What does it mean to become a “seasoned” professional?

What does it mean to become a “seasoned” professional?
I thought I understood, you know – you get “salty” like a dried up piece of gas station teriyaki beef jerky. Tough, tasty and long lasting…

And ya, sure – I’ll take that meaning too. But now, think of it again as an old seasoned cast iron skillet.  I just got my first one, and it’s given me a new twist on the common phrase of being “seasoned”.

With repeated use and proper care, out of the daily grease a cast iron skillet will develop a deep and solid protective barrier which also happens to be fantastically non-stick. It’s pretty amazing to watch someone cook an egg on a cast iron skillet.

Translating that meaning to a seasoned professional:
With consistent diligent work and proper self care, out of the failures and success develops pride and deep self worth – which then prevents negativity and moments of doubt from sticking or lingering.

This post originated at http://www.brazenhustle.com

How to keep a client, long term.

For freelancers, client work is on and off. You’ll work with different clients throughout the year.  There will be periods where you don’t work for certain clients at all. If you want to keep a client, be sure to check in on them periodically (not occasionally) during times that you are not working together.

Periodically – meaning intentionally at a predetermined time interval, ex: quarterly, monthly, weekly, etc. You want to be consistent. predictable. persistent. reliable. diligent.  The focus in periodic communication is good service.

Occasionally – meaning randomly at your convenience, or only when you need them.  The focus in occasional communication is selfish service.

If you don’t consistently check in on them, they will think you are busy or forget about you entirely. Then, when their hot water is boiling over they will remember you and wish they had called you to help before it was too late. Which means, you missed out on their business… and you didn’t keep them as a client.

Remember, they are too busy to be thinking of you – and if they do, it will go kinda like this, “Oh ya, I should call them and see if they are available. I’ll do it tomorrow.”  Tomorrow never comes people, its always today and they may never actually call.

The same goes for prospects that would be clients. Keep checking in and letting them know you are here to support their business.

This post originated at http://www.brazenhustle.com

How to inspire confidence in a new client.

You want to be seen a professional? Then you need to inspire your clients to have confidence in you.

You should know what you need from a client to get started.

You should know what they will ask you.

So, take some time to develop a standard list with explanations. This will help you and your client get on the same page before you begin working together.

Write your process out in painful detail. Next, process that information into answers and questions.  You never know what a client doesn’t know, so just assume they have no idea how working with a freelancer works.

Waiting to address your client’s questions and issues as they come up (at the same time that you are supposed to be working on their project) is messy and amateur. They will have many questions and problems coming up.  And, they will awkwardly interrupt you to get answers and assurance on the fly – if you are lucky…

If you are unlucky – your client will think their questions and issues are unique. They will think those issues are signs that your relationship is not going to work out for them. In short, they won’t be inspired to have confidence in you or your work.

If your client don’t have confidence in you, they might just pay your first bill, find someone else to resolve their issues, and brush you off. All without giving you the opportunity to get things in order.

Remember, you are the professional. It is your job to know how to work with your client. So, never give your client the responsibility of knowing how to work with you. That’s just unprofessional and they won’t have the confidence to hire you again.

This post originated at http://www.brazenhustle.com

Stop avoiding asking questions.

Its awkward to bombard a client with questions. It doesn’t feel right, it feels annoying and unprofessional. Ya, you can plan ahead and you should – but often there are lingering details that need clarification.

Outright avoiding asking questions and just holding your breath, crossing your fingers, and hoping it all turns out okay – or planning on doing damage control after the fact if your guess is wrong is just plain stupid.

Ive done it too many times and it has never actually worked. But, whats worse?

Whats worse is that sometimes, it does work.

In that, you got lucky and guessed right or you were able to play damage control with the problems well after your guess was wrong. Then, afterward you “feel” like your intuition was “spot on” and you did the right thing.

So, you keep doing it. You mistake luck with skill, and you think your “hope” strategy is working. When really, to rely on hope or luck is an absolute gamble and its bound to lose – often. And, its a stupid gamble,  because you could have very easily asked a few awkward questions and had all the answers up front – with the risk of being a bit annoying instead of outright failing.

This post originated at http://www.brazenhustle.com

Just Don’t: Sexy profile pic

Guys and Gals, unless you are a make-up artist or have some career revolving around your looks – please don’t post a sexy picture of yourself for your linkedin profile.

It turns me off when it seems like you are trying to turn me on. 🙁
I can’t take a pouty face with duck lips seriously.

I’m more likely to hire you if you delete your kissy face and lip biting profile pics.

thanks!

This post originated at http://www.brazenhustle.com