A couple of weeks ago I’d got back from holiday, and after a few days with no paid work, especially after an absence, I was beginning to get concerned.
When I thought about it, I knew the reason why I wasn’t getting any commissions. Being away for a while meant I was not in any potential prospect’s field of vision (on their minds). Because I had not been talking with prospects or people in the industry for a while, and wasn’t updating my work and generally networking; online and offline. I was out of sync with my industry.
And this is more than likely the reason behind your ‘work slump’, or your ‘not getting any commissions’ phase. People just aren’t thinking of you. Horrible, isn’t it? If people aren’t thinking of you or talking about you, you are less likely to get commissioned, especially by previous clients. Simple as that.
Some of you guys might be guilty of spending too much time working creatively and wondering why you aren’t getting commissioned when you haven’t been out and about talking about your work.
Well, I’ve scraped together a few of the key methods you can use to get back in the minds of those that can hire you quickly, so that you can get back to working again!
- Begin pinging people. By this I mean reaching out to people to get back in their ‘headspace’, via phone or email or social media. This can just be a hello, without any mention of work. It can work wonders just to re-establish contact with someone, even if they’re not directly a potential client.
Continue the dialogue if the first ‘ping’ leads anywhere.
Ongoing dialogue with someone is a good thing when it comes to promoting yourself, especially when it gives you a chance to mention what you are working on and your availability.
- Start some online conversations. This could be through a social media status update that gets people engaged with you, which could lead to discussing your work and so on. Going to an online forum likely to attract prospects is another good place to start contributing.
Online conversation is good, because it allows you to expend your digital self on the world without exerting too much energy. In a world where physical energy is scarce, this is a good thing. Obviously real-life interaction takes precedence.
- Go to one or two events this week that centre around your industry/field. It doesn’t need to be a ‘networking’ event, just something that draws in people that share an interest that relates to the work you do. Get talking. Just take it step by step.
- Talk and share a little more about your work than usual with people. That’s right, you need to spend the next week sharing and talking about your stuff as much as you can without annoying others. We’re talking about getting back on track in terms of getting commissions as quick as possible, so this will help.
This also includes adding work updates to a set of creative sites for example, making a point of handing out your business card when you otherwise wouldn’t, and contacting new potential prospects and people indirectly linked to your industry like bloggers.
- Share your knowledge. Write a good blog post about something you know about and promote the heck out of it or write an article or two for some other sites, especially those that are well-visited.
It would be a good idea to start a bit of a dialogue with the owner of a better-known blog before you start offering your writing services. This will build your credibility as a creative pro and get your name and thus work out there.
Your comments and further ideas are encouraged!