A new study from the Freelancing.hk group has just been released which shows for the first time who freelancer clients actually are. According to this, 19 percent of all inquiries come from industrial enterprises, followed by the construction sector (11%) and agencies (9%).
Our other articles also deal with customers and their acquisition. This time, we have networking tips for freelancers and managers, show you how you can attract new clients with a customer magazine. Our freelancer joke at the end is about a business consultant who earns 1000 dollars in five minutes.
I hope you enjoy reading this news and as always I wish you success in business!
Who are the customers of freelancers? The Freelancing.hk group analysed its recent project introductions. The majority of inquiries are made by industrial enterprises (19%), followed by the construction sector (11%) and agencies (9%). Other key requesting industries are engineering firms, consulting companies, start-ups and HR. Our economy is more diversified than most of us think, which is reflected in requests for freelance work coming from many different sectors. The biggest seven market sectors together make-up just two-thirds of all project introductions.
Industrial enterprises (19 percent of all requests): In this sector, about one-third of all requests come from machine construction, followed by furniture manufacturing and the beverage industry (each one fifth). Further relevant areas are construction materials production and equipment manufacturing. Typical freelancer projects for industrial companies are translations of manuals, foreign language correspondence with foreign offices, technical integration of production systems and support in product development.
In the construction sector, which accounts for 11 percent of all inquiries, half of all orders come from private builders, followed by property developers, architects and real estate agents. The orders are mostly about building planning, refurbishment, interior design services and the creation of architecture brochures.
Agencies account for 9 percent of all inquiries. Customers are predominantly full-service advertising agencies, followed by specialised agencies (e.g. Internet marketing) and design agencies. Typical orders are for the creation of brochures and product visualisations, secretarial services and foreign-language telephone interviews.
Engineering firms provide 8 per cent of all buyers. Most requests come from engineering firms engaged in mechanical, electrical or electronic engineering. Engineering firms are usually relatively small (some of them, for example, are freelancers that are listed on he Freelancing.hk themselves) and often have a high need for outsourcing. Therefore many of the orders deal, for example, with the digitising of existing drawings/components, programming of machine control systems or assisting in construction layout.
Consulting firms (consultants, auditors, law firms and certification authorities) are responsible for 7 percent of all inquiries. Typical jobs requested by these companies include consulting work for their clients (subcontracting), the coordination of seminars and lectures, accounting services and receivables management.
Start-Ups make-up 7 percent of all orders. Many of the start-ups are in the area of ecommerce, social media, or retail stores. Some have not officially registered their business yet. Orders typically involve the creation of logos, stationery, brochures and websites.
The HR industry (recruitment firm) is responsible for 6 percent of all jobs. Freelancing.hk does not introduce freelancers to other project brokers (freelancers usually do not like “sandwich contracts'). Therefore the projects here are about internal tasks in administration, event management or office space design.
All remaining industries in our list make-up 28 per cent of all requests. To start with, five other industries each contribute between three and five per cent of all introductions: retail, universities and educational institutions, event industry, beauty/fitness and photo agencies/studios. The five next sectors each account for between one and three percent of all requests: insurance companies, systems integrators, translation agencies, publishers, and restaurants/catering.
Finally, 6 per cent of all projects are coming from private individuals. Their projects are, for example, the maintenance of private computers, legal support, certified translations or the foreign language communication with authorities/companies in the country. Since these projects usually encompass just a few hours or days and follow-up projects are not very likely, private individuals are less popular customers, compared to industrial enterprises, where most orders last between 10 and 100 days.
For companies with a minimum of 50 employees, a new law allows employees to ignore emails outside working hours. The individual companies, however, may themselves decide how to specifically implement the new law. The reason for this law was a French study, which resulted in 37 per cent of the interviewees emailing during evenings or weekends, leading to additional illnesses like burn-out and depression.
Managers and freelancers often end-up working in a new city in or outside the country for short or medium term. Sometimes they have free time there, but that is not much fun without friends. The project is often over, before a local circle of friends and acquaintances can be established. In this article, we are giving you some tips on how to get quickly connected at a new place, instead of sitting alone in the hotel bar.
Perhaps you have contact data bases of your networks, for example, international clubs (Rotarians, Esperanto, Dance Association, Toastmasters, BNI, ...) or your university's list of alumni (great examples here are the European Business School and the International Space University). Many international companies also maintain a database of their former employees (McKinsey for example) or the ex-employees themselves are managing an extensive alumni network, as for example Gemini Consulting. As these contact lists (which are mostly online) usually show position, experience, interests, etc., they help you to connect with people with whom you have most in common.
In addition, there are also national and international Internet platforms where you can find business functions or events in your professional areas, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Meetup, Xing and Internations.
Hopefully our tips help you to quickly get in touch, so you may already be on a networking event in your new city on the day of arrival, even before you check into the hotel.
Our registered service providers can introduce themselves with an article in this Freelancing.hk-News. In this issue, we present our provider no. 50, (category Marketing-PR, $45/hour). Among other things, this freelancer produces periodical customer and company newspapers, all the way from the idea, writing the individual articles and design to the final printed copy.
It is standard for large corporations to regularly publish their own corporate magazine. They normally have a separate department for public relations, which is also responsible for issuing the company newspaper. However, small and medium-sized companies are often hesitant to issue their own company newspaper, due to additional fixed staff costs.
To know whether an own company newspaper is worthwhile at all, the benefits and costs for a medium-sized company should be compared beforehand. Such a review is always recommended, even if it results in a decision against an in-house magazine. Maybe issuing a more cost-effective newsletter turns out to be the better alternative. If necessary I will create also a benefit/cost analysis for your company, where I give a specific evaluation for your customers or staff newspaper vs. a regular newsletter.
A customer enters the business consultant’s office and says, 'I saw your special offer on your company sign, which says that you can answer 3 questions for 1000 dollars. I have 3 questions, but don’t you think that 1000 dollars are too expensive?'
Without a long thought, the business consultant answers: 'Yes, quite expensive, since you can easily look it up anywhere and by the way, you already know the answer! ... And what is your second question?'.
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