Marketing one’s services as a freelance independent contractor is a tough gig. But doing so in the United States Software Development Market has become increasingly more challenging. Optimizing your website for search engines, advertising through Google or Facebook, and sending countless postcards and emails are just no match for the well connected and HR-focused efforts of recruiters. The old adage “it’s who you know rather than what you know” that drives your success is still true. But as a provider of software services, getting you to know me is more than half the battle.
Technology recruiters are extensions of large corporate HR departments. They work their network of buyers and sellers to earn their healthy markups. HR Staffers specialize in labor law. Technology recruiters find candidates with specialized skills. The problem is, if you are a small business owner without a techno-priest advocating for a specific set of skills, you are left with thousands of technology choices and nowhere to turn for a solution to automate a business process. Oftentimes, a power user or student will have provided a “temporary solution” in Excel or Access that is difficult to support as the business requirements change.
I’ve worked for plenty of recruiters, but recent experiences have demonstrated that disintermediation by web-based freelancer sites like Upwork, which acquired Elance and oDesk, and Freelancer.com are attempting to take market share from sites like Dice.com and Guru.com, who have been around much longer and are more supportive of recruiters. New entrants like Toptal are trying to replace recruiters entirely by claiming to have vetted their applicant’s skill sets. Unfortunately for them, recruiting is a local business founded on years of developed relationships.
I don’t know if recruiters ever get calls from small business owners looking for help. But if they do, I expect that their lower budgets and inability to sign for a minimum engagement of three or more months would prevent a deal. So the small business owner has to ask a friend, their desktop support provider, their PC/Printer/networking retailer, the local Small Business Association chapter, or local technical college (collectively “small business associates”) for a referral.
What if any of these small business associates were able to refer someone who can help them with a small project and is available within three times zones, can provide continuous support, and costs a mere fraction of the cost of hiring a full or part time application developer? That is what Konduit does and we are willing to share with small business associates some of this continuous micro-revenue stream for simple referrals that result in new subscribers.
To give people a sense of the types of Transaction Editor (TEd) projects we at Konduit excel at, I have provided on my website Konduit.com a random display of the descriptions of projects we are bidding on. You can find this at the bottom of the “Service” page, under the heading “Posted Projects (RFQ,RFP) Suitable for TEd“. This helps our referrers understand the scope we are focused on. This should also help small business owners determine whether we might be able to help them. Along with the description, I rate the quality of the mostly unaltered description as Good, Better, Best:
- Good = Vague description, but function-related rather than skillset-related.
- Better = Majority of functionality within TEd capability, but some items require clarification or work-arounds.
- Best = Well documented functional description of requirements.
With over 20 years of experience, my services also include data architecture and design in relational databases.