How to carve a successful freelancing career?

How to carve a successful freelancing career?

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Freelancing career is becoming more and more popular in the present era. The ability to work from home and being independent is drawing in more people into this new field. 

Given below are a few ways to carve a successful freelancing career: 

1. Find your area of expertise 

A single skill may not be taken seriously by companies hence do not limit yourself to one category, but do not try everything. List out a sensible skill set, explore new areas and find out what would be best suitable for your freelancing career to be built upon. 

2. Create a portfolio  

Ensure that your skill set is displayed in the best possible manner. Make your presence felt by using social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Use other digital tools also like blogs, social media, e-commerce sites, etc. Make an impactful portfolio that will get noticed easily. Keep updating these platforms as your career grows. 

3. Use contracts 

Making use of contracts will ensure that both your client and you are on the same page. Have a general agreement with the clients about some basic yet essential terms like: 

  • The produced work is original and is not plagiarized. 
  • The client’s information will stay confidential. 
  • Your payment terms. 

4. Nail your clients 

Now that the foundation for your freelance career is set, you only need to find clients. Potential clients can be found using Google or any of the many social platforms. The farther you reach, the more likely you are to get work faster. Make sure that the work you offer can get clients. 

5. Focus on your business 

Focus on the identity of your brand and the type of projects you take. Pick one or two services to specialize in, and only accept work that falls into those categories. Turn down the rest. Once you have decided on your services be sure to translate that into your personal brand. 

6. Give emphasis on the present 

Do not get lost thinking about the future. Know where you want to be one day and do what is necessary to get there. Make a daily to-do list with small tasks that will help your freelancing career. Focus on your daily tasks and assignments. Take one step at a time to your long term goals. 

7. Be serious and confident 

Freelancing is almost like sole entrepreneurship. If you do not take your business seriously it will collapse. Take each client seriously. Be strong to face criticism and failure. Persist till you gain blind faith from your clients, and have a good reputation in the industry. 

Be determined and constantly work on improving your skill set. Be dedicated and passionate about your work. Once you have earned the trust and gained a good reputation in the industry, you have carved a successful freelancing career.  

How Too Much Praise Devalues Appreciation

How Too Much Praise Devalues Appreciation

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One key to success is showing gratitude in the work environment. When a worker is performing well in their workplace, it is important to show that you’ve noticed with a congratulatory shout-out or a tap on the back. Studies have shown that showing gratitude in the workplace makes the worker feel important, gives them confidence with their work performance, and only encourages them to get better.

The Bigger is NOT always the Better

Overdoing how you show gratitude can lose its specialty. For instance, appraisals should not be given to workers for doing simple tasks or duties that is already expected to be done in their job. Appraisals should be given when workers have gone out of their way and have given a lot of effort into the task. When small accomplishments are tackled, a great way to acknowledge them is through email.

A personal touch means a LOT

When big accomplishments are achieved, the thanks would mean a lot more when it is done in person, and even maybe with a public recognition. In order to figure out who is doing an exceptional job in the workplace, regular meetings with discussions on achievements and improvements are an efficient way to do so.

It’s NOT always about the Money

Another way of showing appreciation is through money, but that can get a little tricky. Bonuses means that the workers would receive an unsteady compensation. It would result in the feeling of disappointment when they are not able to go above and beyond for the company and fail at attaining the bonus. Research shows that the odd bonuses offered does not truly improve performance within the workplace. Nonetheless, getting a raise in the job wage is better than surprise bonuses. An alternative way in showing gratitude is through parties and celebrations. Job events, such as holiday parties shows that companies care for their workers. It is vital to thank your workers with a speech at these type of functions and shower them with food.

To sum up, any type of genuine recognition can go a long way. Showing gratitude makes the person receiving it happy and allows them to enjoy their job.

Customer Surveys – Is this actually working?

Customer Surveys – Is this actually working?

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Filling out questionnaires can be time consuming and it can take a lot of effort. For numerous companies, they use surveys as a way to “talk to customers”.

Silly Surveys

Normally after purchases are made, a visit from the hospital or a service obtained, either you are asked to fill out a survey or you get a random phone call. In reality this is not the right approach in getting insightful feedback about your company. What you should be doing is talking to customers face to face. Even though this might be costly and takes up a lot of time, this is the only way to get honest answers. This approach can be done through workshops.

Work For it

Conducting public workshops on strategic planning is an excellent method in figuring out what your customers want. It is about quality not quantity. Your goal is to learn how customers make decisions and how they problem solve. You need to understand their needs and wants and you can’t get any of that from a basic questionnaire. Start off your workshop by asking a question such as, “What makes you choose to go to one convenience store instead of the other?”, since every person has been a customer to a convenience store at least one point in their life. The responses that you would receive would be focused on where the store is located, the quality of their customer service, the variety of options that are available, how reasonable their prices are, and what time the store opens and closes. These factors are the strategic influences that different stores have. You can use these strategies to your advantage to develop more customer strategies and ultimately making your business stand out and have a competitive advantage. It is important to note that not one person can come up with all these factors since every person has their own unique experiences. It takes a group of people to come up with the conclusion of these strategies.

