This is part 2 of a 5 part series on how jokket helps freelancers.  If you missed part one, check it out here.

When you’re a freelancer, business development can be the equivalent of trying to win at Jenga while flying on a plane flown by convict-playing Nic Cage.  (Yes, we did just force that metaphor)

" land planes in heavily crowded areas!"

” I land planes in heavily crowded areas!”

Nic Cage is awesome.  Jenga is awesome. What’s the big deal?

Ok, we may have gotten ahead of ourselves.  As great as this metaphor is, we’re gonna have to bail on it to get to the point.  Con Air + Jenga = Too much awesome for one blog post.

The big deal: Business development is hard.  Working full time AND doing business development is almost impossible.  Why is it so hard? Let’s take a look at what goes into the business development cycle.

To start, let’s break the cycle down to a more digestible format. Conveniently enough, this handy thing called the sales funnel does it for us. The funnel (or pipeline) represents potential and current clients and places them into distinct groups based on status.

Basic Sales Funnel (Taken from Zoho.com)

Basic Sales Funnel (Taken from Zoho.com)

In business development, the entire goal of is to move through the funnel.  In other words, bring people in the door (leads), pitch them and negotiate with them (prospects), and eventually convert them into customers.

Getting leads takes time.  Whether it’s going to an event and getting business cards, creating a personal portfolio and getting lead gen submissions, or blogging constantly hoping for work to spill through, recruiting leads isn’t as easy as creating a couple google ads or reaching out to people on linkedin.

When you’re lucky enough to get Leads, they can be difficult to move through the funnel.  Getting to prospects involves weeding out the “bad fit” leads and entering into negotiations with those that may be a good fit, or “qualified.”  Unfortunately, nothing is black and white, and Leads don’t have big signs that say, “I AM 100% WASTING YOUR TIME.”  Being unable to decipher if a prospect is qualified or unqualified costs money.  The reason?  Creating proposals costs money.  They take time and suck up resources to create. When you spend time creating proposals for a prospect you never had a chance of converting, the end result is a needless waste of resources.  You don’t get paid to create proposals, so any misses are strictly in the red.

In the end, the entire goal of business development for a freelancer is to move through the funnel and *hopefully* end up with quality work from quality employers.

The “big deal” is that business development is hard, and takes a lot of time and resources.

Ok, so what’s Jenga have to do with it?

So we’re back on the metaphor now? For freelancers, business development is all about balance (Blew. Your. Mind.  Jenga? Balance? We’ll pause for a second so you can pick your jaw up off the floor).

*Pause*

In all seriousness, the difference for freelancers is that balancing the sales funnel isn’t even the hardest part. When you’re a freelancer, you don’t just balance a sales funnel, you have to balance said funnel with your actual work life and schedule. You don’t want to overload your work calendar, but you also want to ensure you don’t go without work for too long. It turns out that having a constant 40 hours of work week after week is unbelievably difficult for freelancers.

All metaphors aside, we get the problem.  How can Jokket help?

Jokket’s entire goal is to make work opportunities more accessible.  We want to help you manage the gaps in your schedule, find quality work quickly, and give you the tools you need to succeed.  To put it another way: we always want to stand by your side, and never ride on your back.

Here’s what makes us different:

1) You only have to use Jokket when you want to.  We don’t want anyone to be forced to use Jokket. The entire app is built to mesh into your self-employed world. With a daily Jokket that sends out jobs suited for you, updates on your bids, and updates on your current Jokket jobs, you only have to come to Jokket when you need to.

Your Jokket Nerve Center

Your Jokket Nerve Center

2) Real Job Recommendations

The “jobs for you” section of Jokket is designed to give you real recommendations. We use a learning algorithm for job recommendations that takes a lot into account. It starts by analyzing your core strengths (you provide), analyzes your bidding behavior and employer’s hiring patterns to provide you with real job recommendations (and real matches).

3) Know what’s possible before you start bidding

We think that transparency and efficiency are one in the same. When you initially enter a job page, there is a breakdown of current bids. The employer provides these ranks based on what they care about. Whether it’s quality (Jokket score), dollars (willing to do job for), or speed (complete job by), you’ll see what the employer cares about right away.

If you can’t provide more than the top bidders, then you’ll know if the job is even worth bidding on.

What does the employer care about?

What does the employer care about?

 

4) Bid in real time

If you decide to bid for a job, you’re told in real time where your terms stand relative to those who have already bid. This means that in real time, you’ll know if your terms are the best or far below average. If there are price points or milestone completion dates you can’t hit, you know right away.

Bid in Real Time

Bid in Real Time

 

5) Rapid Response

The entire purpose of the Jokket score is to expedite the quality-vetting portion. The quality score is based on dual sided reviews (we’ll get to that in a later post in the series) and provides the most balanced and fair indicator of track record and quality.

The end result is the ability to understand every portion of your bid (including your quality) extremely fast.  You’ll know very quickly whether or not you made the cut.

 

Jokket can make balancing business development and managing current work easier.  It may not be as exciting as playing Jenga on Con Air, but it’s definitely safer.

 

To stay updated on Jokket, follow us on twitter @jokkettrust.  If you’re super awesome, follow us on Angel List (seriously, you’ll be our best friends).