The big game, the big dance, the Super Bowl comes once a year. But the opportunity to grow your freelance business is a 365-day contest. What factors determine whether you win or lose acquiring new clients?
1. Show Up Ready To Win
Bring your best game every time you meet with a new client. And be ready for any and all curveballs thrown your way (wait, wrong sport).
Broncos’ fans can relate. If you are a Denver Broncos’ fan, 2014’s Super Bowl was a painful mess.
They not only lost. They lost big to the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8. Placing that game towards the top of biggest Super Bowl blowouts in history.
The Seahawks showed up ready to win the Super Bowl. All season they talked about “having a championship day every day.” They understood past stats don’t matter on game day. You have to play to win. The Broncos gave up after that gone-horribly-wrong first play ended in a safety for the Seahawks.
Work every day toward improving your skills, learning more about your craft, serving your clients, correcting mistakes, remaining positive about setbacks, and taking home “the trophy” you most desire.
2. Wear The Right Jersey
When you meet with a potential client, know who you are. And who you aren’t. Understand your brand and wear it proudly. Show them what you have to offer. Sport your extraordinary you-ness. You are unique. I guarantee there is no one else exactly like you. Plus your client appreciates knowing exactly what they are buying and you present better if you are truly being yourself.
Oregon forgot this.
The Super Bowl of college ball this year was the inaugural College Football Playoff game between Ohio State and Oregon. If you follow college football (and your daughter’s a fan, like mine) you know about Oregon’s uniforms. Phil Knight, Founder and CEO of Nike, is an alum of the University of Oregon. In 2000 he ushered in, what they call, “the era of the uniform” for the Oregon Ducks, who now boast a closet of 60 different uniform options.
BUT, they wore the wrong jersey for the big game.
Oregon’s colors are green and yellow. They showed up in silver and white, looking very much like Ohio State away. Sixty options and you show up dressed like the other team? Now that’s a duck.
Don’t ever try to look like your competition. Know who you are and represent that proudly. Match your fans, not your foes.
3. Finish Strong
No one remembers who was winning at half time. Only the final score makes the record books. Work diligently to finish. And finish strong.
Several of the leadership books I read recently had the same theme: the tenacious ones win. No other trait was a more accurate indicator of success than stick-to-it-ive-ness. Persistent determination.
Without tenacity there would be no sports. No football. No Super Bowl. Winners finish strong. They weather failure, ignore critics and tackle rejection, seeing opportunities instead.
If you quit, you’re guaranteed to lose. As far as a nifty sports example about a loser, we don’t have examples of quitters because none of us know who they are. They fade into oblivion. But examples of persistent players abound. People told Doug Flutie he was too short to be a quarterback. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. There’s hope for all of us, if we keep at it.
Ask for one more recommendation, make one more call, spend time improving your own website, start that blog, take that next step, and finish strong. Work on your end zone celebration dance. You’re gonna need it.