How many organizations do you know that operate with absolutely no strategy, and just hope that everything works out? Not many successful ones, that’s for sure. If you are a Camtasia freelancer, you are your own organization and you should have a detailed plan that identifies how you will attract and retain new business and capture new opportunities. At least a few times a year, check how you’re doing against your strategy and adjust wherever necessary.
I’ve owned LearnCamtasia.com, along with Lon Naylor, for about 9 years but I’ve also been a freelance Instructional Designer and Camtasia Screencaster during that time. I earn about 50% of my income from corporate and start up clients wanting to create software tutorials and training courses for their internal employees or external customers.
In January of each year, along with setting goals for Learn Camtasia with Lon, I set an equal number for my freelance business. Having an ongoing strategy for getting business makes it a lot easier to weather the ups an downs of working for yourself.
Setting specific goals and targets will motivate you and help you reach new heights. Don’t set difficult, unobtainable goals; instead, focus on simple achievements that are doable.
Here are some simple goals I recommend for you based on the ones I set for myself:
- Update your LinkedIn profile every month: Let’s face it, everyone is using social media and technology for work and business purposes. Recruiters comb through job search engine sites and LinkedIn every day to find candidates. If your resume and online profiles are incomplete or unprofessional, they might skip right over you—or not find you at all!
- Network with 3 new people over the next 2 months: This is pretty easy to do if you keep up with goal #7.
- Update your portfolio monthly: About once per month I add pieces of projects I’ve completed to my portfolio. If you don’t have a portfolio yet, just create some sample videos in Camtasia so you can show potential clients what you can do for them.
- Post to your blog every month/week: Even if you don’t have a portfolio ready, at a minimum have a blog where you can share ideas, tips, etc. When you first start your blog you should really post a couple of times per week, but I’ve had mine for a very long time so it only requires only the occasional posting to keep up to date.
- Post once each week to another industry blogs, communities or groups: This is where I’m not so great.What I (and you) should be doing is participating in conversations and commenting on blogposts pretty regularly. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m technically an introvert or if I’m just lazy but I really need to do this more often as people do get a lot of work from being active in groups.
- Leverage my existing clients : Existing clients are often the source of additional work. At the end of every job I try to be a little strategic and ask my client “Is there anyone else in your organization, or your network who could also use what I do?” Most of my Webinar Assistant/production work has come from these kind of referrals. One idea I got from a blogpost is to introduce your existing clients to the idea of maintenance cycles for projects. It’s good to revisit course content and design occasionally to make sure the information and look are current, and a majority of clients would rather have you do the work than someone they don’t really know, like, or trust. Not only do you pick up extra work, but you remain the developer of choice in the mind of your clients.
- Attend 1 monthly meeting of a local organization: Many cities have guilds, organizations, and industry groups that you can join, some for a membership fee and some for free. Participating in these groups can help you gain local exposure as an expert in your field. Where I live, in Atlanta, we have lots of meetups and local groups at the coworking places. I attend the one for Internet Marketing as it’s really close by and I can contribute a lot to that topic.
- Attend one industry conference per year: Attending conferences, workshops, and events will make you more publicly visible and will set you apart as not just someone who’s knowledgeable, but also as someone who is willing to share that knowledge. It’s also a great way to practice your public speaking and presentation skills. In fact, often presenters get to attend events for a discounted rate, or even for free. In my case I use to speak at the NAMS event each year in Atlanta but since he’s no longer having live events I need to find another one close by. I don’t really love flying.
- Learn one new tool each year. This year I decided to learn how to use the tools in Articulate Storyline 360 as one of my clients wanted to use both Camtasia and Storyline on a project. It’s a cool tool and it was fun to see the differences between the two tools and how I can combine them when a client wants a lot of Interactivity. Even if you specialize in Camtasia I suggest you try to learn at least one new tool each year to keep your ideas fresh and simply keep up with the new trends.
If you are a freelancer you know that it takes work to find new clients and market your business. If you haven’t set a strategy for marketing your Screencasting skills for this year, it’s not to late to sit down and plan some achievable goals for each remaining month.
If you’ve contemplated starting a Freelance Business as a Camtasia Developer or Screencast Specialist our “Career in Screencasting” course is on sale today (August 15th through Monday August 20th) for half off. Get it now and let Lon and I help you launch your new career!
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