Captain’s log, stardate 20181101
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“How can I get off the feast/famine rollercoaster and build a sustainable business?” and more...
Sent by Jonathan Stark on November 1st, 2018
In today’s group coaching session, we had a bunch of good questions that touched on topics like:
- What it means to “Find your Why”
- How to break into a new freelance career
- How to offer three viable options on a proposal (vs one good one and two fillers)
- How to get off the feast/famine rollercoaster
- How to keep a conversation with an ideal prospect from drying up too fast
- What to do when a brand new client immediately starts making unreasonable demands
- How to make portfolio pieces and case studies most effective
Plus, we did a deep dive on the differences between a hunter approach to marketing and sales vs a gatherer approach (aka mercenary vs missionary).
Here are some of the questions I answered today:
When building a proposal, I find it hard to figure out what should go in each option. I always ensure Option 1 solves their core problem, but struggle with where the “home run” should land. I’ve been treating option 3 as the “home run”, but that starts to feel a bit like options 1 and 2 are the dodgy non-options. (timestamp: 1m 24s)
I became self-employed about 2 years ago. Since then work has been a “Roller Coaster”! Some months projects are coming-in and life is good. Other months it’s completely dry. Based on your experience how can I have sustainable business? (timestamp: 9m 1s)
Is it important to to figure out “why am I doing this?” being self-employed I guess. I heard recently that I need to find my “why?”. When I think of my “why” it always comes down to this: pay the bills, provide for family, live a comfortable life – one day hopefully – and never work for anybody else ever again, am I getting this “why” thing wrong? (timestamp: 18m 6s)
I’ve got a 30 minute call with my ideal customer next week (CEO of funded startup). My idea : “I help startups with Devops”. This is a ‘I want to find out what your problems’ kind of call. I’m worried the conversation will dry up. What are some good questions to keep him talking? (timestamp: 26m 0s)
The question I plan to ask my target demographic for our conversation is “When it comes to growing your business, what is the single biggest challenge, frustration, or problem that you’ve been struggling with?” In your experience, would a question like this sounds an alarm in a business owner’s mind? In other word, how should I rephrase this question to make it more tactful? (timestamp: 31m 8s)
I’m just starting out, and don’t have any business connections, how can I present myself to my target demo as credible and not trying to sell them anything, in order to get them on the phone for a conversation? I’m working a full time job, so all my social media accounts are all about my work experience as an interpreter, so there would be a disconnect between what I’m doing now and what I want to be, which is a marketing consultant. (timestamp: 40m 11s)
If I need to put in some work prior to reaching out, what are the things I should put together to show them that I’m credible, and not just a random spam in their email accounts? (timestamp: 43m 30s)
Client wants to start project tomorrow that was set to start on the 9th. How would you respond to this? The reason for urgency is a bug they want fixed right away. The project is a 2-month optimization project to get their web app stable for projected growth in January. I had not anticipated having to fix urgent bugs from day 0. How would you manage expectations here? (timestamp: 45m 27s)
You said don’t work on portfolio/case studies? (we’re updating that stuff now) why not? can you elaborate? (timestamp: 56m 55s)
(If you’re curious, you can review the entire list of past questions here)
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