How to Market your Programming Skills
Original article by John Rigby
Rent a Coder Buyer
Adapted and added to by Ian Ippolito.
Marketing and selling
are hard things to do
deliberately. We all do it all the time unconsciously, but to
actually ask for money is often difficult for
those not used to it.
You may not realize it, but when you apply
for a traditional job you are selling yourself.
your labour for enough cash to live on and this is controlled by market demand.
As of today, independent
are in the same state as Artists, like Authors of books. The really great ones
will make themselves stand out from the
others and succeed, but the bottom 75% will just get lost with the masses.
Identifying with the buyer
You can't win buyers consistently without understanding them.
Most of the
you will have contact with on Rent a
be programmers, but are
businesspeople. They are generally
but technically unknowledgeable, and
will be on strange ground.
you want to have any hope of a successful relationship, you must learn to see
things from where they are.
Here are the basics:
They have probably
been burnt before. At the very least,
they will be unhappy with
what they have. You have to be
prompt in your responses to them...if you wait 2-3 days on each email before
responding to them, they will lump you with their 'last worthless coder'.
If you honestly sympathize with their dissatisfaction with their past results,
you will quickly find your relationship with them improving.
They will not
understand the intricacies involved in
or upgrade paths. It is up
to you to help them with sound advice
that they can understand. Ignore this communication gap at your peril.
If something is going to be
late due to a complex issue, they will at best only half understand. Make
sure you communicate it to them in as non-technical terms as possible but more
importantly tell them when you are going to have it done. Then do what you
say. This is the only way to build trust.
Always be able to justify
what you propose. Example:: “Here is what you basically asked for Mr Prospect and I am happy to quote for
just that, but may I suggest……….? It would only add 20 to 25% to the basic
investment and you would then get much better future-proofing”.
Taking advantage of an
extremely un-savy buyer can be a career ending move. You will be found out and then you'll have destroyed
your reputation on Rent a Coder, in addition to having an unhappy client and no
Better to make a happy client and will definitely earn
more over the long haul.
BE PREPARED. Sounds simple, but
can you answer the following questions?
- Have you coded something like this before?
- Can you show examples?
- Can you supply references?
- What special skill/interest can you bring to this project?
- What possible reason would there be to
hire you over another coder?
TIPS TO SUCCESS.
If you don’t have good track record, make it a feature. Tell the truth.
“Mr Prospect, I know how capable I am, but I need to prove it to people to get
references, I will absolutely guarantee to meet your specifications to your
satisfaction or it costs you nothing.” Or
I can do better than show you similar work, I will complete your own
project by your date if you just finalise the details of your specific
requirements with me by / / ."
can show you personal work history and personal references that will demonstrate
my reliability in work, but of course, it is my absolute no catches safety
guarantee that will make you a good reference for me."
have thought about your project and I’m sure that from my different background
and experience, I can add some features to your current needs that will make it
a better job for us both."
For example, you didn’t mention needing “popup” specials or “addon” reminders
for your sales staff – remember the famous MacDonalds add-on “Would you like
Fries with that?”
Finally, think about the job as though it was a request from your best
friend. I do not know a single successful Sales Professional in the world that
doesn’t think this way.
This article is made
available, not to just sharpen your marketing “pitch” but to sharpen your
and to hopefully
that it can all be done easily and
with honour, while you make a good life for yourself.
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