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2. Don't be fooled by advertising hype touting thousands of available projects. If 95% of projects listed are not in your area of expertise or industry, that sure doesn't help you get a client.
3. You may not get any clients. During my year's time, only one project somewhat fit my skills and experience. I had to partner with another consultant in order to meet project's requirements. Together, we submitted a proposal but didn't get project.
4. For each project, you compete against a group of people that provide similar services. This competition further reduces probability you'll get project. However, if you get clients through people you know or through a friend-of-a-friend, competition doesn't exist.
5. It can take a long time to get a project. The person I partnered with on my lone proposal said it took him 3 years to get a project through this company. While his project more than made up for cost he incurred up to that point, he was strongly considering not renewing his account.
6. Some of projects submitted are only ploys to test marketplace for a particular kind of service. Others are a means to satisfy a company's policy that requires "competition" for each project. The reality is a free agent was selected before "competition" search began. However, this should not deter you from submitting proposals. You never know if you'll get a project unless you submit a proposal.
Here are some thoughts to consider when evaluating various project broker services:
1. Are there a sufficient number of projects listed in your industry that match your skills and experience? If a large portion of projects involve unfamiliar industries, be cautious.
2. Can you get your money back if you are not completely satisfied within 30 days?
3. Is there a clause that you get your money back if you don't get a project within first year? This way you can't lose. The worst that happens is company uses your money free for one year.
4. Does company or service perform marketing in offline world? Just because you are in cyberspace doesn't mean your potential clients reside there too. Exposure in real world through press releases, magazine ads in appropriate industry publications and trade journals are a good indication company is getting word out.
If you are a new free agent or if you haven't had many clients, it is best to spend your time strengthening your local relationships. These contacts are an excellent means to get your first few clients. Consider joining these services when you become more experienced, have an adequate client list, and can afford risk.
Paul Bednar helps people cut the corporate chains and become a free agent or consultant. His web site has informative articles, answers to common questions, and lessons learned. Subscribe to the free newsletter by visiting the web site at http://www.free-agent-information.com or by sending email to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.