It didn’t take her long to find her niche. But she wasn’t finding clients.
Sara Gurt learned graphics, photography, websites design, and multimedia. After graduating, she opened not one, but two businesses: one in photography and one in website design.
“I very quickly realized that I wasn’t enjoying photography, and that web design was where I shone.
“I took more and more courses, and nearly nine years ago, I opened ‘CSS’ a web design business.”
She started building up a clientele, but the process was slow and laborious.
“I realized I was bad at marketing; potential clients didn’t know I existed.”
Two years ago, a friend recommended Sara go to a Temech conference.
“I was reluctant. What was I going to gain from some conference?”
It proved to be a watershed event for her.
Sara is from Jerusalem. She met a programmer from Bnei Brak and the instantly realized how much their related skills could help each other.
“Soon we were regularly referring clients to each other.
“When we met, she was stuck in job that disliked. She wanted to work freelance, but didn’t have enough clients.
“My referrals helped her build her business to the point that she was able to quit her job and open her own business.”
A year and a half ago, Sara went to a business coach.
“He wasn’t religious, but he suggested I go to a Temech networking group.
“I was leery. I needed to expand beyond my social circle, how would meeting people in the same circle be able to help me?
“But then a friend of mine joined a group, and I decided to take the plunge.”
To her surprise, the group was a rich vein of referrals.
And there was more. Though other courses had taught her a great deal about the mechanics of building a business, the interactions in the networking group was pivotal.
“One thing I loved was the fact that at every meeting, we’d each talk about our business and give others an update of what we were up to.
“I’d speak about what made my business unique, what types of clients I was looking for, and what steps I was taking to advance my business.
“As a freelancer, I sit at home and it’s me and the four walls. Having to meet a bunch of strangers and present myself pushed me forward professionally.
“People often say who has time for this? But the group really advanced my business.”
Sara went to the conference again this year, and it was a vastly different experience.
“Instead of cowering in the corner, not sure if I wanted anyone to approach me, I arrived prepared.
“I created small gifts – little pouches for credit cards emblazoned with my logo – and I actively approached many people, seeking out the interactions.
“I’m comfortable marketing myself. And I’m thrilled to see my business thriving.”