Okay, so what exactly was the experiment I completed? I wrote a guide on how to hire Joomla developers (my background.)

Why did I think that would work? What was my marketing experiment trying to test?

In my quest for knowledge I learned two very important things:

  1. How to look at search traffic for opportunities to perform SEO.
  2. That, across the board, people responded to educational content.

While marketing my freelancing, I noticed that the keyword phrase "hire joomla developer" was commonly searched for and that there was not very strong competition for it. My hypothesis was that if I could create some sort of educational content around it that it would be much more valuable than anyone other content competing for this phrase in the search results. I believed that Google would reward this with a high ranking. I was right.

My guide was titled "How to Hire a Joomla Developer." It gets around 200 to 250 unique page views a month from Google and all from people who are interested in hiring developers.

However, this probably won't work for you.

Why? Our circumstances are different. There is no recipe for success.

A Recipe for Knocking Out Anderson Silva

In 2013 Anderson Silva was the longest running champion in the UFC. Commentators were wondering whether he was the greatest fighter who ever lived. Veteran fighters would become timid when they were in the cage with him, fight scared, and ultimately lose. Chris Weidman challenged him for the belt and fought him like any other opponent by being aggressive and taking the fight to Silva. In the second round, he knocked Silva out when Silva started to mock him by pretending that he'd been hurt by a punch.

Pretend you're the guy that is going to fight Silva after Weidman. You're fighting someone that has been defeated once in the past 7 years by something might have simply been a fluke. You ask your coach how you're going to beat him and they say, "Just wait for Silva to clown around in the second round and then knock him out with a left hook."

How do you think that's gonna work? Is Silva going to clown around again and you'll be there to catch them? Probably not.

There is no recipe for success.

Principles > Strategies > Tactics

Just because there is no recipe for success, doesn't mean that every endeavor must start from scratch. While the world we inhabit is dynamic and alive, it's also predictable and behaves according to underlying principles. For example, in social interactions, the golden rule to "do onto others as you would have them do unto you" works marvelously for creating harmony between people in widely varying circumstances.

The principle underlying Weidman's strategy was that aggressive fighters win.

From principles, strategies can be derived. This is the overarching plan from which we attempt to meet our goal.

Weidman's strategy was to "stay in close" and continually apply pressure by attacking. This is a plan based on the principle that aggressive fighters win.

At the lowest level, you have tactics. These are the actual methods used to execute the strategy: the "recipes" of the process.

Attacking Silva the second he dropped his hands is the tactic Weidman used to knock him out.

Thinking Clearly about Getting Freelancing Clients

Fortunately, the goal of this book is not to teach you how to knock out Anderson Silva (your best shot at using this guide to do that would be to drop your laptop from the balcony onto his head while he was exiting the MGM Grand Arena bathroom.)

Instead, the objective of this book is to give you the principles and strategies you need to in order to build your own steady stream of new clients. The tactics you end up using will be dependent upon the strategy that makes the most sense for you and your situation.

We'll use my experiment as a case study to explore the principles of getting new clients and my recommended strategy in applying those principles.

These ideas are at the core of how I ended up:

  • Continually getting emails from people wanting to work with me.
  • Referring so much business to my friends that not only did I build my business, but theirs as well.
  • Ending up in a position where I was cherry picking clients that I wanted to work with and not desperately taking on whatever projects came in the door.
  • Dip proof. We haven't had peaks and valleys for the past three years. I'm 100% serious when I say that we have been working continuously on projects and often several at a time. You don't have to maintain this tempo, but having a steady stream of projects provides peace of mind like nothing else.


Crossing the Street

The first day we set out to explore the city after arriving in Ho Chi Minh, my wife and I ran into a problem we had never experienced: crossing the street.

Traffic was intense and there were few stoplights. Crowds of mopeds would suddenly appear out of nowhere and swarm through the street like a school of piranhas. They flowed around taxis, buses, vans, and bicyclists with everyone using their horns more than their brakes. The hurdling vehicles acted like a wall and it seemed impossible to cross the street.

It was like a turbo version of Frogger.

After gazing longingly across the way at a coffee shop for a few minutes, we clutched each others' hands and took two steps into the street. Realizing that we were going to die, we aborted the attempt and tried to reverse course for the safety of the sidewalk, nearly causing three mopeds to collide. The blare of honking of horns grew even louder as we reversed direction again and dodged our way through the traffic.

Once our heart rates returned to normal and we had a cup of coffee, we noticed how the locals almost ignored the traffic. They wouldn't even pause as they stepped from the sidewalk into the street and just walked across as if nothing was happening. Magically, they would appear unscathed on the far side and continue on without a second thought.

What we realized was that you had to trust that the drivers did not want to hit you.

Traffic never let up, so waiting for a slow spot was a lost cause and you just had to go.

And once you were in traffic, you needed to move deliberately and slowly and only forwards so that the drivers could chart their course around you.

A principal, a strategy, and a tactic.

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