Here at TVWriter™ we love the freelancing creative life and find it the most fulfilling way we can think of to do what we love and make a living at the same time. So we’re really glad we stumbled across these cool ways to make it even better:
by Herbert Lui
Who is your most valuable client? It’s not the one who brings you the most money. Nor is it the one who is most famous. You are your most important client, and that means you need to spend a little time refining your own process each week. Here are five ways to do just that.
Your other clients are important, but at the end of the day, you still need to pay attention to yourself. Business magnate Warren Buffett illustrates this in his authorized biography The Snowball, using his partner Charlie Munger as an example:
Charlie, as a very young lawyer, was probably getting $20 an hour. He thought to himself, ‘Who’s my most valuable client?’ And he decided it was himself. So he decided to sell himself an hour each day. He did it early in the morning, working on these construction projects and real estate deals. Everybody should do this, be the client, and then work for other people, too, and sell yourself an hour a day.
Agencies understand this principle: that’s why they allocate so many resources to creating their own platforms and products. To build their reputation, they will do cheaper (or free) work to align themselves with more prominent brands.
Although you may have a smaller budget than these agencies, you can do what Charlie Munger did – spend just one hour each day on your most important client. What can you do as a freelancer to enhance yourself?
1. Look at Job Postings
When I talked to serial entrepreneur and Circa CEO Matt Galligan about networking, I asked him about his brief stint in product management consulting and how consultants could go about finding work. One of his suggestions was that freelancers should look at company job boards for postings in their realms of expertise.
Although this sounded unusual, it made perfect sense as he unpacked the idea: most times, when companies post a job, they are doing it as a reaction. For example, they needed a developer, designer, or a marketer yesterday. This makes for a great opportunity for you to get in touch with the company as a freelancer.
You can tell them straight-up that you may not be the perfect permanent fit for their team, but you can hit the ground running in the meantime and solve the problem for them in the short-term. Not only will you reduce their workload, but you will also be buying them more time to recruit and hire a permanent team member that truly fits.
There’s your foot in the door. Even though you might be working on a temporary basis with them, you have the insider’s perspective to figure out more of the company or team’s problems – and how you can help them solve these other problems when the permanent staff member inevitably replaces you in your current capacity.