Category Archives: Selling Yourself

Selling Yourself: Promoting yourself or your entity, or both?

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I’d like to close this series with a discussion about promotional strategies and whether professionals should market their name, their company or blog name, or both. I know that I constantly struggle with this and I hope that by sharing my thoughts as well as analyzing a number of others in the industry, we can make some generalizations as to possible best practices regarding this topic.

Selling Yourself: Improving your negotiation skills

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Negotiating is mandatory in nearly all aspects of your professional career from negotiating your salary to negotiating quality/quantity expectations in a project. Many hate to negotiate, but if done poorly or not done at all it can and will have long-term effects on your career. Here are three quick tips on how to improve your negotiation skills.

Selling Yourself: Finding customers

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Today I want to focus on how you can find customers for your respective niches. (Hopefully after perfecting your story from the first post in this series you know what your niche is!) After talking with several freelancers and professionals in the industry, by far the best way to find new customers is for your old customers to refer you. But how might you find that first perfect customer to help the chicken-and-egg dilemma?

Selling Yourself: Balancing the ‘nice to do’ versus ‘need to do’

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As I mentioned last week, today I hope to cover an issue that we all internally deal with over what would be nice to do versus what we need to do. As one II reader put it, “If your passion is in multimedia documentary photography, but you find that it is wedding or stock photography that pays the bills (for the moment at least), what do you do? You want to build a portfolio that is representative of the work you would like to do more of, but at the same time your website needs to reflect some of the work that brings the money in.” So let’s see what others are doing about this dilemma!

Selling Yourself: Dissecting business contracts

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Although writing contracts is not a sexy topic, it has to be included in a series about selling yourself because if you don’t utilize contracts you are setting yourself up for trouble. Contracts benefit both the client and contractor and should be used for any project regardless of scope. Depending on your risk-tolerance preference, you may not use contracts for small side projects that you do for friends and family. However, once you pitch large-scale projects with a four and five figure sum, I highly recommend drafting a contract to protect yourself. Let’s break apart a contract and go over the different sections and why you may or may not want to include them in your version.

Selling Yourself: Selecting the appropriate business contract

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Last week I gave a variety of price quotes, some by the hour and others by the project. These make up the two basic kinds of business contracts: cost-plus and fixed-price. I will now delve into each type, when you should use one over the other, and the pros and cons for each.

Selling Yourself: Pricing your services

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Pricing. Money. Salary. The topics nobody feels comfortable talking about but everyone is dying to learn more about. What are you worth? What should you charge for a project? How do you know if your estimate is low or high compared to the competition? Here’s my take at pricing, along with opinions from a number of anonymous sources in the industry.

Selling Yourself: Strategically growing and strengthening your network

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Networking is often seen as distasteful because many think it is all about putting yourself first to get ahead. However, I urge you to carefully consider your network and how you can strategically strengthen your connections to form beneficial two-way relationships. Regardless of where you are in your career, networking is an absolute must. So, let’s figure out how you can network efficiently and effectively.

Selling Yourself: Enhancing your online self-marketing efforts

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Last week we covered how to perfect your story. Now let’s focus on what you should be doing with that story. Specifically, how do you make a name for yourself online? Perfecting your presence via a portfolio, blog and/or social media sites like LinkedIn are all extremely time consuming so how do you know what to prioritize? Many feel awkward promoting themselves for fear of coming across as snobbish, so where is that delicate balance? Let’s begin at the beginning: the salesman’s pitch.

Selling Yourself: What’s your story?

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Toady I am excited to launch a new series all about selling yourself professionally. I hope to cover a wide array of topics throughout this weekly series, including how to market and price your services, how to network successfully and how to best match your skills with an ideal job, among others. Hopefully these posts will be helpful for both students entering the job market as well as those in the middle of their career looking to transition in some fashion. As a disclaimer, I do not claim expertise in this area. However, I will reach out to a wide variety of people in order to give you numerous opinions on each topic. Moreover, I will utilize the knowledge I have garnered from peers, teachers and professionals over the years that have helped me shape my own professional strategy. First and most importantly, let’s talk about perfecting your story.

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