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Want Work? Start a Relationship

I get many questions on how I find my consulting opportunities. Since Body Boss, I’ve been working different consulting gigs from supply chain consulting to website development to product management and the like with clients from Canada to local retail companies to startups.

My simplistic response: “have great relationships”.

Quick thoughts on finding opportunities:
  • Maintain relationships. My previous life as a consultant in a startup firm allowed me to get amazing experience working with decision makers. Many of those same people want to work together again and again.
  • Say hello. I get many opportunities from just simple introductions to strangers in everyday places. For example, I met a woman at Starbucks who later introduced me to her boyfriend who wanted to redesign his digital assets for his retail store. 
  • Be flexible. I’m a generalist, and it’s been my advantage to work with companies in many capacities. For example, I have two recent opportunities in front of me: 1) technology consultant in China; 2) a talent manager for a burgeoning artist.
  • Confident self and strong brand. I’m honest in my interactions, so many people see me as confident and genuine building a relationship on trust. As I mention more about my experience and my blog, others see me as an expert. Doesn’t take much from there to work together.
  • Never hard sell. Everything is relationships-based (think: brand) – it’s the only real advantage companies have. When I meet anyone, I never hard-sell. I never need to. We form a relationship based on trust and ability to execute. Opportunities grow organically from there.
  • Get out! It’s hard to do any of the above without meeting new people. I’ve formed great relationships from UK consulate events to network introductions to, yes, Starbucks. Everything starts with an opportunity.
What are your thoughts on finding new work opportunities? Where would hard-selling be more appropriate versus softer, relationship-based sells?

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