(Fantastic few days out here on the West Coast. Caught a ridiculously fast – 2.5 hours! – Giants game, broke out The Robot at a vineyard wedding, and snapped some shots of the Golden Gate Bridge along the way.)
Cab Franc, my girlfriend, and freelance sales. My wonderful lady friend embarked upon a new career almost a year ago, and I’ve realized there is a strong parallel between her approach to sales and mine as a freelancer/solo marketer/a squirrel trying to get a nut. Here’s the basic model she employs: identify new restaurants/bars in her territory that seem like wine type joints, head over during a slow time and sit at the bar, chat with the bartender to get some intel and a feel for the place, have a drink, peruse the wine list and menu, then build a targeted attack plan customized to their needs. For all you freelancers, or even marketers targeting small businesses, you could learn a thing or two here. I copied her approach recently when I targeted local yoga studio owners. I took a few classes, got to know the business from the inside (and the customer’s point of view, by the way), and when it came time to make my pitch, I was speaking from a place of understanding, of knowledge, and of giving-a-shit-ness.
Speaking of freelancing, let’s stop f*cking giving away our services, shall we? An acquaintance recently told me she started selling her services online as a day-of wedding planner. My reaction of confusion was an understandable one – the girl never planned a damn thing in her life and has no training whatsoever in this area. “Yeah, but I just go online and bid lower than anyone else.” The horror….THE HORROR. Here’s a cool New York Times piece that dares challenge the conventional wisdom behind the billable hour. It’s a good question, particularly as I tinker with a new “affordable retainer” pricing system for my services (hey, you should email me about it!!!). But more important is the concept behind how we freelancers (and our ilk) price ourselves. Every now and then I pick up a few quick projects on sites like Guru and Elance, and I find it astonishing how low creative professionals are willing to go just to win a gig. Can you not see it hurts the industry as a whole? Amazing things start happening when you ask clients to pay what you are worth. And, by the way, “worth” can’t always be measured in increments of time; I might be able to answer a client’s question in five minutes, but the knowledge portrayed in those five minutes came from 15 years of blood, sweat, and tears. Watch this quick video for some simple pricing advice.
Instaspam? In Sunday Musings #19, I predicted (hoped?) that Instagram would dive into monetization with sponsored filters as opposed to traditional ads. The week before, I lauded both Instagram video and Vine as “production platforms” that pushed users to be creative and mindful when building video stories. Well, that all may be thrown into the shitter real quick with the app’s latest announcement that it will now allow video uploads. Can’t help but wonder that this move will easily turn the service into another place for brands to simply display 15-second versions of their television spots. Say it ain’t so, IG….