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4th December 2019

Last week was not only what felt like the darkest one in Sweden this year, it also happened to be the week when we arranged the second meetup with our business network. This time, the meetup was arranged in collaboration with our friends at Wint and Nordnet. 

With keynote speakers such as Caroline Säisä and Ulrika Ahl from Wint,  Maja Ginsburg and Ashraf Habash from Anaspire as well as healthcare entrepreneur Victoria Boethius at Vegatus and Alexander Gustafsson from Nordnet, our guests were in for a packed evening! The event was fully booked and we’re delighted that so many also showed up, despite the weather of the day: pouring November rain (!).

Networking events tend to divide people into two groups: the ones who loves them, and the ones who dreads them.  Regardless of which group you feel most drawn to today, we presume that you might agree with us that as a freelance business owner, networking is not really optional. Rather, getting out every now and then to meet and greet ought to be an integrated part of your business. 

But how do you crack the mingle code then? Well, based on our study of all the brave entrepreneurs, speakers and curious consultants we met up with last week, there are several ways of doing this. With December and all its mingles coming up, we decided to compile a quick list with a few tips!

Here you go, ready to be applied at once – here’s 3 survival tactics for your next business mingle: 

1. Be prepared so that you can be your best you. And no, with that we don’t mean that you need to upgrade your whole wardrobe or get a haircut prior to a mingle. However, making sure you feel good is a great way to ensure that you won’t be focusing on your looks during the evening. Instead of considering if that piece of lettuce is stuck between your teeth or if your shirt is smelly, you will be able to relax and actually focusing on who’s in front of you. 

2. Getting too many questions and starting to feel uncomfortable? Need a little breathing break? We hear you. 

If it’s been a while since you were “out and about”, talking about yourself can feel exhausting and overwhelming.

“I’m sorry, I feel like we got caught up now only talking about me. Please, I’m curious to find out about you/what you said about X earlier. Tell me more, what does it mean to work with X./how did you end up doing this/ when did you decide to pursue X/who are you teaming up with…“.

See what we mean? Be honest about your need to shift focus for a while, then immediately take the lead as well. Remember, you can always use this classic phrase when you need to turn things around!

Then, of course adapt your follow up questions based on the current situation. The examples above are just to give you a few ideas on how to get started. 

3. Clear goals for your networking efforts. Set up goals based on who YOU are. Not based on what your bestie or sales team would do. 

Is it a really bad day but you can’t postpone? Well, perhaps a suitable goal for today may be to just show up and talk to a maximum of three people? If you know there will be an important connection at your mingle, then focus mainly on that person. Connect in any way that comes natural to you. Thanks to all digital solutions today, following up has never been easier.

Natural born networker? Then you don’t need our advice above, but perhaps it’s time you challenged yourself even more. What could you do to improve yourself? Maybe you could lend a social hand to someone nervous you meet and help him or her to relax a bit?

What’s your best networking tips? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a comment below and let us now. 

Last but not least, in case you missed our mingle last week, new meetups for freelance consultants are coming up next year! Sign up for Brainville and our newsletter and we’ll let you know when the next one will be 🙂 

All the best and good luck with your December efforts 😉

/Your friends at Brainville

20th January 2020

Is there a consultant broker that you like and prefer? Vote here: http://bit.ly/bestconsultantbroker2019

It’s usually we at Brainville who name the winners of our “Job post quality” and “Reply frequency” awards based on facts. But this time we wanted to know if facts confirm reality – what you as freelancers and consultants think!

Cast your vote for the one you like the best by either voting here: http://bit.ly/bestconsultantbroker2019 or by sending us an e-mail (support@brainville.com)

The winner will be presented in the next edition of Konsultrapporten (spring 2020). Send this link to people you think might be interested in voting: http://bit.ly/bestconsultantbroker2019

Last day to vote: 28th of February 2020.

And by the way, you can’t vote for Brainville. We’re not a broker 🙂

16th January 2020

Today we’re excited to let you know that we’ve joined forces with our friends at Places. Places is a Stockholm based startup on a mission to change the coworking industry.

As you’ve probably noticed, several coworking places has turned up here in Stockholm during the past few years. However, for a single business owner, the monthly fee for access to these coworking spaces is often way too costly to be worth it in the end.

