among CEOs in Washington, DC, as someone to watch, someone who has something relevant to say. Even if they disagree with me, they want to know what I am up to. I initiated my CEO symposia. I issued the invitations. I took action. By the way, if you want to see all the materials related to that event including the invitation, the PowerPoint I used, the survey I gave out at the conclusion, my press releases, and an interview with me on the process, you will find them here on my website.
5. Be a knowledge broker among your most important clients. I look for two of my best non-competing clients who share a common interest (e.g., raising the bar among their staff, opening up global markets, establishing a new niche revenue stream), and take them out to lunch someplace really nice. I pay for everything. A good lunch for three in DC can easily run around $120 plus or minus $30. I do very light facilitation in the conference. I am looking for the magic spot between two worlds: peer-based informality and getting into the nitty-gritty of business results.
Do this regularly and your clients begin to look at you with a different set of eyes -they see you as someone to look up to, someone they can confide on, someone they can count on. If you are honest in what you are doing, this is exactly the kind of relationship you want – it is genuine, authentic, and sincere. You are a partner in value creation.
Build Your Client Base in 2010, Wash DC breakfast workshop Feb 16
I will be working side-by-side with the inimitable Marshall Brown the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 16, in downtown Washington, DC, at The City Club at Franklin Square. Our program, 8:00 – 10:00 am, is Grow Your Client Base in 2010.
You will walk away with:
Techniques for Identifying Your Best Clients
An Action Plan for Reaching Out to Clients
Tips for Quickly Creating Engagement and Interest
The club is at 1300 I St, NW. To register ($10 includes breakfast), call Garry Cramer or Ashley Gross, (202) 347-0818.
Marshall and I are collaborating as my mentoring goes hand-in-hand with his new offering, the Entrepreneur Mastery Success Program, a powerful interactive program to help you build your business and profits.
We hope to see you there! If you are unable to make it for any reason (like you live in Thailand), send me an email and I’ll make sure you get the handouts after the event.
When business is better, I can afford you. Find a way to afford me now or business will never get better!
There are people like you in my mentoring community, and people who were just a year ago where you are now. There is tremendous peer-level support in my global community.
What if I told you that you are reinventing the wheel in your current efforts, and you can’t afford another six months of finding out what very successful people already know? If you are ready to jet propel your business, you have to check out…
When you enter my mentor program, here is what you get:
An initial interview to identify your business goals and evaluation by me of your approach
Access to Alan Weiss’s global mentoring community where you can ask questions 24/7, and have access to world-class consultants around the globe.
Access to resources such as proposal templates, lists of questions to access clients, frameworks for establishing business offerings, audio and video files, newsletters; mastermind groups; international mentor summits and much more.
All teleseminars I produce during your participation are provided to you free of charge. Additionally, I provide discounts to both my workshops and the workshops of Alan Weiss and you may take your choice of one of three programs:
The Regular Program – Six months of unlimited access to me by e-mail, phone, fax, regular mail – or in person, if convenient for both of us. I help people strategically (how to set fees, how to gain visibility, how to position and market your practice, etc.), and tactically (what to say at the meeting tomorrow, critiquing proposals, overcoming objections, etc.).
The Guided Program – Just like the Regular Program, plus I provide you with a detailed game plan with specific completion dates, and formal, scheduled contact times to discuss accomplishments and any obstacles preventing short-term tasks from being completed.
The Total Immersion Program – This consists of two days with me, at my home/office, to learn how I handle clients, prospects, office management, invoicing, interruptions, writing, etc. We also spend considerable time on your strategy and goals, and create plans to move forward. You then enter the Regular Mentor Program for six months.
Seth Kahan (Seth@VisionaryLeadership.com) is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell, World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, American Society of Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Project Management Institute, and NASA.
He is the founder of Seth Kahan’s CEO Leaders Forum, a yearlong learning experience for CEOs in Washington, DC. His next book, Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out, will be published in Spring 2010 by Jossey-Bass.
Visit all of Seth’s blogs:
- Leading Change for Fast Company Magazine: SethFast.com
- GettingChangeRight.com for more info on Seth’s upcoming book
- FreelanceFortune.com for tips on how to succeed as a free agent
- The Washington Post column, On Success: SethPost.com
- Follow Seth on Twitter.
Learn more about all of Seth’s work through his website: VisionaryLeadership.com
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