Surveys Are a No-No

A lot of companies think that surveys are enough to understand their customers since it shows percentages of what people like and dislike. However, surveys are unoriginal and does not give you a real insight. Interviews are the best way to get thoughtful customer input.

7 Effective Ways to Handle a Customer Complaint

7 Effective Ways to Handle a Customer Complaint

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No matter how great your business or product is, there is always going to be dissatisfied customers here and there.

The Customer Is Always Right

The customer might be genuinely disappointed or could be displeased with a small issue. Any type of complaint should be handled carefully since every customer is important. If it is not handled carefully, you risk losing a profitable customer and they may leave a negative review on social media where it would influence others to avoid your company.

These are seven ways to effectively handle a customer complaint.

Listen

When a customer is angry with you, it is important to stay calm, not to rebuttal, and listen to what they have to say. Make sure not to admit that something is wrong when in fact it is not. The best to approach this is to recognize their feelings by saying statements such as, “I understand that you are very irritated about that”.

Be Objective

It is natural to feel defensive and offended when someone is attacking you, but try your best to be objective. Do not react emotionally, put your feelings aside and react in a way that is best for your business. The best outcome when it comes to a customer complaint is to wait till they have calmed down and come up with a solution that makes them happy and ensures that they would come back. If anything, use the complaint as feedback and implement it to your business to avoid the same complaint in the future.

Clarify

To understand what has happened, calmly ask the customer open-ended questions. Some examples of these questions are, “Can you explain what happened?” or “When did the problem first occur?”.

Empathise

Even if you think the customer is not right, you have to make them feel that they are validated by empathizing with them. Only when customers feel that they are listened to and understood, then they would open the gate to think about any of the solutions you throw at them.

Take A Break

If you feel that the complaint is stressing you out, you may need to take break from the situation by letting them know that you will look into the situation and get back to them. Breaks allow you to calm down and look at the situation more clearly. A good way to relieve yourself from the stress is to rant about the customer’s complaint to someone else during your break. It is important to remember that you are human and you have emotions too.

Remember its’s Never Too Late to Apologize

When a consumer has sincerely been let down by your product or business, apologize to them by genuinely and respectfully showing you regret what had happened and that you are sorry. This is the chance for you to restate the values of your company and recognizing what happened to them was not okay. An example of an apology would be, “I am truly sorry, you should not have gone through that. This is not the service that we aim to achieve or offer, but I would like to resolve this situation.”

Fix It ASAP

Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody has those days. But it all matters on how you fix the mistake. This would be your opportunity to show how dedicated you are to your customers and that you implement your company values. You can do this by addressing the problem, and letting them know that it will never happen again, or solving the problem and rewarding them something for free as an apology.

Taking your business forward

Taking your business forward

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The way forward for your business to reach excellence would be definitely to employ a well-planned strategic management process. To begin with, evaluate your company’s vision and long-term goals. Assess the company’s strengths and weaknesses & conduct a detailed market study and competitor analysis. With these inputs, draft a clear-cut strategy that will pave a well-defined path to steer your company growth towards excellence.

Implementing this plan in real-time could be quite a challenge. Whether you are in the managerial board, starting off as an entrepreneur or already are a business owner,  these some simple tips will help you take your business to the next level:

Have a clear vision

Your strategic growth plan should include a well thought-out clear vision. It must serve as a compelling catalyst for the team and inspire them to work towards the goal passionately. It must have clear targets to measure progress and a finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal.

Make sure to convey the Big Picture

Make sure everyone is on the same page. You will not achieve your goals if your team cannot picture where they are going. Make sure that the company and it’s stakeholders get the big picture. This ensures progressive growth in the set direction.

Build the right team

Invest time in the hiring process to select the right candidate. But never hesitate to fire the wrong candidate. One wrong team member wastes the entire team’s time and effort spent on training the candidate and fixing their mess. So never be in a rush to fill a vacant spot.

Keep the team motivated

Any team will be motivated to work if they face interesting challenges along the way. Keep the journey fun and exciting. Set interim targets, encourage healthy competition and offer perks and monetary benefits to keep the team motivated. Invest in team building.

Never compensate integrity

No matter how many challenges or hurdles you face along the way, never compensate the integrity of your company. Don’t ever let greed get in the way. Once you lose your reputation, you can never earn it back. In the end, nothing is worth it.

Have a unique selling point

Strive to be different from your competitors. Build a unique strategy that will stand out. Maintain a personal relationship with your customers and encourage real feedback.

Lead by example

Employees are what make a firm reputable. Inspire your employees to be the best, motivate them, and help them grow. Make sure to provide continuing education too. It is vital for your team members to strengthen skills and gain industry knowledge. Make sure that they are given the right tools and resources to do their job efficiently.