In the latest issue of Freelancing.HK-News, we will publish a study about the biggest challenges freelancers face in Hong Kong.
Following on from this, we will provide you with tips to improve your communication with clients by asking better questions. Next, our guest writer will share some guidance on how to create effective (and affordable) promotional video campaigns.
In our freelancer article, a freelancer shows us how professional performance recording is implemented in companies and our joke at the end is about a freelancer who charges his hours particularly generously.
As always, I hope you enjoy reading this issue and, of course, I hope you do good business!
The biggest challenges freelancers face in Hong Kong
Although freelancing provides a fair bit of freedom from the “rules” of a traditional job, there are still a lot of significant challenges freelancers face on a regular basis. A new study by Skynova, ‘Overview of Invoicing: Exploring Invoicing Habits and Woes of 1,000 Freelancers’, has revealed exactly what these challenges can be.
The biggest challenge that freelancers face is meeting unrealistic demands. Over 43 per cent of respondents labelled it as their most significant obstacle. 'Fighting to win new business' closely followed with 43.5 per cent. According to the participants, new business is their biggest challenge, which may only get harder since the demand for freelancing has increased in Hong Kong.
Many of the other challenges are embedded in the model of freelancing: Ensuring on-time payment (40.4 per cent), having to do it all (35.5 per cent), distractions (27.4 per cent), long hours (25.0 per cent), loneliness (22.8 per cent), and not having coworkers (22.4 per cent).
Almost a quarter of all freelancers (23.3 per cent) face the problem of people thinking they are unemployed. While freelancing can be a type of work that people do in between jobs, it is increasingly becoming a full-time career for tens of millions of people around the world. With flexible working becoming more mainstream, full-time freelancing is no longer considered out of the norm.
Guest Article: How to create effective (and affordable) promo video campaigns
From Sara Woods
Today, video is the most popular media consumed on the internet. Every second, roughly one million minutes or 17,000 hours of video are uploaded online. In other words, if your brand is not creating and sharing videos, you are missing out on a massive opportunity to connect with your target audience in Hong Kong. Below, we have outlined a few of the most important things to keep in mind when creating effective and engaging promotional video campaigns.
Keep it to the point
This is probably the most critical part of creating video-based material to maximize conversions. Surveys indicate that people are becoming more impatient with online content, with their attention spans reducing. Therefore, engagement levels decrease dramatically as video length increases. Fewer customers will hang around if you wait too long to get to the point. So pay attention to these critical numbers. For better conversion rates, keep your videos between 1 to 2 minutes in length at most.
Optimize The Size And Placement Of Your Video
When it comes to video content, every detail matters. You cannot just throw together a video and expect conversions to come flooding in. Video format, placement, and dimensions can influence conversion rates. If you are placing your video on a landing page, make sure to place it near the top of the page for the best results. Your promo videos should always be above the fold or right before the page gets too long for the screen. Your visitors will then be warmed up with a catchy video before jumping into any written materials that you might include later on. Video dimensions are also important in determining the number of plays and conversions. A width of 401-600 pixels is most effective at generating more views. The ideal video height is between 301 and 450 pixels. If you want more views and engagement, optimization is essential. In turn, if you can increase your number of views, you have a good chance of increasing your conversion rates!
Create an engaging script
The first step in making a compelling promo video is writing a video script that informs and engages your audience. This can be completed either by yourself or within your team to help save on costs. Or, you can hire a freelancer! You will need a video script that speaks to your target audience. Thankfully, you can create a script using your current landing pages as a starting point and then honing in on any key points. As it is, your landing pages should already flow somewhat like a script. Therefore, your landing pages already hold the keys to creating a compelling promo video.
Speak to your target audience
The next move is to decide which type of video style is appropriate for your target market in Hong Kong. The trick is to know your audience and what they want to see. To learn this, you can conduct a simple competitor analysis or look for the top companies in your industry and see what kinds of promo videos they´re creating. Do not forget to include branding, such as your company name, logo, and digital business card watermarked into your video.
