While the business climate in Australia is becoming challenging, freelancers and small businesses need to react. Just hoping that the RBA´s latest interest rate cuts will solve all problems might not be enough.
In this issue of Australia Freelance Market News, we will provide you with some support to withstand harsh times: We will give you tips how to get new customers via social media. Then our freelancer article will tell you how to manage yourself better.
If all this helps you to find a potential client, our 'Seven secrets of a convincing presentation' might show you how to close the deal.
As a last resort, our freelancer joke at the end tells you what an idle trainer can learn from a hands-on shepherd.
Tips on navigating business recovery amidst coronavirus is coming up next! Stay tuned!
I hope you enjoy reading this news and as always I wish you success in business!
In its current IT freelancer study, the market research company Lunendonk asked the ten leading brokers about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sales. They expect a decline in sales of three percent for 2020. 'Compared to other B2B service markets, this is a very optimistic forecast,' says Jonas Lunendonk, describing the situation. 'So it would not be surprising if sales in 2020 shrank even more. In some cases, the service companies report a more than 30 percent decline in sales in the second quarter of 2020.'
In individual areas, however, the Corona crisis also led to increased demand. For example, experts in cloud technologies were in great demand.
However, sales expectations for 2021 are again significantly more optimistic. Digitization, IT modernization, cloud and transformation projects would ensure more projects for the time after the Corona crisis. Before the Corona crisis, many companies suffered from a shortage of skilled workers. This shortage is currently smaller, but the issue will become more relevant again when the economy returns to growth.
As a freelancer or a business owner, it is advisable to use different methods of finding clients or employees. One method for this is social media. Therefore, in this article, we are going to show you how to do it and how important social media is in our country.
Social media has become an inevitable part of our lives. According to Statista, in 2017, daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day, up from 126 in the previous year. So overall people spend over two hours per day of their lives on social media. Knowing its huge impact on users makes more and more professionals joining these platforms.
As it is a time-consuming process and there are many social media platforms, it is hard to know what social media platform you should use as a freelancer and a business owner. So, which social media platform should you choose?
According to Statista, these are the most used social media platforms in our region:
1) YouTube with 74%
2) Facebook with 73%
3) Instagram with 35%
4) Pinterest with 27%
5) LinkedIn with 22%
6) Twitter with 21%
Although YouTube is most used, Facebook and LinkedIn are the social media platforms which most freelancers and their clients utilise (for B2B) according to Payoneer’s report. That is why we suggest to be active on Facebook and LinkedIn professionally.
I. Social media suggestions for freelancers
1) Groups: There are specific groups created for specific types of people on social media platforms. There are groups which are created only for freelancers. In these groups, there are not only freelancers but also clients who are looking for contractors. Become a member of these groups to increase the chances of finding a client.
2) Create content: You have to use your social media page effectively and professionally. Being part of groups is not always enough to find clients. Therefore, you have to show your experience by creating content and sharing them on your page as a freelancer. Before you start, think about these questions:
a) What kind of content will you share?
b) How and how often will you share content?
c) What will be your target segment for each piece of content?
3) Invest in advertisements: Although many people see advertising on social media as redundant, it is an easy way to reach your target group. You can increase your number of clients by directing them to a page where they can get information about your services or you get the right freelancer to apply for your job advertisement.
4) Review your clients’ and competitors’ accounts: One of the reasons you are on social media might be that both your clients and your competitors are actively using these platforms. Consider both your clients’ and your competitors’ business accounts when creating your social media marketing plan. It is a crucial indicator to know what kind of shares your competitors receive and what kind of posts your clients prefer. This way, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors while offering products and services to meet your clients’ expectations.
II. Social media suggestions for business owners
1) Set your social media goals and objectives: Setting your goals and objectives for social media using the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.
2) Try to learn from your competitors: What do your competitors do? Learn from what others have done successfully in the past. Try to evaluate your competitors strengths and weaknesses relative to your own. A competitor analysis can give you insights about what is working and what is not working for similar businesses.
3) Decide which platforms are right for you: You can use the data above to decide about the right platform for your business but remember, these statistics are just an overview. It’s important to understand how to reach your specific audience. For this you have to know your audience better than anyone.
4) Reach your target group by asking specific questions about them, e. g.:
a) Which age groups do you reach?
b) What are their common values?
c) What are their common pain points?
d) What are their solutions?
e) Which type of content works best?
