Can you check the boxes for the freelance lifestyle?

imagesCAD30KBRAre you a marketing or communications professional who has always wanted to “go out on your own?”  Do you love product marketing or digital media but want to work with more flexibility?  Perhaps it is time to seriously explore becoming a consultant or freelancer (or as the IRS will refer to you, an independent contractor).  Following is the checklist we recommend to use in assessing your freelance readiness . . .
Have you consulted with a professional for advice on financial flexibility and tax ramifications?
 Have you banked six months of income in liquid assets?
 Do you have a fully functional remote office (smart phone, protected laptop or PC, scanner, current software etc.)?
 Have you registered a business entity with the State of Colorado?
 Do you have the confidence and comfort level to work independently?
 Have you identified the highest potential freelance clients as well as the “low hanging fruit?”
 Have you discussed with those around you about this lifestyle/income change?
Marketing, Communications, Product Management, Creative Services Staffing / Recruiting Experts – Freelance / Consultant + Direct Hire

Is My Resume Too Long? And Other Silly Questions.

resume typewriterA resume too long?  No, never.  Your Maris Group Talent Tribe resume should be as long as you need it to be.  And include absolutely every word that you would use to describe anything you have ever done and are willing to do again for money.  You see, every Maris search starts with the client’s keyword.  And if the keyword isn’t in your resume, you simply won’t show up.  Cover all the relevant marketing, communications, product or digital skills and cover them in every way – such as web marketing, e-commerce and on-line shopping.  We may ask you to edit for relevance once you are being considered as a candidate for an immediate assignment.  But initially – give us the unabridged version.   Do you have a silly question?  Ask us – we would love to use it in our next blog!
Marketing, Communications, Product Management, Creative Services Staffing / Recruiting Experts – Freelance / Consultant + Direct Hire

How to Get the Gig and Forget the Economy, Stupid.

 

With Colorado’s unemployment rate just dipping below eight percent, the marketplace is flooded with tremendous marketing, coget-more-gigsmmunications, product and digital talent. How do you make it work FOR you instead of against you? Go for bright and shiny and easy to find but realize everyone is attracted to sparkling high profile opportunities (sign up for Indeed.com push e-mails, read the Denver Egotist and visit the career sites for your targeted companies).Take advantage of every opportunity to hone your skill set or connect with potential employers or entrepreneurial partners (Connect on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter, FB and Instagram). Get a marketing project assignment from your last employer or create a website for your local coffee shop. Volunteer to write content for your favorite non-profit (everyone/everyplace is hungry to share their own valid and authentic story). Post yourself on eLance. Join the Maris Talent Tribe. Go ahead, give us a try, we want to help you Get the Gig.
Marketing, Communications, Product Management, Creative Services Staffing / Recruiting Experts – Freelance / Consultant + Direct Hire

The Six Most Important Resume Tips for the Maris Talent Tribe.

  • resume typewriterForget the two page resume. The longer the better. At least for Maris. The more robust the resume the more likely you are to show up as a match in a keyword search whether the client is seeking marketing, communications, product management or digital. Your resume submitted to the Maris Talent Tribe should have absolutely everything you have ever done that you are willing to do again for money (save the love for other opportunities). Typically we will ask for a more targeted resume once we are positioning you for a specific placement.
  • Start with your expertise. A bulleted list of  expertise at the top of your resume not only covers more critical key words but lets us (and our clients) know at a glance what you consider to be your killer talents. LinkedIn can help build a resume but do not rely on their app alone.
  • Show results. Another bulleted list of “career high” results and achievements across all your work. Be concise and specific with target and outcome and reveal as much as allowed about the program/project and how you exceeded results.
  • Software expertise is CRITICAL in many placements so by all means go ahead and list WordPress, SalesForce and Eloqua along with Excel and Office and all those silly named interfaces that start with “monkey”. While you’re at it, include professional training, certificates and impressive seminars.
  • List all your industry experience. Yes, all of them – from hi tech to healthcare to telecom and consumer packaged goods. We place talent across all industries.
  • Chronology.  Give us companies, titles and dates to present. Dangling gaps?  Just explain them (like gave birth to triplets or learned to cook in Italy).

Marketing, Communications, Product Management, Creative Services Staffing / Recruiting Experts – Freelance / Consultant + Direct Hire

If You Aren’t a Digital Native You Might Want to Consider Immigration.

It was Marc Prensky who coined the term “digital native” in 2001.  It continues to be a cultural difference as much as a bio age.   So if you aren’t a native, regardless of your age, seriously consider immigration.  Assess both your digital marketing and communications skill set and your natural ability to acquire new skills.  Even if you don’t master it, learn how it integrates and impacts what you love to do.  Volunteer.  Take a seminar.  Or 12.  And adapt.  Immigration can be fun and exciting.  You might just be surprised where you land!
Marketing, Communications, Product Management, Creative Services Staffing / Recruiting Experts – Freelance / Consultant + Direct Hire

The Brainpower Without the Headcount. Catchy Isn’t It?

But what does it mean?  It means you get the marketing and communications skills you need but don’t have.  Or the professional level product management your new widget deserves.  Or today’s in-demand digital brilliance.  BUT you don’t have to OWN anyone or their brain.  You’re just renting a little bit of capacity that you desperately need at a competitive hourly rate.  Kind of like cloud storage – just use what you need and pay for what you use.  No HR search.  No off-target resumes.  No awkward “Well what the heck was my recruiter thinking” interviews.  The right skill set at the right moment in time and for JUST as long as needed.  Grown-ups doing grown-up work and they don’t need babysitting.
Marketing, Communications, Product Management, Creative Services Staffing / Recruiting Experts – Freelance / Consultant + Direct Hire

Take Advantage of the Awkwardness in a Phone Interview. Or How NOT to Fail.

Maris absolutely dislikes telephone interviews for marketing and communications talent.  But sometimes that is the best option for our busy clients.  They may ask for an initial phone or Skype screen and we happily comply.  We encourage checking out each other on LinkedIn.  But don’t attempt to connect until after you find out the results of the call!  Use the knowledge gleaned from LinkedIn to find commonalities and connections that will immediately make the call a bit more personal.  (OMG, I went to Wash U, too!!)  Balance the possible awkwardness of a call with the distinct advantage of being able to refer to the job description and notes about the company throughout the call.  But be engaged and in the moment for this one (don’t go checking e-mail or Instagram during the call).  And never give up on a phone interview.  Always keep the skill set and deliverables in mind and stay on your message that positions you as the best resource.  Phone interviews are much harder to read for both parties so focus on content.
Marketing, Communications, Product Management, Creative Services Staffing / Recruiting Experts – Freelance / Consultant + Direct Hire

Be certain you talk to these people BEFORE you talk to Maris . . .

• Tax advisor.  While we are pretty darn smart about freelance consulting, the IRS frowns on us dispensing tax advice.
• Financial planner.  It takes cash and cojones to be a freelancer.  Get real about what you need to have banked BEFORE you leap into the Tribe.
• Lovers and Others.  Talk with those you love or perhaps simply cover on your insurance policy.  Seriously people, talk with your people about the lifestyle of being a consultant / independent contractor and the drip down to daily life and financial sustainability.
• Skills assessment.  Have you taken a thorough look at your skills?  Do you have broad general and marketable skills in marketing, communications, digital and/or product?  If something’s missing, get it before you take this next step.
Marketing, Communications, Product Management, Creative Services Staffing / Recruiting Experts – Freelance / Consultant + Direct Hire