It’s Official!: More Specifically

Standard

Over the weekend, I finished a book by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy called Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself. Now that I have committed to marketing my freelance business, the first thing I did this weekend was register my domain name! I feel official already.

The next project I started was to hire someone to create my professional logo and business card. There is just something about the cards I print using my printer that make me feel like an amateur. Since I am no amateur, I do not want to appear to be one any longer.

I highly recommend Branding Yourself, because these guys know what they are talking about. Some of their points I was already following, but many I was not and am very excited to get cracking on the to do list I created for my business after reading this book. Please follow these guys on twitter @brandyourself. The humorous banter between the author’s that was thrown into each section were entertaining as well as on point.

This site will see some changes as I put tips from this book into practice. The first thing you will notice is that I officially have a new company name registered, and will be updating this with the new logo when I have one. You will also see me blog more often than once or twice a week as I had done previously. This makes sense not only from a marketing standpoint, but it will increase now that I quite my part time job and am working more freelance.

Advertisements

Shy Person Marketing

Standard

I have officially stepped down from my part time evening job. This means I am taking on a more freelance role part time while I still work full time for a software company. The benefit is that I still have a regular paycheck coming from a full time job so I do not have to rely yet on a freelance income. I like to be safe in my own world knowing that all my bills are paid and my lifestyle is maintained. However, being safe can be a downfall because I am not “hungry” for work in the regard of my finances.

However, I am hungry for the ideal of having my own flexible hours and working a variety of projects. I find freelancing gives me the opportunity to work on new skills and learning about topics I would never think to research about without a deadline. This brings me to the point where I am at now. Marketing…..

I admit that I am shy when it comes to meeting new people and putting myself out there. I do not like it. I prefer to hide behind people I know and trust and keep to myself. When I meet others face to face, I get nervous and stumble with getting my ideas across to others. My words fail me in public and I feel like I am being laughed at. My freelance business officially launched at the beginning of the year, but I was able to use being overworked with two jobs as my excuse for not marketing myself. Now I have decided to step out and really work at making a business for myself.

I keep my goals in small bites so I do not get overwhelmed with the big picture. My first goal is to create a direct marketing query letter to mail to just a few businesses each week. I also am going to start remembering to carry my business card so I can talk about my business at social gathering in hopes this will give me practice for more professional networking.

How about you? What comes to mind when you think of marketing yourself?

When Technology Gets in the Way

Standard

There was a time where we were told not to talk with our mouth full or interrupt others while they are talking. Now that most of the population has a cell phone, we tend to take the face to face interactions for granted as soon as a call comes through.

A friend pointed out the cell phone struggle to me that she had to participate in a conference with her colleagues. She mentioned there were a few individuals who insisted on having their cell phone ringer on during the conference. Not only did the ringtone interrupt someone sharing important information, but then the individual left to answer the call and missed facts. Then, the same information had to be relayed to the individual upon their return. After multiple instances during the same conference, it becomes a waste of everyone’s time to wait on someone because they feel a phone call is more important than employee’s time.

Having good etiquette means that you value the person’s time and the information they have to share. When you are face to face with another person, you must be sure to give them eye contact and reassurance that you are interested without appearing distracted with your phone or any other technology device. It was bad enough with cell phones, but it is becoming increasingly worse with the addition of tablets and always having the internet nearby on these devices.

Another key symptom is using the cell phone in line at a retail checkout counter. The individual becomes increasingly distracted and the sales clerk must repeat instructions multiple times when an individual is not paying attention to the activity at hand. Such manners are demeaning to the sales clerk, especially if they then have to chase you down in the parking lot because you failed to walk out with all of your items.

There are indeed those rare cases where you must choose to have a cell phone ready at a moment’s notice during a lunch meeting. If this is indeed the case, place your phone on the table in silent mode and explain to the other party’s at the table that you are waiting on an urgent call. Otherwise, keep on silent in your pocket and forget about even having it with you until your face to face time is over.

Professional and Personal

Standard

Both professionally and personally, you want to portray yourself the best way you can. You want others to know that you will always come through for them when needed. You want to be trusted and respected and both of these traits must be earned.

Professionally

• Make sure you always dress for work. Use your best outfits for meetings and make sure you are demonstrating that you care enough about your physical appearance to take care of it.
• Before the meeting, you must organize your materials as well as your thoughts.
• Always be on time. You must show the client that you value their time and commitment to meet with you.
• Demonstrate that you are on the same page with the client and be sure to demonstrate your knowledge of the topic. If you do not know an answer, be as honest as possible that even though you may not know something, you will take every effort to find an answer.
• Keep in regular contact with the client during the project so they are aware of where you are with the project. This shows you have jumped right into the project while your thoughts are fresh and are not waiting until deadline.
• Speaking of deadlines, always try to finish before the deadline as much as possible. This shows that you are committed and a keep your word. That said, if for any reason you cannot meet your deadline, you must bring this information to your client as soon as you know and give them a new deadline. Since you have been in constant contact during the project, the client knows you are doing your best and will most likely give you more time.

Personally

• Be a person of your word. If you tell someone you will meet them or do something, then do it. This makes you dependable.
• If you are told something in private, keep it private. Others need to know you can be trusted with sensitive information.
• If you hear information about someone, do not gossip. Gossip is idle talk, not productive, and puts down others. Others need to know you will not talk about them behind their back.
• Show others the respect they deserve and you will be respected. Do not roll your eyes or get snarky when they are talking to you. Always look at how they see things and understand where they are coming from. You do not have to agree with them, but be respectful of differences.

If you act the same way both professionally and personally, then everyone will see you for who you are and you will always have positive character references. Especially while trying to expand your business by networking. You want your friends to be able to portray you as a professional person of character. If you put your best character forward always, then you will get more freelance business and positive reviews. Your business can only get better from that point forward.