It is always a good idea to review where your current projects have come from, so you can build on what works. For instance, an IT services client of mine contacted me recently. He has noticed that he is getting the majority of his business from referrals and networking. He found this interesting, given that he was investing lots of money in a direct sales campaign. Hmmm….
In my case, here is where business has come from over the past few weeks, in the hopes that there are some lessons that will be useful:
- Lots of sales from the sites I showed you some time ago, which is great since it means I can rely much less on consulting-style projects. As it turns out, the Boxing Fitness Institute is the biggest success, and I continue to build on that site with new programs and products. Lesson: Build repeatable products; use your web expertise to create revenue-generating sites.
- A long-term referral source who has been quiet for 9 months got back in touch with 3 projects. I’ve stayed in touch with him regularly, even though he had no work for me, because I knew his value (and my potential value to him and his clients). Lesson: Actively think about your most valuable referral sources and nurture those relationships.
- A long-term client has re-hired me for significant work. I talk to this client frequently and advise them at no charge. Then, when an actual project comes along, he hires me to do it. He works with a major state/public university, which has strict rules about vendors and competitive bidding. However, because he likes my speed and results, and because I am always available to provide advice to a valued client, he has found ways to get around that system. Lesson: Nurture relationships with your best clients; go out of your way for them and they will go out of their way for you.
- A past client, with whom I haven’t done any work for a year, contacted me out of the blue for another assignment. I thought they had no more need for me, and yet they happened to speak with a referral source of mine who updated them about some new expertise I can bring to them. Lesson: The more contacts you have who speak positively about you, the more likely “luck” and happenstance will work in your favor.
At the same time, I continue to test new marketing avenues, write, and speak. Plus, I am working to reach associations to do various affiliate programs so I can reach their members.
So that’s an update. I hope you find it useful.
What do you notice about your recent gigs and where they have come from?