Business Tip: The Piggyback Assignment

Liliuokalani Park in Hilo, Hawaii located on Banyon drive.

One of the best ways to get a job is to have a job. We have heard this comment made to people looking for jobs or career change.

Some reasons for this being said so often:

•    It’s a lot easier to explain why you want a better job than why you were fired from your last one.
•    You are already plugged in
•    They say that a friend in need is a friend to avoid.
•    You are already battle tested. Someone else’s already taken the risk and keeping you

For the freelancer having a job where you need to travel is a great time to Piggyback assignments. In essence you are just like the employed person looking for another job.

When a client is sending you around the country or globe the best thing you can do is to now leverage this into more assignments on the road.

There are some obvious reasons and not so obvious reasons to always try and piggyback assignments. 

•    Saving clients on travel expenses.
•    Great way to show to your present clients and potential clients that other clients use your services
•    You are not a needy photographer
•    Shows you are thinking of them

Stanley at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
You may think of more reasons this could be a positive in your column with clients and potential clients. The key is to remember to reach out to your clients and let them know they have an opportunity to save on their budget and maybe there were some photos they would like but didn’t pursue because of the travel expenses.

You need to have a good database of clients to send these requests to and then you can make the most of an opportunity.

How many times does this turn into an assignment—well not that often. But it only takes one time here and there for the payoff to make it worth it.

This is also not just about getting a Piggyback Assignment. This is also another way to market you. Just think of this as another legitimate reason to contact a client that they will not see as SPAM or an annoying phone call.

Mix this in with your snail mail promotions, blogs, eNewsletters and phone calls. You now have one more way to reach out to your clients that will be perceived as a positive from their perspective.

A little secret I learned from my friend Ken Touchton. When you have nothing going on you can always use the Piggyback Assignment on top of your own personal trip. This is great to do if you know there is work in an area where the client is not willing to spend money on travel but you want the work anyway. This way a client will not know if you lowered your rates to get some jobs. Also, once one client gives you the assignment you only need one more in most cases to do really well.