Entrepreneur - - By Andrew Neitlich

The best gigs to get, and how to get them

This week a client hired me for a substantial project. It is fascinating and informative to look back on how they became a client, and to keep peeling the onion:

They heard about me when they saw me speak to an organization in a similar field, and called a few months later when they had a need.

I got to speak at that organization thanks to some work I did with a similar company the year before.

I got to work with that company the year before due to a referral from that company’s bookkeeper.

The bookkeeper at that company learned about me when I did some work for a small company where she moonlighted as a part-time bookkeeper. Even though she had nothing to do with the project (except paying my invoices), she liked me, and we kept in touch. It turns out she knows lots of people in companies that I target! So she has become a source of referrals.

I got to work for that small company after doing some strategic work for an association. The owner of that company was a member.

Finally, I won the strategic work after nurturing a relationship with that association and speaking for free to their members.

From start to end, this process took about 4 years. And now clients contact me thanks to a track record of good work, visibility, and solid results. That’s easily the most rewarding way to get desirable projects and clients.

It’s also predictable. You can’t predict who will call you, but if you deliver strong results, and know how to ask for referrals, you will get projects in this way.

How are you doing with this type of marketing?

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