3 Simple Sales Secrets Freelancers Should Learn

 When you stop to really analyze things, us freelancers are in essence sales men and women who work for ourselves. So in order to up our sales, we should internalize some sales rules or secrets right? Here is a short list of 3 sales secrets that should help in your quest to maintain freelance freedom.

With no further ado, here are my 3 simple sales secrets.

Know Your Product.

The first secret is to know your product. However, since the product that most freelancers and designers sell is actually a service, we will have to alter this a bit.

Us designers should know what we’re capable of. Know your abilities and be aware of your limitations. Your confidence level is based on this knowledge. There is nothing quite like a confident designer who can back up their work with wonderful work.

If you are not up to scratch with 3d work, please, do not tell the client that you’re a professional at rigging characters. Quality of work and hours of stress aside, it will also mess up any reputation you may have had before hand and put you across as a talentless hack.

So please know and respect your limits.

Remember that chances are if the client contacted you, they heard about you from a source that they respect and expect that you will not let them down. You make the mistake of going way beyond your capabilities in the name of profit you are not just messing up your reputation but also that of the referrer.

Benefits/Delivery.

Make a timetable.

Stick to timetable.

Do your best not to constantly miss deadlines. There is nothing quite as annoying to clients as a designer whose word cannot be counted on because you promise one thing and deliver something completely different.

The customers are most interested in the benefits of using you vs using a competitor. So in most cases you are not actually selling your skill to the client, you are in actuality selling the benefits of using your design studio.

One of the practices that my clients usually love is the fact that included with their design(s) is an after sales package. Say for example the client gets the design, loves it and immediately implements it. If down the line for whatever reason something comes up requiring a slight alteration, I’ll do it without charge.

Simple tasks like this don’t require much time, but they will not be easily forgotten by the client. Who knows, whatever benefits you offer the client  might be the selling point for the next person they refer to you.

Develop The Art of Listening

This is more about communication than just listening. When meeting with clients or prospects, listen more than you talk. In facet you should ensure that you are listening more than 60% and talking less than 40%. In doubt about whether you’re talking too much? Stop talking and listen more. Remember what the client says determines what you do and where the project heads.

An important skill for any freelancer or designer is the skill of asking questions. Not onyl does it get you information that you need to properly complete a project without having to do to many re-designs, but the client will appreciate the fact that you’re showing interest.

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When It Boils Down…

When it boils down to it, isn’t being yourself the best form of inspiration there is? When you are creative and unique you stand out in a crowd.

Why would you want to be someone else?

Regardless of your chosen field of endeavour, being original usually helps. This is especially useful in an industry as crowded as the design industry.

There is nothing as wonderful as doing something someone said is against the rules and coming up with a beautiful end result. This is what makes the difference between being memorable and being one of those ‘out of sight, out of mind’ persons.

So today, go out (or stay in) and bend/break the rules, make your own rules and be you!

Don’t Just Plan….Follow Through!

Have a plan, follow said plan….

It’s Monday! I know many people could care less but I am excited because it marks the beginning of an exciting journey for me. The above photo encapsulates my philosophy on every project I undertake in my life.

The philosophy can be adopted for everything! From working out to building your company to being an awesome skateboarder.

Adopted from Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’ I find that it gives me a certain focus on my goals and so I thought I’d share as a little inspiration.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Well I got off my lazy bum…or got on it depending on how you view things and designed a quick pic for Mother’s Day.

To mothers near and far.

Source of Photo.

Keep Thinking!!!

Below you’ll find an excerpt of an article I wrote a li’l while back on my other blog. I read it this morning and it struck me how true these words were and I decided to share them here.

Keep thinking!

Sounds simple doesn’t it? It is but many people keep their mind occupied with negativity instead of finding time to relax, cut out all distraction and just think. This can actually be the difference between becoming a success and being a repeated failure.

You should always be making room in your mind for new ideas by focusing your thoughts and whenever you have any that really stand out you should save these ideas by putting it in a journal, sending yourself an email, or voicemail or be like those persons you see in the movies and use a recorder. Personally I like to usethe notes in my phone and then transfer them to my USB later.

It is very important that you capture these ideas so you can check up on them later when you need to develop them.

