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Au’Guest’ Blog post – How the 'Rose-de Vries Matrix' (a tool for freelancers) was born!

Written by Jon Norris, Web Editor at Crunch / Freelance Advisor as part of the Wired Sussex guest blog month

Jon Norris

Jon gives his account of last week's Wired Sussex Breakfast Workshop, (the third on Being a Successful Freelancer):

Last week’s event was the second Freelancer Breakfast I’ve attended, and the first where I’ve had the privilege of being part of the panel. By-and-large I’m a fan of skill-sharing events such as these, but I think for freelancers they’re more important; vital, even.

Freelancers need to hone their skills in so many areas (marketing, invoicing, credit control, business development, networking etc. etc.) it’s hugely beneficial to hear about what works and what doesn’t from people who have been there and done that.

A theme that emerged during the discussion was dealing with larger companies as a one-person business.

How do you pitch to larger businesses? Going via an agency they already use seems to be a good bet.

How do you chase late payments from a big firm? Make friends with their accounts department and explain the situation or, if left with no choice, go the legal route.

How do you compete with large businesses? Focus on what you as an expert in your field can give them, without the usual bloated corporate overheads.

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Another absolute gem to emerge from the discussions was the upcoming work pipeline devised by Prem and Ellen, my fellow panellists.

First, you’ll need a big area on which to put your pipeline - a small whiteboard would work perfectly. Think of it like a graph, the horizontal axis represents time (the right edge being today) and the vertical axis represents enjoyment (the top edge being your dream job). Write down all the upcoming work you have on Post-Its and stick them where they belong on the chart.

Work that you’ve only begun vague discussions on can go near the left edge, as it’s probably quite far away from happening. Work that is all-but a certainty (you’re just waiting to sign the contracts, for instance) can go near the right-hand side. Work you’re really excited about can go near the top, and work that you don’t necessarily love, but are planning to take on anyway, can go near the bottom.

Now you have a matrix of all your work by time and enjoyment; your once-a-day business development task is to do something that moves a piece of work either up, or to the right. Clever, eh? I have named this method of business development the Rose-de Vries Matrix and am thinking about building a lucrative speaking career around it (cheque’s in the post, Prem and Ellen).

All-in-all an inspiring event, and a pleasure to meet so many exciting freelancers from all walks of life.

Your panel was -

● Ellen de Vries of The Copy House
● Premasagar Rose of Dharmafly & Lab for the Recently Possible
● Jon Norris of Crunch / Freelance Advisor

For more information about future Wired Sussex Breakfast Workshops, get in touch with Laura.

Another amazing #WSBrekkie

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