It’s an online world. It seems like everyone blogs, everyone’s on Twitter, everyone has a website. Paper resumes are a thing of the past; everyone sends their job qualifications by email now. Resumes themselves are going archaic among freelancers, who are more likely to have a portfolio to showcase their skills instead.
What’s more, we’re all obsessed with keeping up with the latest in online technology. If there’s a new social media trend, we jump to get on it or debate whether it’s a business-savvy use of our time. It’s vital that we keep up with what’s new.
Maybe it’s time to reverse that trend.
Keeping up with what’s new can be extremely beneficial to freelancers. When Twitter became popular, freelancers who jumped on the platform got new clients just by using it strategically. If they hadn’t known about the new trend of Twitter, they would have missed an opportunity to stay ahead of the pack.
Hang on. What if your goal isn’t to stay ahead of the pack? What does that give you, anyways? What if you just want to stand out in the crowd so you can be successful in your freelancing career?
It might be time to look at some old-school methods instead of trying to stay on top of the latest and greatest technology.
Who Says Old Isn’t Useful?
Let’s take email, for example. Boring, I know. But stick with me here. Everyone uses email. Even thinking about sending a paper proposal that pitches your services to a company for their next project comes off as almost ridiculous.
Well, is it? It might just be genius. After all, that company probably gets hundreds of emails a day. And emails are easy to ignore, pass over or delete. If the company posted the project you want to apply for on an online forum of some kind, they might end up with thousands of emails – each of them pitching for that same project.
Your email is probably going to get lost in the shuffle. No matter how good you are, how much better your skills are than any other freelancer, your email might not even get seen. It’s possible that company looks at all the emails they have to read, decides they have better things to do and choose a decent candidate from the first few emails they go through.
They choose him just because they don’t want to wade through their inbox.
Get Savvy about Getting Old
Now let’s say that you sent an email, but in addition, you also sent that company a paper proposal. By mail. You know, with a stamp on the envelope and everything. And you included print samples from your portfolio on nice stock paper, and you attached a business card.
That company can either wade through a thousand emails or pick the guy who sent in the unique package that stood out.
If you were looking for someone to help you market your business more effectively, would you pick the guy who stood out or the guy who was in the know about the latest trend of communication – along with a thousand others?
Sometimes going old school is the way to get your work noticed.
Want more ideas for making old ways new and shiny again?
Write a handwritten thank-you note to your clients, then tuck in an extra business card – and a request that the client pass on that card to a colleague who could use your services
Pitch companies in your local area, and visit their offices in person to meet with heads of departments who might hire freelancers
Create a paper portfolio in addition to your online one. Print up a few copies of it on nice paper with good binding, and keep that handy to send to clients worth the investment
Cold call. No one likes the idea, but many companies are actually very open to receiving polite calls from smart freelancers. The bonus? That call means they’ll be keeping an eye out for your materials when you send them – by email, of course. There’s nothing like new technology for prompt follow-up.
What other ways can you think of to get attention with old-school techniques?