10 Ways to Increase Incoming Business
This is a reminder that I need to practice some of these to keep my system running smoothly at all times.
(System = habits that produce results across large periods of time throughout life).
Right now, the system is in a bit of an idle state - we need to hit the gas a little and bring up the pace.
1. Send Emails to Every Current and Former Colleague You Can
Connect, say hello, ask what's up. Get the line open again and see what shakes out. Right off the bat asking for business from people who you used to work alongside might be presumptuous. Save that for...
2. Contacting Old Executives, Bosses, or People You'd Like to Work With
And not a, "hey, let's do coffee."
That's a time waster and you'll get ignored or blocked.
Come to them with a solution even if you have to assume their problem. Bonus points for identifying a problem you can help them with right now.
That gets peoples' attention.
3. Rekindle the Newsletter
And add a slightly more product-focused flair to it. Give away information, solutions, and ideas freely.
4. Publish a Short How-To Guide or "Idealet" to Get People Thinking About the Process
This kind of thing helps people who need a fresh look at their process or problem. It might not solve it, but it should open new doors and help them get around a block.
Then, it gives them a peek at the process they can expand on when they work with me.
5. "Idea Sex" the Marketplace
Sure, I can be one of 100000s of "UX Designers" or "Product Designers" or any flavor of that job title, but how many "Financial Technology Product Specialist" or "Startup Product Strategist" people are out there? 100? 10? Probably just one right now.
You're reading his list!
6. Contact Old Clients to See What They're Up To
This is LIKE the first couple of points, but this assumes you've already done business with someone as a consultant or contractor. You're just seeing how they've been, what their product is doing, and if they're working on anything new. Get the door open, stroll through it.
7. Break Into New Territory
You can do with with the Idea Sex or just straight up shoot into a new domain and see how you can do.
Right now, I'm working on crossing up Game design with Product Design methodology (based on human factors processes within software design discipline).
8. Hold "Office Hours" for Prospective Clients or People Who Need a "little" Help
Not everybody wants to sign on for a massive project right away. Give them a chance to get in touch and ask questions, see if you're worth the time and have a good set of skills to offer.
You can do free days or you can charge for the time. I prefer to always charge for the time, because the perception is that you're delivering value right away. (Calendly + Venmo and you're ready to rock).
9. Books = Business
I keep trying to write a book on product strategy and design, but sometimes I can't get that pen to paper (or I think, if I screw this up, it will DRIVE business away).
I know books lend a sense of authority to a topic and that's a HUGE step toward a client trusting your position a consultant.
I might have to do a list on just this alone.
10. Energy Out = Energy In
Sometimes things just fall into your lap. That's amazing. Other times, however, you have to put the energy out there and hope that you get an equal amount in return.
It's a balancing act. Don't stress, don't go overboard, just be consistent and focused and trust the system.
You will win.