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December 28, 2008

Freelancers caught out in the current crisis

With everything that is going on in the world it is hard not to be thinking about change. It has all happened so fast and so dramatically that just about everyone now knows someone who has been affected by the economic changes upon us.

For me right now I am getting ready to move from the Middle East to Australia in three days. So change is right on the tip of my mind.

This phase finishes, the next one begins. It is a pretty good job, a step up, and a good sized contract. I'm fortunate, and the harder I work the luckier I get.

I have a strong network, I pre-plan these things about 10 months out, and I have people lining up to reference my track record.

I'm not bragging, I'm a forty year old consultant who has been doing this forever... If I didn't have these things then I wouldn't have survived this long. (Like you)

The value of a career based on trust. Relationships based on trust in your character, and the trust that you can deliver what they require.

If you are a freelancer who has just had a contract end, or a contractor whose project has stopped, or even if you are an employee who has lost their job then now is the time to draw on your trust based career.

Call your contacts - you're a freelancer right? You don't get to do that unless you have a strong track record and people who will vouch for you.

Now is the time to draw on that asset. Get references up on, ask them if they can refer you to others, ask them if they will stand as verbal references for you.

Get out of the "project" mindset and into the "jobs" mindset. What can you do very quickly that will bring them real tangible and cashable value? How quick (reasonably) can you do it? Put the package together, give it strap-line or two.

Price it, work out what the mutual activities need to be, and start pitching through your network. All you need is the first "job".

Collect the reference, get the client to help you forecast benefits before completion and start pitching new prospects during this job.

Now you have a packaged service. Tight, value delivering, and (after your first engagement) proven! And you now have another trust asset to bargain with throughout the network of trusted contacts.

It's all about trust - every time.