Independent contractor without the cold calling
There seems to be somewhat of a consensus that the best way to get gigs is through networking, and that when all else fails, you've got to cold call.
I think you skipped a question there, maybe you should start by asking how did you get started building a network. Regarding cold calling, it's how how much you have to do, it's how effective. A lot of people never did grunt door to door sales or telemarketing (maybe because they feel it's beneath them), but little do they know in just a few days you learn a lot about what works and what doesn't (there are a lot of things that doesn't work in cold calling sales). So if you don't learn the basics you can do cold calling with really nice clients because you won't know what you did wrong.
Sure, but I would just like to know if anybody is getting enough projects without all the cold calling. For example, is anybody out there lucky enough to have clients actually calling them? I don't know anybody who is. It almost seems pointless to be listed in the yellow pages. Is it possible to generate sales just by being visible in forums, magazines, etc?
I once did some cold calling. I HATED it. I did it for 4 days. From it I got some steady work that lasted a year and then I got a simple cgi job from an ad agency and I later ended up working at the ad agency. I used to call people up (pulled from a list of companies I thought would need people like ad agencies) and ask to speak to the person in charge of the internet. I also have responded in newsgroups to people's programming questions and from this I actually did get some work from people who saw my posts. Not much. I didn't do much of that either. Personally I just like to build things. I spent US$50.00 on google and overture and I got some work that way and I always sent my resume in for jobs I could match and I once got about 2 months work from that. A lot of work was working on stuff that other people started but could not finish for one reason or another. All these people who say one shouldn't rewrite are people who've never done this sort of thing :) ... I think a key factor is to keep on keeping on. Advertise, do newsgroups, network locallly etc.
must remain anonymous
During a period when I was out of work I thought I would try to get work as a sub-contractor. I pulled out the Yellow Pages which served a smaller area, about 500,000 people in a fairly isolated region.
I got someone calling me last week saying 'are you available for a 9-12 month contract?' It does happen. It was, of course, a client I'd worked with before: I don't advertise, or even have business cards.
I don't think cold calling or ads in work for consultants as such.
I wouldn't work for any client that would hire me.
I'm an independent but don't consider myself to be a contractor. It may be only a semantic difference, but I've always considered a contractor to be hired on the basis of time (6 month contract etc) whereas I nearly always work on task based contracts (eg implement 3 site WAN) or on an as needed basis. Sure there are time constraints, but there's no x month "gigs" for me.
I think the difference between small-scale shop and independent contractor is negligeble from the marketing point of view. I'm a contractor, and I compete for gigs against small-scale web development shops all the time.
Networking + Flair
dir at badblue com
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