“Why me?”

It’s a question I ask of freelancers regularly and rarely do I meet many that are clear from the outset what their secret sauce is, and why they add value to clients. When I do it is an absolute delight and I know these freelancers will flourish in their chosen careers.

These freelancers have two things in common:

  • they know the value that they can add in the marketplace and,
  • they have identified which potential clients will most value them

Armed with this knowledge they seek out these clients in a single-minded fashion that is reminiscent of an animal stalking its prey.

The value a freelancer can add in the marketplace starts with the skills and experience they have, their ‘toolbox’ if you like, stocked full of an array of tools they can deploy to service clients’ needs. Added to that are that the values that they present to the world as part of their freelance brand. However, this is like eating chips without ketchup. It’s missing the sauce. In this case an individual’s secret sauce – that lens through which they see the world.

It’s that part of you which you take for granted in yourself that others value most in YOU.

When you look inside yourself and can identify this, you can unlock your own personal secret sauce and the value you add for your clients, that only you can add.

Once you own your secret sauce it becomes far easier to identify which clients will value you. There’s probably far fewer of them, which on the surface sounds like a negative, but if they are the ones that you truly match with I’d say that’s a positive. You can focus your efforts with confidence. You’ll have more time to spend working out your strategy and pitch to stalk this particular prey. So you’ll do a better job and you’re already starting from a strong position.

Johnny Rickard is one such freelancer I’ve had the pleasure to know and work with for several years. He knows himself well and he worked out early on what his secret sauce is. And he’s not afraid to reach out and let people know who he is and why he can add value to them. And it pays off. I’ve seen him fix up meeting after meeting with senior executives that far more experienced freelancers would turn green for.

And so, it was an absolute pleasure to get a call from him and hear that he had landed the prize client he’d had his sights on for a year. It hadn’t been an easy process, but he’d kept his eyes on the prize and this week hit the jackpot. When we discussed it on the phone he said, “The ability to identify the valuable skills I already have, and learning how best to communicate this to potential clients has been vital to my progression. This ability did not come naturally and once learnt, was amplified by your continued guidance. I will forever be grateful to you!”