6 tips to get what you want business wise


I don’t mean to kill your darlings but you usually do not get your dream job through vacancies on Indeed. Of course, there are enough positions to be found there and sometimes one might look cool. But realize you’re not alone: ​​there are a lot of people applying with you. And you apply for a pre-defined job. I like to turn things around: I have a list of clients for whom I would like to work and I try to get them one by one. This is something I also invest time in. I will turn the organization inside out and see what I could do for them. What is going on? Am I missing something on their website? I write to them and tell them what I can do well and how I want to improve something for them or create something with them. And that I would like to come by for a coffee. You would be surprised how often I actually get a response with ‘yes sure, come over for a coffee’.


Know your value

Knowing what you are worth is very important. As a person but certainly as an entrepreneur. After all, in that position you must regularly drop a quote and negotiate your hourly rate. And you determine what you are worth. That is the beauty of being an entrepreneur, certainly in the service economy: you choose how much you want per hour for a project. You determine that yourself based on your needs (fixed costs in life), your education and your experience. Keep that amount in mind. That is something that I have learned over the years. “This is my hourly rate that I go for and I do not make any concessions.” Of course you can give a discount percentage on a large, long-term assignment with regular hours. I find that something different than lowering your hourly rate. A returning customer gives you more certainty as an entrepreneur, so you can also reward the customer for that gesture, in my opinion.

I sincerely believe that I am worth my hourly rate. So then it’s either take it or leave it. That is a mindset that you have to get used to. If someone makes you a proposal that is far below what you want, dare to let it go. That is strong and also confirms your self-worth. You just don’t negotiate on self-worth, period.

Invest time and money in your future

Many entrepreneurs who provide a service must take extra care of themselves. The further you develop in your career, the more you have built up experience and knowledge. You have to maintain that, which is why I think it’s so essential to keep learning. If you have set goals to work for customers or get particular assignments you desire, also look at the important conditions for those customers to hire you. Is there a certain certificate essential for the position or assignment? Do you have to arrange things to be able to qualify for a tender? To give an example: I wanted to check out the public sector. Getting in there is challenging if you don’t have specific public sector experience. However, the Factor-C method is often on the requirements list for communication vacancies, especially in municipalities and water management. Now I thought it would be smart to delve into that and get the certificate so that I fit the desired profile better. In any case, investing in learning and personal development is a smart way to deal with your profit: you convert it into knowledge, have less profit and therefore pay less tax.

If you decide to apply anyway: save the original and call for feedback

If you have seen a nice vacancy online and you decide to apply, keep a close eye on the process. For example, always save the vacancy in a Word file. How embarrassing it would be if you are called in for an interview and you want to prepare for that interview, but unfortunately the original vacancy has already been removed from the internet. That sure does not help with proper preparation. Do you receive a rejection letter? Then always call and ask for feedback. Was it your letter? Is something missing in your cv? You can learn a lot from such a call for next time and it leaves an assertive and interested impression. I have even experienced that after I called they actually reconsidered and wanted to see my after all.

Write your cv ‘especially’ for the position you want

This may sound strange, but what I mean by it is: immerse yourself in a position and show it not only in your motivation letter but also in your resume. Of course you should never lie in your resume, that is beyond dispute. But remember: what is relevant? If you have finished similar projects in previous jobs to the experience asked for now, highlight them. Make sure you mention your competences that match.


Your network is gold

I get the most assignments from my network. Of course a good website is important, but I see my website more as my portfolio and as a landing page for information. My network shares my name with other people and refers to my website. So an important tip: invest in your network. And no, you don’t have to visit all of the drinks in town. Make sure to maintain the contacts you have. If you have just started your business: let your circle of friends know. But also the people you have worked with before. You never know who knows who and how relevant your ideas may be for a friend who knows someone looking for exactly you. Also, the internet offers many opportunities to present yourself. For example, you can respond on LinkedIn to people looking for certain knowledge or posting something useful yourself. LinkedIn’s algorithm helps you gain exposure if your network likes your updates or comments. But do not see this as a holy grail where others do the work for you: also be active yourself. I’ve worked with LinkedIn a lot. If you have specific questions on how to incorporate LinkedIn in your strategy: let me know.

Volunteer work

Volunteering helps you in various ways. Of course it gives you a good feeling to give back. And I also firmly believe that you do not only have to do paid work. You can also be very happy with a little less money. The trick is to ensure that your base is good with a decent hourly rate, so that you can also take on a volunteer project. But volunteering can give you more than a good feeling. If you pick the right projects, you can build your portfolio, expand your network and learn a lot about who you are and what you like and dislike. Volunteer world has more to offer than pushing wheelchairs and pouring coffee. How about helping a non-profit organization with your talent? Look at organizations that really appeal to you and think of what you can contribute.

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