I talk to a good number of freelancers/consultants, and I hear this same burning consulting question from a lot of people, both new and established:
I understand you run a successful consulting business and was wondering if you have any “tips” regarding how to get clients?
OK, here comes a “Constulants hate him” moment: I haven’t had to work all that hard to keep my business busy. I’ve been reasonably fortunate in two ways regarding client acquisition:
- 80% of my firms’ work comes from word-of-mouth referrals, and
- The other 20% comes from people just phoning in after finding my company on Google.
The majority of my business revenue comes from selling new projects to existing clients, far more so than by selling new projects to new clients. My experience has been that the best answer to “how to get clients” is “sell to the clients you already have”.
That said, at the moment I do find myself looking to fan the flames of marketing a bit. I recently devised a new strategy for marketing my business locally, and I’m not 100% certain it’s going to work. Keep Reading…
So, it turns out that Cogeian Systems turns 12 years old this month. I’ve decided to share some of my experience from these 12 years. Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t…but I hope it does.
1) Sometimes turning down work is a good idea.
I am a firm believer that freelance and consulting work is like sunlight; there’s enough for all of us to get a tan. But sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Sometimes you’re up against a mortgage payment and the sales funnel is covered in dust. In these moments, a nightmare client will *always* appear, sensing your weakness and desperation, enticing you with a big fat check (but not as fat as it would be if you weren’t desperate), if only you can accommodate their abusiveness, idiocy, or micro-managing.
What do you do? Keep Reading…
RJ from The Freelance Podcast was gracious enough to invite me on the show, hoping to share my 12 years of successful freelancing experience with his listeners. We get into a bit of the armchair psychology of being self-employed and maintaining persistence. We also discuss the “maker” mentality, both the good and the bad. Additionally, we discuss the importance of fellowship and how my podcast helps to keep me sane.
It’s a great podcast, a great host, and I’m flattered to have had a chance to be involved and share the ins and outs of successful freelancing. Head on over and check out the interview!
Very often, I will receive an e-mail from a developer hoping to go out on his own, asking “What is needed to get started in consulting?”
Let me begin by telling you what is *not* needed: Permission! I say this up front because a lot of people who are otherwise qualified to go into business for themselves are waiting around for some third party to bless them. Don’t wait for some third party to validate you – if this is the move you truly want to make, then make it.
That said, off the top of my head I would suggest that you have the following 5 things in place: Keep Reading…
One of my all-time favorite articles is Productive Jealousy on Signal vs. Noise. David Heinemeier Hansson insists that jealousy need not be an angry or destructive emotion. I tend to agree with him – in fact, negative emotions are my primary motivation. I suspect that there is a conception out there that in order to be productive and successful you have to be all sunshine & rainbows, hoping to make the world a better place. In truth, just as much productivity is fueled by “I’ll show you!” as it is by “Gee, guys, isn’t this spiffy?” Keep Reading…