Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Prospecting On Craig's List?

I've seen a number of posts coming from oDesk, eFreelancer, Craig's List, etc., all looking for similarly creative people. It made me stop and wonder how effective this might be for prospecting.

Most sites like these are looking for the cheapest price to get the work done. From the posts I read, I can see why a number of new freelancers would get the impression graphic design can be done cheaply - the audience asking for the work expects the design done cheaply, but not looking cheaply. Tall order.

If you decide to prospect these clients, go into this realizing that you're being shopped, and if you're not on the cheap side you'll likely not end up with the job. In most cases this is a good thing, since this can be a sign of a client that will need a LOT of hand-holding, have a lot of revisions, or not pay your invoice. Just as they are careful with their shopping, be very careful prospecting this way. Try to read a little between the lines, if you can. If you have any doubts, see if you can send them a question or two. Bottom line: this type of relationship can be difficult to maintain because of preconceived ideas on both sides. Take the leadership/teacher role and communicate what you understand - both you and the potential client will have a clearer picture, hopefully harmoniously.

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