My grandfather (pictured on this page) was a top-notch auto mechanic. He could determine what was wrong with your car simply by listening to your engine and asking you a few questions.
This was way before fancy diagnostic systems. If you were a mechanic back then, you really had to know your stuff. Because YOU were the diagnostic system!
As a freelance professional, it’s important to develop the same diagnostic skills a savvy mechanic possesses. Doing so enables you to reach and maintain high performance levels. And when performance falters, knowing how to identify and address the root cause will help you rebound much faster.
Consider these eight questions as you “tune up” your business for a strong finish this year and a successful 2017:
- Are you going after the right market? Does this market truly understand your value? Do prospects in this market “get it”? Do they normally hire freelancers in your field? Are they willing to pay what you’re worth?
- Are you differentiating? Letting the world know that you’re open for business is not enough. You need to tell your prospects what you bring to the table, why they should care and why you’re different. Above all, what you say must resonate with them. Being different, by itself, is not going to matter if they don’t see the benefit.
- Do you really understand your prospect’s world? Are you plugged into what she faces every day — her challenges, concerns, aspirations and beliefs? Do you have a clear picture of the “conversations” going on in her head as she drives to and from work?
- Are you steadily working on generating leads? Once you know whom you’re going after, you need to pursue those prospects actively (warm emails, direct mail, tapping personal and business contacts, etc.) and/or passively (authority-building articles, lead magnets, LinkedIn, etc.). Oh… and you need to do it consistently, not just when you need work.
- Are you converting enough leads to clients? If you’re generating a decent number of leads but not turning enough of them into clients, you need to evaluate your approach. Are you following up quickly and often? Are you asking the right questions when you follow up? Are your proposals persuasive? Does your pricing strategy need work?
- Are you staying in touch with longer-term leads? What are you doing with prospects who aren’t ready to hire you today? Are you staying in touch without being a pest? Are you sending value-added information in the way of a newsletter, articles of interest or handwritten notes with good ideas? A big chunk of my business came to me as a result of staying in touch with “not ready now” prospects.
- How’s your customer service? Are you meeting all your deadlines? Do you try to over-deliver on every project by offering good ideas and suggestions? Do you keep your clients in the loop when appropriate? Are you a pleasure to do business with?
- Are all your services still appropriate? Are all your services still right for you and your target market? Are there some services that you’re not currently offering but that would make sense to add to your roster?
Want to learn more about this stuff? I’m teaching a FREE class this coming Thursday, November 10th at 2:00pm and 8:00pm Eastern Time. It’s titled:
- The 6 steps to earning more in less time with clients you love
- Why high-income freelancers prosper year after year
- Which success factor matters most (it’s not what you think)
- The 5 critical milestones you have to reach at each stage of the success roadmap
Plus I’ll stick around at the end to answer your questions live!