How to Overcome Barriers to Landing New Work

By MBO Partners | June 24, 2021

Share
women looking at notes on desk

One of the most challenging parts of running your own business is landing new opportunities. Referrals can be a great way to gain new work, but it’s up to you to find the right people in your network, create strong relationships, and connect with them to find out what’s happening and how you can get involved.

In her webinar, How to Generate Breakthrough Opportunities by Leveraging Your Network, Chalyse Elsasser discussed how to identify and leverage the most valuable people in your network to generate more opportunities for your business. Below, we take a look at the key points from her talk about overcoming barriers to landing new work.

1. Seek Out the Right People

You know you need to reach out to people in order to discover opportunities that might be relevant to your business, but who exactly should you be getting in touch with? In order to determine where you should direct your efforts, start by asking yourself a few questions: where are most of your current referrals coming from? And, what type of opportunities do you really want to pursue? From there, think of the people in your network who have access to the type of work you’re interested in and who might be in a position to refer you.

Even if you are connected with hundreds of people on LinkedIn, you can only realistically manage a certain number of contacts. By narrowing down your network to people who can likely send you referrals for the type of work you want, you’ll be able to build stronger relationships with those who can make the biggest difference in your business.

2. Consider What Is Important and Make it a Priority

As an independent professional, client work tends to take precedence—after all, shouldn’t the bulk of your effort be focused on your clients if they are the ones paying you for your expertise? It’s easy to make the mistake of automatically labeling client work as “urgent” or “important,” but take a moment to step back and think about these tasks. Is the work you’re prioritizing both urgent and important?

Prioritizing your most important tasks—those that are both urgent and important —requires a change of mindset: managing relationships is just as important as client work. In order to embody this mindset change, start by making it easy on yourself. Consider hiring a helping hand. A virtual or part-time assistant can take on those daily tasks, giving you time to focus on your highest priority items.

3. Find a Way to Connect

Once you’ve identified the people you want to reach out to and have consciously made relationship building a priority in your daily work, the next question you’ll likely come across is: what do I say to these people?

Luckily, there are many simple, genuine ways you can approach people in your network. Center an email or LinkedIn message around the fact that it has been a while since you last spoke and want to catch up, say thank you for something they assisted you with in the past, ask for their help, or simply send a compliment.

Remember, when it comes to landing new work, the right relationships can have a big impact on the growth of your business. By identifying the right contacts in your network, prioritizing daily tasks with relationship building in mind, and making an active effort to reach out and stay in touch with key contacts, you can begin to establish mutually beneficial, long-lasting relationships that lead new opportunities.


Find independent consulting jobs with top companies through MBO’s marketplace

Join Today!


Related Posts

man working at computer looking at mountain

How to Become a Freelancer for Big Companies: 4 Steps

October 12, 2021

There are many benefits to working with large enterprises when you run your own small business. Higher-value contracts, bigger budgets, and the opportunity to gain credibility with a recognizable name—just to name a few. However, in order to be attractive to big organizations, independent professionals must first ensure they have a reliable, trustworthy business in…

consultants working in office

How to Create a Contingency Plan for Small Business: 4 Steps

October 5, 2021

For many in the business world, a common saying is: “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” This saying rings particularly true for small business owners who often have to carefully balance each aspect of their business—especially in unforeseen situations. Whether you’re sidelined by a family emergency, unavailability of resources, or other…

5 Books for Remote Workers

September 17, 2021

If you’re one of the many independent professionals who work remotely, you know how great the flexibility can be. The ability to personalize your work space, take ownership over how you complete your work, and finding routines that work for you are great perks. But all benefits aside, it can still be a challenge to…

Learn more about the MBO Platform

For Independent Professionals

Start, run, and grow your independent business with MBO

For Enterprises

Find, manage and retain top-tier independent talent