Instead of further cramming our beautiful capital city, our friend at Places transforms under-utilizd city space into a network of playful coworking, creating a tribe-like community of creatives and startups. There’s no need to sign up for a whole year or even a month, should you prefer to just get out of your home office for one day, Places’ got a solution for that too.

At Brainville, we welcome this initiative and look forward to following Place’s journey!

What does this partnership mean, then?

If you´re a loyal blog reader, you might remember that we’ve previously communicated our view on creating real value for all of the users in our Brainville community.  Well, joining forces and creating interesting partnerships is one way of doing that, as with joint efforts we’ll be able to make a more powerful impact and also reach broader target groups.

We’d like to point out thought the we don’t just jump into partnerships just like that. Nope! All Brainville partners must bring something to the table so that there’s a clear win-win for both companies.

As we now welcome Places as a new partner, we’re also able to offer our members very competitive prices on Place’s services. Curious to find out more? Head to brainville.com/Places to find out all of the details and get started with your new perks.

Welcome to the Brainville family, Places!

15th January 2020

Vi på Brainville ser det som vårt uppdrag att hylla bolag som sköter sig snyggt och bra. Varje halvår tar vi ut statistik över konsultbranschen i Norden och lyfter fram de bolag som har bäst konsultuppdragsannonser och bäst svarsfrekvens (dvs. att man svarar på ansökningar). Den här gången tänkte vi se om statistik och åsikter pekar på samma bolag!

Nu är vi nyfikna på vilken konsultförmedlare som DU tycker är bäst? Rösta här nedan. Motivera gärna ditt svar också så att vi kan meddela vinnaren vad de gör bra.

Vi använder Google Forms för denna omröstning och du röstar anonymt. Saknar du Google-konto kan du maila din röst och motivering till oss på: support@brainville.com. Använd ämnet “Bästa konsultförmedlare 2019”. 

Röstningen pågår för fullt och vinnaren redovisas i nästa version av Konsultrapporten (utkommer våren 2020).
Tipsa gärna dina kollegor, vänner och bekanta! Skicka den här länken till dem: http://bit.ly/bastakonsultformedlare2019

Omröstningen stängs den 28 februari 2020

30th December 2019

Dear readers, with 2020 just around the corner we’re just as eager as you to reflect, learn and move on.

Thus, we’d like to ask you a favor. We want to know how we can improve! Would you care to help us on our journey?

If yes, please head to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1LJ8hsW071vjEHLJ-dzqv4wYXTbOAh3uBSz9IfkxnzVs/edit, take a couple of moments and give us your valueble feedback on our blog, this blog.

What’s working? What’s not working? What would you like to see more of here next year? Let us know so we can make this an even nicer place to hang out together!

Thanks for providing us with your feedback on our blog. All constructive comments are highly appreciated!

/The Brainville team

23rd December 2019

Have you thought of doing a business review? 2019 is rapidly coming to an end. Before you’re entering into 2020 it’s not only good, but crucial, to take some time to reflect back upon this year.

Not sure where to start? Below we’ve collected our suggestions on useful topics you may like to include in your review.

Financials
You may not be in it for the money, but even if you “just” want to work with your passion, cash is still king. (Yes, creativity costs as well).

How was your cashflow throughout the year? Did you make a revenue 2019? And what about your costs? Are you charging enough or do you perhaps need to make any changes here? Has your business model worked out as planned?

Remember, it’s easy to get caught up in our starry eyed visions of who we are and how things ought to be… Few things gives us such a reality check as checking in with our accounts. Are you happy with what you see? Congratulations! Then move on with your business review.

Something quite not right here? Invest some more time in this important area. Perhaps there are matters here that you need external help to sort out?

Values and wellbeing at work
Perhaps not the most common topic in a traditional business review, however, times are changing (thankfully). Have you been able to work in accordance with your values this year? This could of course include a broad spectrum of things; from your beliefs on how and where you like to work to deeper life and business goals that are of importance to you. Also: burnout rates keep on increasing. Although a burnout is rarely due to work matters only, how you feel at work certainly impacts your wellbeing.

