Working at home may be ideal, you say. But exactly where does my next job, client or commission come from? Where in the worldwide web do I find the customers who want what I do?
That is, without a doubt, the most common question people contemplating the decision to hang up those car keys or cash in those subway tokens for a morning walk into the den ask.
And it does seem overwhelming at first. After all, look at the size of the web. One would think it was infinite. Instead of allowing that enormous size intimidate you, (“How will customers find me out there?'”) you can actually make it work for you.
When you limited your job search to your surrounding geographic area, you limited yourself. You either knowingly or unknowingly put a length on the drive to work every day.
Now, when your commute has shrunk and is simply down the hall, your customer base has suddenly widened to, well, the entire world! Talk about increasing the size of your target audience!
In this chapter I’ll introduce you to more than twenty ways to help boost the search for customers depending on the work you do. This should help prepare you on your decision into your new career,
Keep in mind, once you discover exactly what career you’re entering (who says you only need tackle on business!), you may not be able to utilize all of these, but it does provide you with an idea of what’s available.
You may also discover (with a twinge of delight!) that some of these methods are really no different than finding work the old-fashioned way out in the brick and mortar world.
Finding Work . . .
Regardless of What You Do
Build it and they will come!
Build what? Why a solid, online portfolio, that’s what! Portfolios are not just for the writer or the artist. No matter what your eventual business is to be, you’ll need to showcase your work.
Every freelancer and member of the online work force needs some type of portfolio. It should include some references, as well as samples of your work.
If you haven’t yet clicked with anyone, get references or testimonials from past employers to post on your online portfolio. Place your resume here. Allow your potential customers to see you have a rich and quite active work history even before you began working on the web.
Create Your Own Blog
Never thought you’d see the day when you sit down and blog? Give it some thought — and then create one! Welcome to the 21st- century! Blogs can be godsend when it comes to getting your name out into the web community.
Yes, I know it takes time, but consider it an investment. Don’t just write about anything that pops into your head though. You’ll want to write for potential clients.
Be generous in sharing your knowledge on your blog. Once they can read what you write, get a feel for what you do know, individuals will feel more comfortable considering you for work.
Join A Forum . . . And Become Active!
Yes, here’s another step that means you’ll have to take (read that as make) time to not only visit a forum or two, but become an active participant. You can help others who have questions, then suggest that you’ve covered a similar topic in your blog and point them to that!
Use Email Addresses!
As you begin your career, you’ll soon accumulate a list of email addresses. These addresses belong to former clients, current customers or potential clients. It really doesn’t matter which of the three categories they fall into.
When you first start out, just send a quick email to everyone (even offline former colleagues) explaining that you’re now self-employed. Tell them how you can help them now. Use this list to send out a monthly newsletter or just to update people on how your business is growing.
Don’t Be Afraid To Conduct
A Google Adwords Campaign.
Yes, you! You can do it! Now that you’re a “web worker” you don’t need your advertisements to be location based. Adwords is one of the most popular advertising tools on the web today.
Advertise In Online Directories.
Don’t know where to start. Try Sologig for starters. As you learn more about your specific advertising needs, you’ll discover more directories in which you can advertise.
So you’re not a writer and you don’t play one on TV. But you can put an eBook out that targets your market. Don’t worry about making money on it. Give it away for free. The more people who read it, by the way, the better the chances you have of receiving more clients. Don’t forget to include details of your business — your email address, website, all the important contacts — somewhere in the eBook.
Trawl The Online Job Boards
For many individuals who work online, especially in the initial stages of their business, this is one of the most common methods of looking for work. It’s one of the most common methods because it works.
This works well until you can find a stable of clients who use you regularly. The more regular, repeat customers you have, the less you’ll depend on this method. But no matter how successful you’ve become, it’s always good to come back to these locations to see if you can discover a new client or two.
You’ll want to be careful when you arrive at some auction work sites. These are sites in which the potential employer places a job on the board and the potential employees (that would be you) bid against each other to get hired.
In theory it sounds good, but an unfortunate side effect of this type of board is that it actually drives down the cost of the work. While this may be good for the employer and it may very well be good for the low bidder, it’s anything but good for a talented person who deserves to be paid well for his quality services, regardless of his chosen career.
Avail Yourself To Web “Traffic”
By Optimizing Your Site Or Portfolio
As you learn more about the mechanics of Internet business and traffic, you’ll discover how important putting the right keywords in your material is to your success.
Keywords are those words visitors type into search engines like Google and Bing when they search for specific items. If you’re positioning yourself as an expert on direct response advertising, you’ll need to use words that your customers would use in their search.
This way, your site will be among one of the first results that people see. You’d be surprised what an advantage this is!