5) Create a calendar: Plan your social media activities monthly for solid results. Create strategies in order to get better results with less time and effort.
Freelancers can present themselves with a short article in the Australia Freelance Market News. Today we present you a service provider who specialises in career coaching.
I have been offering professional support for personal change processes for more than 15 years. My focus spreads from the re-discovery, further development and self-presentation of individual potential with connection to the optimisation of individual self-management. It is all about learning to better control one’s emotions, to reduce conflicts and to implement new target strategies for success in both professional and personal contexts.
My way of training is appreciative, transparent and systemic solution oriented. The coaching and training starts, after a detailed analysis of a client’s current situation. Also I cover the clearly defining facets of yourself that you specifically want to change. The focus is on using your own strengths, finding new perspectives and becoming aware of your individual behaviour, patterns and attitudes. In this process, you will find 'your' unique solution in a series of steps. Success is also based on the fact that your entire environment, as well as the interweaving of communications, actions and relationships, are all integrated into the process of achieving your specific aims. Ultimately, you will achieve maximum success in achieving your goals.
I approach this creative process neutrally and guarantee you absolute confidentiality. My way of working is independent of ideologies or religions. My services focus on both out-placement and new concepts, career planning, job application training, assessment centre training, start-up coaching, potential analyses, soft skills analysis, mental training ('emotional competence') and training in self-confidence and self-motivation.
How do I prepare my discussion partners for the goals of my presentation? What do I want to convince them of? How do I achieve a common basis? How do I establish communication with the participants? How do I react to objections and critical questions? And what should I do about my excitement?
First of all, the correct understanding of the audience is just as important as the content of the presentation itself. For example, a decision about opening up a branch in Australia could be introduced with success stories from well-known companies, or with quotations from recognised authorities. Great examples of success are cases where calculable risks were accepted. This way, the participants are prepared for entrepreneurial decisions by taking courageous risks and calculating the underlying high opportunities.
Second of all, a convincing presentation should not be a 'performance' in which you dance up front and the audience watches and applauds. Rather, it should be a conversation with the participants. It best begins with questions that involve the participants and are not only rhetorical phrases.
- What are our (strategic) goals and priorities?
- What are the reasons to look for a decision right now?
- What happens if nothing is done or decided?
The third secret is to focus on the immediate conversation with the participants, not a fixation on a particular outcome. The presentation and better conversation should not be a challenge to be won, but an opportunity to ask the right questions and discuss them. You should be open to new ideas in the discussion while not losing sight of the common goal.
The fourth secret is to forget 'Yes, but...' and to force yourself to respond with 'Yes, and...'. It signals to participants that you have been listening and accepting other views. The best way is to repeat the argument back in your own words. The questioners think you understood their point of view, therefore they accept your perspective more seriously in return.
The fifth secret is that quick answers are rarely good answers. The best answer is: 'It depends...'. This gives you time to think about the answer and what this answer might depend on. This is certainly true if you know the answer directly. 'When do we reach the breakthrough? What budget do we need for the launch? How many walls can I paint with 10 litres of wall paint?' - And the answer: 'It depends...'
The sixth secret is that critical questions and objections should not be understood as a personal attack, but as an opportunity: 'Thank you very much for this question'. It gives you the opportunity to address the 'Let us consider..' context and in any case, you should avoid getting involved in a confrontation and instead, you take the side of the questioner and find a solution together.
The last secret is that nervousness is normal. If you notice that you are nervous, accept your nervous side and use the extra adrenaline in a positive way for yourself. A good presenter will always be nervous at some point. A positive attitude is vital.
And finally, every presentation, every difficult negotiation and every pitch has a benefit for itself, even if the result is sometimes different than desired. Use it as a learning experience to improve your presentation and negotiating skills.
A freelance trainer offers his first open success seminar. Nobody comes at the scheduled starting time of the seminar. Half an hour later, a participant appears and sits in the first row.
The trainer explains to the participant that he is desperate and does not know what he should do now. The participant tells him that he is a shepherd and not a trainer and therefore has no advice for the trainer but says “As a shepherd if I only had one sheep instead of a herd, I would still look after and feed that one sheep.”
This inspires the trainer who then went on to present his complete half-day seminar plus a special session to the shepherd. In the end, he asks the shepherd how he thought the seminar went. The shepherd replied, 'I cannot judge this because I am a shepherd and not a trainer. But if I only had one sheep to feed instead of a whole herd, I definitely would not give him all the food I have'.
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