Low cost and effective promo videos
Major brands like Coca-Cola and Nike often spend thousands of dollars creating their promo videos and marketing materials. But content creation does not necessarily need to be expensive to create persuasive video content for your brand.
Depending on your needs, freelance sites such as Freelancing.hk is a perfect place to find skilled film animators and graphic designers to help you out!
Ask better questions for improved client communication
Do you know why customers would prefer to stay away from salespeople? It often happens to us (and we certainly believe many of you too) when entering a store. We do all can to avoid the salespeople in the store. Even if we are sometimes looking for something specific, we do not want to be advised by a seller. Unfortunately, sellers still have the reputation of being forceful hard-selling salespeople, for it is widely believed that sellers do not act in clients’ best interests, but in those of their own.
A few weeks ago a colleague of ours asked his client about their level of satisfaction with the service of a freelancer that they requested. The client wanted to express their displeasure but held back and only commented briefly, 'The freelancer did not want to be involved with my ideas for building my house.' For some context, the freelancer was an architect.
Often businesses, freelancers and service providers make the mistake of believing that the customer knows a lot less than they do. They do not let customers have their say, both to impress customers, as well as to inform and train them.
In the world that we live in today, it is no secret that customers make use of the Internet and many other sources to gain knowledge. Some customers could be even more aware and informed than “the seller in the store” (freelancers and other service providers). They certainly are more aware of their needs.
Especially with important projects such as building a house, most customers spend a lot of time choosing the location (transport links, leisure options, neighbourhood, etc.), design (environmental compatibility, energy efficiency, comfort, etc.), material and much more. In most cases, customers already have an exact idea of what their house should look like when they engage an architect. And unless a freelancer or service provider knows what customers think about a product they will not be able to respond effectively to customers.
As a result, one of the most important tips in better client communication is to use questioning techniques rather than close-ended techniques. This means more insightful questions, which cannot be simplified with ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and usually require more elaborate replies.
Amongst the plethora of open-ended questions, there are two questions that we believe to be more important and more significant than other forms of questions.
The first question is: ‘Why?’. More often than not, customers have not fully thought through their reasons behind a particular decision. If you, as an expert, ask them specifically about this, you will learn the reasons, goals and motives for this decision which can better inform the service you provide.
Let us take the case of an architect as an example. As specialists in their field, they could chat with customers about many things, such as the environmental compatibility and energy efficiency of the materials used. But the customer may not want to hear that because they have already made their selection. But if the architect asks why they prefer this particular material they could then learn the reasons for their choice. And if their answer is not enough (like an answer such as, ‘This material is better because of its energy efficiency’) - then you can always say: ‘Would you please tell me more about it?’
The second type of question that I recommend for customer discussions is: ‘What else?’. This type of question is just as important as the first question. It allows you to extract more information from your customer. It actually builds on the first question. With this question, you will learn more and more about the motives and goals of the customer and can position your answers and your arguments accordingly.
Do you have more tips on how to communicate more effectively with customers in Hong Kong? We would love to hear from you!
Freelancer article: Efficient recording of care services
Registered service providers can present themselves with a short article in the Freelancing.HK-News. In this issue, we present you with a consultant who is specialised in the recording of care services.
I have specialised in the ´recording of care services´. Thus, I accompany and advise outpatient care services and inpatient care facilities and support their establishment and further development of quality management and risk minimisation.
Care institutions are among the companies that are busy with day-to-day business and are subject to increasing demands. The dangers for such companies are foreseeable, especially when quality management is incomplete. For example, incorrect classification of those in need of care reduces income and thus the scope for action.
My professional services are characterised by direct, speedy and active assistance in the field of care documentation. After an as-is analysis of all documents related to care documentation, my clients receive the necessary implementation assistance on site. At the end of the project, the valid requirements are fulfilled and the client returns his room for action.
Freelancer joke of the month: Calculation of hours
At the gate of heaven stands an electrician, only 35 years old.
‘Why did you let me die so young?’ he asks Peter, the gatekeeper, reproachfully.
Peter looks in his register and then says, ‘According to the hours you charged your customers, you are 95 years old, so we thought it was time for you now.’
If you have questions or suggestions to improve our service, please leave your message here: