Tips from another work at home Mom on promoting your services.
When I first began my freelance adventure, I admit I was rather naive. I knew I had the skills and the drive to complete even the most difficult tasks; the task at hand was to locate the opportunities and cash my checks. I forgot that thousands (if not millions...) of people were sitting at home, dreaming of the jobs they would locate and the checks they would cash.
I did find several wonderful sites that offered a multitude of job postings. And these were not the scam-of-the-minute variety, either, but real 'gigs' just waiting to be handled. I dutifully filled out my resume information, attached pertinent files and bid on the jobs.
When my first rejection email arrived, I just shrugged. Obviously, the person who declined my services was simply misguided or looking for a cheap substitute to the incredible services I would provide. No big deal.
The next rejection email made me pause. Maybe this wasn't going to be as easy as I first imagined....
Then all of a sudden it was like the line at the grocery store; everyone goes to check out when I do. Email rejections came flying into my mailbox. I could almost hear the 'KA-CHING' of lost money as my hopes hit the bottom. But I refused to give up. My dream of working and supporting myself from my home office was still strong.
Let me tell you about myself: I am a bookkeeper who contracts with small businesses to handle their bookkeeping tasks offsite. In other words, I take their accounting home with me. Although many small business people choose to process their own invoices, accounts payable, etc., many of them are not up to the task. It isn't that the process is overly demanding. Bookkeeping is a puzzle that must have all the proper pieces in the right places in order to look nice. One errant piece and it won't work. Unfortunately, many business people don't realize how much easier it would be to contract someone to handle those accounts.
The problem: how to convince them? How pushy should I be? What seems so obvious to me is often not as obvious to others. And that is one of the challenges of working freelance. Because your employer probably will not meet you face to face, you must be pro-active and present the ultimate profile of your worth! While it is a good idea to keep in mind that there are a lot of people trying to make their way by working freelance, remember, too, that you have a lot of special skills to offer. Emphasize those skills above all else. One thing I have learned is that when bidding on jobs at posting sites, it is best to quote a per project price. Many prospective employers are hesitant to accept a per hour quote because of the apparent possibility to be overcharged.
On the same note, never, never, never under-bid yourself! In other words, do not quote a price so low that you will receive the contract for the project but make absolutely nothing in the bargain. This is a good policy to follow for a couple of reasons. First, if you bid extremely low and the employer accepts based purely on the bottom line, it is highly likely that this person wants top quality work for bargain basement prices. He will probably never be satisfied and you may find yourself doing a lot of extra work. Also, I truly do not want to work for someone who is willing to seriously underpay me. I think this shows a basic lack of respect. Plus, if you do 40 hours work of work for $40.00, do the math. It's not really worth it.
If you decide to visit some of the sites I have listed, be sure to take the time to complete your profile. On http://www.elance.com, I had one customer tell me that she chose me for her data entry project based on my profile. Not just because of my outstanding skills, but because I took the time to complete it and add some nice graphics. She told me that when looking at multiple profiles with good skills, mine stood out because it was thorough and eye-catching. You can look at my profile at: Debbi's Elance Profile (http://www.elance.com/c/fp/main/viewprof...
In short, to achieve freelance success, promote yourself. Visit the sites and make clear, attractive profiles that list your greatest strengths and your willingness to be flexible. Flexibility is important when working freelance because your employer has to know you are willing to make adjustments. Remember, you are your best source of advertisement when visiting the freelance sites. Make it count!
Debbi Cunnington is a freelance professional who has been working independently for the last 4 years. Highly skilled in many areas, including Accounting, Design & Virtual Assisting, she has been quite successful.
Her company, BearCreative, is dedicated to providing Web Design for small to medium businesses that are looking for unique, inexpensive, attractive websites.
ways to Sharpen your Business EdgePromotion Techniques
How Not To Promote Your Website on Forums