If you’re not used to introspection and listening to yourself, this point may be a bit tricky at first, perhaps even uncomfortable to sit with. However, that’s exactly why we encourage you to “sit with it” for a while and try to catch any feelings of yours that you may have stuffed down during the year. Take a solid look at them and think carefully through if you need and want to make any changes for next year.

Harsh truth to be reminded of: the person you’re looking at in the mirror is indeed responsible for your happiness.

Customers and quality of your customer service
Thank your customers for the Christmas gifts you just bought. It was your customers who paid for it, as your customers are always the reason you get your salary. Don’t become a fat cat. And by that we mean: don’t take your customers for granted. Always presume that your customers will be out looking for other options as well.

As 2020 is approaching, now is also the time to think through your customer service efforts. Think this is not applicable on freelancers? You’re wrong. Obviously you don’t have a whole contact center taking care of things for you, but you still need to handle the expectations from your customers. Everything will not always be bright and sunny between you and your customers. Remember to have a functioning strategy for how you will handle the bumps in the roads as well.

Development areas
Did you start 2019 with a highly ambitious business plan? 40 page of fancy graphs in Powerpoint? Only to find out that 12 months later, well, you didn’t exactly look twice on it?

Now is also the time to look sharply at your development areas and get to know yourself. Don’t try to force yourself into models for everyone else. You’re not everyone else and what’s working for your colleague may not be a fit for you. That’s of course the tricky part then. You can’t skip the actual work. You need to get to know yourself. And you will need to make mistakes to find out what works for you.

Achievements and unique selling points
Ok. So if you’ve followed our advice above you’re probably a bit mentally exhausted right now from all the introspection and well needed critical questions. Thus, we’re moving on! This is a more cheerful, yet often hard, task that we’re going to do: looking at your achievements and unique selling points.

What have you done this year? What did you and your customers come up with? Which projects did you finalize and how did the outcome look?

Now would also be a great idea to list every “hidden” task that you probably did in your company. Running a business can sometimes be frustrating, a lot of us thrive when driving things forward, yet, a lot of times things still need to take their time. You can’t always force processes at an unnatural pace. Does it feel like you did a lot of work but none if it shows off yet? You probably did! Please do yourself a favour and put it down in writing so you can get some proper perspective on it.

Next step: look back on your projects. What was it that you did or contributed with that made these projects so successful? What is it that you bring to the table that no one else does? Try to identify 1-2 personal traits here. These are your unique selling points and whether you’ve already realised it or not, these traits are the reasons your customers love you.

We hope these tips will help you get started! And by the way, don’t forget to prepare for your review with lots of patience and a good cup of coffee or tea. We wish you good luck with your 2019 reflection & introspection!

PS. Feel free to drop us a comment on how things went for you.

All the best

/The team at Brainville

11th December 2019

Hi there,

Today we just wanted to stop by to share a quick reading tip with you. Earlier this week, an interesting and important report from Forte was published about the gigeconomy, its working conditions and relations. The report is available for download here.

In short, the report stresses the importance of gaining more structural knowledge about the gigeconomy and who it actually includes (or not). Perhaps not so surprisingly, one of the conclusions is that more research is needed, for example regarding both working conditions and risk factors.

We’re delighted to see more research on these topics. Especially the importance of looking further into the definition of a gigster and the gigeconomy was also something we highlighted in our latest edition of Konsultrapporten.


19th November 2019

🌟Psst! On November 28th, it’s time for our next #networking event! We’ve teamed up with several interesting guests and prepared for a fun evening, so make sure to mark this day in your calendar😊

This time we’re arranging the event in collaboration with our friends Wint and Nordnet. See full details in the invitation and RSVP to us 📩 press@brainville.com. See you soon!

4th November 2019

🙏 We’re humbled by the response and the demand for Konsultrapporten. We simply can’t keep up with the demand when you sign up for it – so here it is, no sign up required (but comments and likes on this post are of course much appreciated). 😍

If you know anyone who would benefit from reading it, just tag them here to let them know you’re thinking of them!

31st October 2019

Looking for a new gig? Share your professional profile in Brainville today and then share it on LinkedIn and we’ll give you Boost for 7 days!

Happy Halloween