What a lovely break we've had with Easter and Anzac day coming together. Now that we're back we're working harder than ever to generate revenue, find new clients and improve the quality of our service.
This therefore is the theme of today's newsletter. Nathan Williams from Customer Return takes a look at how to gain new business opportunities by leveraging the power of the 'referral'. We provide an overview of a study by Gallup Research on how management style directly influence worker engagement levels. We nominate management practices that have been shown to dramatically improve worker engagement levels, and therefore, performance levels.
We also make available an e-book by London based consultant Richard Lindsay. Titled '9.5 Interview mistakes – and how not to make them' the book discusses the common mistakes made and proposes strategies for avoiding them. Lastly, in our amazing free software section we introduce you to Surveymonkey.com a powerful survey tool.
We from the freelance-market team would like to wish you all a busy and successful month ahead.
As freelance consultants finding the next assignment is one of those challenges that some find easy and haunts others. The ability to sell your service is singularly the most important activity that any freelance consultant can undertake. Yet research has shown that business development is the activity that they spend least time on and feel most uncomfortable about pursuing.
Nathan Williams of Customer Return is a micro business owner who specialises in helping his clients generate new business. He works on the premise that the easiest new business to acquire is that which results from a referral. He asks questions like, how easy is your business to refer, or do you have the confidence to ask for a referral from an existing client. He points out, ' that only 1 in 5 clients are actually asked for a referral. This demonstrates that we lack confidence in how we handle the conversation'. He points out, 'the irony is that a number of these same clients said that they would be happy to refer but just never thought about it nor were they asked'.
He says, 'understanding what your client think of the service is the first step. This may also uncover some areas where they were not happy. But that's exactly the information you need to a) retain the client, and b) make your business more referable. The worst case scenario is a client that is apathetic as that's the one you're going to lose. The client that has an opinion is someone who cares and therefore gives you the opportunity to improve your service'.
Nathan argues that for your business to be referable it is necessary to for you to have a 'referable mindset' which positions your relationship to be one where it is easy for your existing client to refer you on to the next.
Click here to access a short article Nathan has provided that expands on this subject.
A recent study by Gallup Research in the USA has found that an organisation's management practice can directly influence the level of their employ engagement. The study found that an astonishing 65% of workers were 'disengaged' in their job with a further 21% being 'actively disengaged'.
This means that only 14% of employees in the workplace are 'engaged'. Engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work. Those who are not engaged are satisfied with but are not emotionally connected to their workplaces, are less likely to put in discretionary effort and will only do what is necessary. Those that are actively disengaged are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace and jeopardize the performance of their teams. Actively disengaged workers are also the ones openly critical of their employer to other workers or on social networks, take the most sick days and can be passive saboteurs in the workplace.
How often do we go for an interview with a prospective client thinking we did a great job only to be let down like a lead balloon when told we're not suitable! We feel bruised and battered, bewildered and angry, hurt and disappointed and then go on to do it all over again. Unfortunately the experience has left us none the wiser, only more cautious.
Richard Lindsay, author of 9.5 Interview Mistakes, is a London based practicing freelance IT consultant. He is also the founder and principal of Perform and Change a business that focuses on help individuals change so that they can achieve better performance outcomes. He has kindly made his e-book available for us.
'9.5 Top Interview Mistakes' is a penetrating read causing you to look at your own interview style and approach. He highlights a number of common mistakes we all make. These relate strongly to our mindset and attitude adopted when going into the meeting.
He argues that for the interview to be effective you should have a clear idea of what you want from the interview, undertake the correct research, having a proactive interview strategy and use various simple techniques that help you best promote who you are and your capabilities.
We hope that you will enjoy this e-book and thank Richard for his contribution to freelance-market. Click here to download.
Amazing free software you should be aware of: Find out what your client's think with Surveymonkey.com
The theme of this newsletter has focused on marketing, effectiveness and performance. Surveymonkey.com is free software that allows you to conduct online surveys and can be used to find out how effective your business really is. The free version of this software allows you to ask 100 respondents up to 10 questions each. You have access to 31 different survey templates; surveys are sent via an email manager and are conducted on-line.
This is a great tool to measure what your clients think and identify where the opportunities are to improve. Remember, that when designing a survey always start with the answers you are looking for; only then begin to design the questions which will give you that answer.
Warning: You are better off not doing a survey then undertaking a bad one. So test, qualify and retest before sending it out.
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AustraliaFreelanceMarket.com.au is a on-line contractor marketing portal for professional freelancers facilitating direct contracts between the contractor and client. Skills available include management consultants, security advisors, IT professionals, business analysts, marketing consultants, graphic artists and administration personnel.
Benefits for clients and contractors:
• No agency involved; direct contracts between the contractor and client.
• Client costs are reduced in that they are not paying the 10-40% agent fee.
• Contractors optimize their billing as there is no agent cutting in to their hourly rate.
• Searches and Introductions are free to the client
• Registration and online marketing is free to contractor
• Contractors incur only a small fee per introduction based on their hourly rate
• High quality contractor database to choose from
• Contractors have improved utilization rate
• Client and contractor are free to work together as often as they like at no cost
• Immediate notification of introduction by e-mail and SMS.
• Broad range of free documentation, including contracts, NDA and general interest articles.
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