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How your guts can save you time, money and your sanity

By on Jan 31, 2013 in Business skills, Freelancing, Networking | 0 comments

This is the year of listening to my gut! Growing up with a mum who’s got Crohns Disease and Colitis (and who’s worked tirelessly over the years to remove the stigma from those illnesses, yes, you’re fab, Mum!), I’ve been surrounded by discussions on guts for what feels like forever. But I’m not talking about biology now, I’m talking about something that feels so amorphous that you can’t always believe it exists. Your gut instincts. Not sure about a prospective client? Going back and forth on whether to work with someone? The answer’s in you! What can your gut tell you? So, you’ve gone through a brief with a potential client but something just doesn’t feel quite right. Ignore your gut instinct, to cut and run, at your peril. Ignoring that base feeling can mean you end up: Not getting paid; Involved in a never ending project for...

How not to win customers at trade shows

By on Dec 12, 2011 in Business skills, Networking | 0 comments

Trade shows, business shows, conventions, exhibitions.  Whatever you want to call them, hiring a stand at this kind of industry event can be a huge benefit to your company. Over the years, I’ve attended many business shows, all laid on with the aim of gaining interest, customers, information or supporters. I’ve also been on the other side of the regulation-size table and 8×10 space, handing out brochures, chatting to prospective customers and selling wares.  You can win or lose a key opportunity at these shows, not by the size of your stand or how fancy your banners are, but how you present yourself, and your company, to the show attendees. So, here’s my Top Ten of what not to do when you’re a stand-holder, see if any of them ring true for you. 1. I’m just too tired to stand up Unless you have a disability or medical condition, don’t sit down.  You want to be on an equal footing with...

Networking for shy girls – part one

By on Nov 18, 2011 in Business skills, Freelancing, Networking | 0 comments

Today, I was going to write about shyness and the freelancing world, but my Google-fu shows me that I’ve been beaten to it by Melissa Ek in an April article for Freelance Folder. I used to be very shy and, over the years, I ‘faked it to make it’ to the point where I thought I wasn’t shy in any situation anymore.  But, embracing this new world of freelancing has brought my shyness back to the forefront of my mind – is this a club I feel I can join in?  Will the other freelancers like me?  Can I cold call anyone?  If I email a potential client instead of calling them, will they be more interested in hiring me? I’ll be writing about presentation skills and conference tips soon. But, for now, I figured I’d add one ‘networking for the shy’ tip to Melissa’s terrific list – the coffee break. We’ve all been there.  You’re at a conference, hovering by the croissants and doughnuts at the morning...