Going To Your Dreams

While doing my early morning creativity rounds  on Vimeo (which is a breeding ground for creativity).

Feeling creative yet?

I came across this wonderful music video done by Lam Ho Tak . It’s titled “Soeng” which is a chinese character which means think, dream, believe and wish. Before I go any further check out the video.

Basically the premise behind this video is that because of the chase (or stroll depending on your current situation) for the paper, many of us don’t have the time to think dream or even to rest. So we walk around tired, stressed and listless.

Is the life that you are using now what you dreamed of? What are you doing to create that  life you dreamed of?

Stop! Take a moment to breathe, enjoy a bit of nature.

Whether you decide to act or sit and continue warming your chair, is all on you. Do you think it makes sense to kill yourself as well as your dreams?

Cinco de Mayo Super Moon!

Ok I love design. But I also love getting a drink every now and then. So for today Cinco de Mayo I had done up an entire blog post to do RE: Cinco de Mayo, Cinco de Mayo designs and the Super Moon that we’ll be seeing tonight. But sadly my post got deleted and I’m way too busy (or lazy, you take  your pick) to do all that typing again.

So I figured that I’d just quickly mention the super moon that we should be having tonight while we’re all out enjoying the festivities of cinco.

Anyways…super moon. Once a year, the moon comes so close to earth as to be between 14-30% bigger than other full moons this year (seriously though, who does these calculations?). Scientifically termed a perigree moon (super moon sounds much cooler), this occurs once a year and it’s a big deal.

The last perigee Moon was on March 19, 2011, when it was about 250 miles closer than Saturday’s (Again, who does these calculations?!).

So all you lunar fanatics out there go outside tonight, turn cameras to the sky and shoot some moon portraits!

If this rain ever stops, I plan to go out and do just that.

Don’t Use Tutorials!

Ok, before you start spamming the post and stating the virtues of tutorials for designers, hear me out!

I do tutorials, I love tutorials, however, it is quite ok to use them as tools for learning and improving your skills. We all need a little teaching sometimes.

Where my problem lies however is when individuals do these design tutorials, and put up the finished tutorial and then claim it as an original piece. Come on! At least give credit where credit is due. Even professionals when they use a style or or a plug-in they plug the original owner of that plug-in or the creator of the style.

What many persons may not know is that you lose credibility when you do things like that because if another graphic artist goes through your portfolio and sees that piece they will be thinking,

“Oh, he stole this, the rest of his work may be stolen too.”

I say stolen because that is exactly what you do when you do that, you’re stealing, leeching off another man’s creativity and claiming it for yourself.

Ok, another scenario, let’s say a potential client is going through your design porfolio, and sees these tutorials and start thinking,

“Wow, this guy/gal is talented!”

They then give you the job, expecting work of the same quality but guess what? There is no tutorial for that job you’re doing so…you let them down by giving them work that’s not of the standards of the tutorials you were pushing as your work. Know what happens then? Good, I don’t have to go into it then.

Stealing is still a crime.

If you were an author, would you want to open the pages of a New York Times’ best seller only to see words written by you and you weren’t credited nor do you remember giving any permission to reproduce your works. Would you be happy? I thought so.

Basically I’m saying, use these tutorials for the purpose they were created. To teach you various aspects of whatever your area of specialty. Do them, learn from them and use the concepts learnt to improve the quality of your work.

What’s Your Inspiration

In order for one to be a creative person there must be something that triggers the mind to enter into a state of creativity. Something which acts as inspiration and triggers the imagination and sends your creative side into overdrive.

My Inspiration

Personally, there is nothing that I find more inspiring than a quick stroll outside. The colours, the textures, the sounds (of nature) all come together to leave me thinking and wanting to create. As I always say,

“Everything is designed and there is no system more perfectly designed than nature.”

The highly contrasting colours in the land and the sky, the subtle hues of green in the leaves of trees. That bold orange sunset or the navy star filled night, completely clear except for the odd wisp of  white cirrus clouds drifting by the bright, attention grabbing full moon.

Where can you find a more beautifully assembled and inspiring design? Because I certainly can’t think of any. It certainly helps to know that when I open my door in the mornings the image below is what greets me.

What inspires you? What is it that makes you think?