A friend of mine shared with me Amy Webb’s TED talk ‘How I hacked online dating’. I was blown away. While watching it, I thought of what I’m going to do right the second this video is over and continue on my own journey finding prince charming. Exactly 17 minutes and 27 seconds later, I was inspired with brand new ideas of how I’m going to find new clients and get better projects for my freelancing business. Prince charming still is an overwhelming project for me to tackle, I’m leaving that one to the universe at the moment.
Here are some insights that helped me getting better business opportunities, tried and true, all inspired by Amy’s talk.
As Amy shared the story of the horrible guy who ran out of their date at a restaurant after ordering the entire menu leaving her to pay a bill of 1314$, I couldn’t help but empathize, as I remembered all the horrible dates I got myself into. It also reminded me of how I felt so disappointed with client after client after client.
Clients setting meetings and not showing up. Clients I spent time meeting, putting together a proposal for them and have them disappear right after I send it to them, and having so much of my time wasted. I don’t deserve that! I know I can provide great service and do amazing work, Why is life treating me that way?
As Amy finished her story of that awful guy at the restaurant, then came the reaction of her family- ‘stop complaining!’ I was shocked. She had every right to complain and feel upset just like any one of us, who is mistreated. But, this little shock treatment actually helped me. It forced me to realize – Yes. Life is hard. Bad things that we don’t deserve happen to us sometimes. As much as we can’t help but complain, it won’t help at all improving our situation. Not only it doesn’t serve us, it does more harm. It encourages our “things don’t work out for me” narrative in our head. All of our insecurities are waiting on us to trigger them with those stories so they can take over our mind, bring us down, so we never ever try to put ourselves out there again. Outside our comfort zone. Where success is.
Here is what I do when I get disappointed and need to vent. What I don’t do is talk to my friends about it telling the story over and over again to whoever will listen. That’s like putting a bad toxic record on replay. Your mind will pick it up. I actually never tell anybody. What I do instead is write it out. I allow myself to sob like a 5 years old. Then I read it all over again. The next step is asking myself through writing – What am I learning from this for the next time, and are there actions I can make to improve? Now I made this situation become something that serves me, rather than just bring me down. Moreover, it prevents me from carrying that bad energy and bringing it to my next meeting with a client.
You have to determine what you’re looking for in a client. Specifically.
If you walk into a huge department store and just pick up any random dress, chances of it fitting and have you looking like you were aiming to look, are very little. You have to determine what colors are you willing to go for, Which cut compliments your figure the most and know for which occasion you’ll be wearing it. Only then you will actually succeed finding something appropriate that will meet your goals. Life throws at us all kind of people, offers and clients. If we are not specific of what we are looking for we can’t figure out how and where to look to begin with.
The algorithm that was fixing Amy up with all kind of men has digitally illustrated it more than every law of attraction book ever will. Whatever words she put while filling her profile were used as keywords to determine which men will show on her feed. Because she was copying and pasting phrases from her resume at first, her feed introduced her to men who weren’t much suitable romantically.
Amy described that the algorithm was doing a great job, doing what it was designed to do – collecting database and finding someone else with a matching database. So how come to Amy’s words- the algorithm was working, but the people who were matched didn’t. She pointed out two reasons why –
- People are not being completely honest
- The data collected contains superficial details
As a starting freelancer, looking for work, I basically said to myself that I would take any design work that will pay me money. Here is where my mistake was- Not only I was describing my work goals very superficially, I was very dishonest with myself, as I was afraid that I’m not really able to get what I want:
- I don’t really want every design work. I have dreams about creating videos of certain types, and all kinds of creative projects.
- I want clients that will value my work and won’t offer pennies for my services.
Only when Amy started asking the real questions, she was able to make some reverse engineering making the algorithm offer her the types of guys who were more relevant for her. As I was asking the real questions of how I see my work- That’s when I was able to figure out where to look. What types of videos am I making? How much am I getting payed for them? Who are the clients and businesses that value the things I want to produce? And finally- When and where is their next meetup 😉 ?
Not everybody is your competition. Whoever is your direct competitor, can teach you a lot about paving the road toward getting what you want.
After having the algorithm introducing her exactly the type of guys she was looking for, Amy described the research she has made in order make her profile look more attractive to them as well. That’s because she realized she was facing some competition. She created fake profiles representing the men of her dreams, to see which type of girls they would attract. She never tried to start ‘fake relationships’ with the girls who viewed the profiles, she was only to her words- collecting data. She didn’t want to analyse the profile of all women on that website, but to analyse the profile of the women who like the type of guys she would like to marry. After analyzing their profiles including the way they take pictures and which keywords they use, she implemented their strategies and got immediate results. Lesson learned – Succeeding is not about having it all and winning over everybody. It’s about having what you need exactly, and that’s more than enough. I don’t enjoy viewing girls who I think look hotter than me. It’s difficult for me seeing people who are not me, succeeding. It makes me jealous, and than I feel bad about myself. However, choosing to put my ego aside, sit back, watch and learn, allowed me to improve and make progress. Which is more fun? Moaning and groaning or progressing? Inspired by Amy, I choose to make the people I find successful- my inspiration. And yes, it HELPED.
Allow yourself to be picky
No matter what your grandma says, or what your friends or colleagues might tell you about the market or the economy, you have to stay true to what you want. Our time is precious. Any time spent on dates were not interested with at the first place, goals that don’t matter to us and clients who don’t fit us, means no time spent on the things that will help us slowly progress toward producing the results we want. As I learned earlier, I don’t need to have all projects and clients, all I need is very few fits so I can consider myself successful. Comparing the little amount of fish I need to catch with the size of the pond, it now looks more promising than ever. As long as I’m aware of exactly what I want, I can easily determine my strategies and do exactly what Amy encouraged me to do, and that is playing by my own rules.
Editor’s Note: For creating this week’s lovely gif header, I photographed a huge tapestry picture from my own grandmother’s living room. Her entire walls are covered with detailed masterpieces she created over the years. Every time I visit her she asks me if I have work, If I’m happy, and then she asks if I have a boyfriend.
I’m a freelance videographer and motion designer. I love to tell stories and I dream big, just like you. I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment or feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org