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How to gain small clients for quick cash?

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Milton hockmanHow to gain small clients for quick cash?
by on Nov 14, 2008 at 4:39:46 am

Starting out my business. I work full time at a shop but want to do freelance on the side through my own company.

Can you share methods and locations to find small business clients? Ones that I can create projects for that don't take weeks to create.

I'm looking for Craigslist type of answers. But would like it expanded upon on how to score deals and where to go to find these type of clients.

I'm not ready for a big deal yet, just want the small fish for now to get some quick cash coming in.

THanks for your tips.

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Rick DolishnyRe: How to gain small clients for quick cash?
by on Nov 14, 2008 at 5:02:30 am

[Milton hockman] "Can you share methods and locations to find small business clients? Ones that I can create projects for that don't take weeks to create."

I'm going to assume you're not kidding, and second hitting Craigslist.

[Milton hockman] "get some quick cash coming in."

Have you been reading the papers lately?

Keep your job and hanker down for 18 months and be thankful you're employed.

Rick Dolishny

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Mike CohenRe: How to gain small clients for quick cash?
by on Nov 14, 2008 at 3:32:28 pm

"quick cash" is rarely quick and hard to come by doing legal things!

Be more specific as to your services, and decide who your targets are.

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Brendan CootsRe: How to gain small clients for quick cash?
by on Nov 15, 2008 at 7:43:24 am

Agreed. Keep your day job and be thankful for it. Now is not the time to be starting a new post business, especially if you don't already have a list of clients. Sorry, but it's true.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

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Christopher WrightRe: How to gain small clients for quick cash?
by on Nov 15, 2008 at 8:22:37 pm

Yep, "quick cash and Craigslist."
Sounds like a sure and painful introduction to the land of "grinders."

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Mark SuszkoRe: How to gain small clients for quick cash?
by on Nov 14, 2008 at 3:43:35 pm

You'll have to network. And not just online, but person to person.

Go to your local Chamber of Commerce meetings and hang out. Find the local SCORE advisors and give them your biz cards and promo materials, some of the small start-ups they advise might come looking for you.

If you are religious, you might want to try networking with the folks that attend weekly services with you. Not IN the church or temple, that's crass, but say, at their next social or fund-raiser. Do they even know what you do? Maybe start wearing a custom embroidered polo when you're off work with your personal company logo on it, or some industry "gimmee" hats or shirts, something to start conversations with. You could meet a potential client almost anywhere, but they have to know you and what you do. The shirt is an easy way to do that. But make it look good, and make yourself look good in it. Once the shirt id on, consider yourself a walking billboard and comport yourself every minute as if you're in the waiting room of somebody about to hire you. Because you might be there and not know it.

I often advocate that people make pro-bono PSA's and mini-docs for charities they support, as a door-opener to meeting businesspeople outside the usual front-door approach.

Everybody is conditioned to reject you coming in the front door as a salesman or other disruption to their day, but they'll all hang with you quite casually chatting in the kitchen, where there are no stakes involved, no commitments. Charity work does this for you, gets you in the kitchen door.

The biz people all have pet charities and causes, and this is a place in the system where you can get in close to decision-makers, with no gatekeepers or filters, and establish a personal relationship that includes by definition the work you do. "Hey, I know a guy that worked on the promo for the Lung Association event we did; he's pretty good, let me ask him about this web project."

Development people, aka fundraisers, deal with many people in business every day, and if you can connect with such a person, they become a sort of secret Rolodex, a connection to many possible clients. The big boys do this kind of thing thru playing golf, but anybody can work on charity stuff.

And the other thing is, even if you fail, you've done something worthwhile in your community and created a portfolio piece you can maybe use in the future. There is really no down side. Except that you have to do some actual work to make things happen.

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Chris BlairRe: How to gain small clients for quick cash?
by on Nov 15, 2008 at 8:18:27 pm

As someone else noted...I'm also assuming you're not kidding. First, don't view clients as "small or big fish." The client paying you $2000 for a job should be just as important as the one paying you $50,000. You never know when a small business will grow into a Fortune 500 company.

Second, don't refer to getting work as "scoring deals..." unless of course it involves exchanging a baggie of something for an envelope full of cash in a dark alley.

Third, why is the time it takes relevant? If a small business has the budget to support a project that takes you two months of Sundays...why would that influence your decision to take it on? When you're starting out, you need to take EVERY opportunity that comes your way and treat it like it's "Gone with the Wind."

That typically means you'll end up spending more time working on projects than you can actually bill. You may ask: "why would I do that?" The answer: to MAKE SURE the work you're doing exceeds your clients' expectations. That assures they'll come back...and also encourages them to pass along good word of mouth about you and your services.

We're in our 12th year in business and are at a stage where we can occasionally turn down a low ball project, but on all the projects we DO work on, our mantra is "give the client MORE than they expect." It's a philosophy that some people disagree with, but it's one that has served us well.

Lastly...listen to the others on this list. Don't abandon your dream of starting a business...but perhaps right now isn't the best time to do it.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN

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Paul CroweRe: How to gain small clients for quick cash?
by on Nov 17, 2008 at 3:20:21 am

Hi MIlton,

My thoughts echo many of the others in the sense that there really is no 'easy money' or 'quick cash' solutions in this business. I've seen many an operator start up with this kind of focus in mind and have invariably failed within the first year or two. As someone mentioned above, people who project this kind of image usually attract mostly grinders who kill your business.

However, I would add you are in a very good position to prepare for starting up a new business because you have a day job that'll pay our bills whilst you identify your market and develop a strategy around that. Then when the current economic war is over you'll be in a nice position to pick up 'quality' business.


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