9 Tips to Win on Field Nation | Make Money as a Freelance IT Tech | 9 Tips to Win on WorkMarket

In this video, I’m sharing 9 important tips to succeed as a freelance information technology field tech. This is geared towards IT technicians on platform’s like Field Nation and WorkMarket.

I have been in the freelance IT tech industry since 2000, on Field Nation since 2010, and on Work Market since 2011. Field Tech Academy wants to give you the secrets of 20+ years of experience how you can succeed as an Independent IT Field Tech.

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Have questions about Field Nation or other platforms or want me to cover something I missed in a video? Feel free to leave me comments and I’ll do my best to help! If you would like to learn more about how to find clients or about being an independent IT field technician, watch our other videos and visit our website for coaching services.

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Video Transcript:

Hello,

this is Michael with Field Tech Academy.

Today, I’m going to be talking about

several key things

that I think that you need to do to be a successful

I.T. field tech.

Watch our other videos.

I’m going in-depth to teach you how to be a successful field tech and to make money in this industry.

Let’s get

into today’s list.

The number one thing is, be punctual.

Punctuality is valued in this industry.

There are a lot of jobs that you’re going to do that have other people involved.

They’re relying on you to be there on time, so that everybody else in the chain can do their part.

Being punctual is going to make your client happy, which can lead to repeat business, also can lead to getting better reviews. These are all very important things if you’re trying to be successful out in the field.

The second thing that I think that you need to be,

be professional.

There’s 100 the guys behind you that are trying to do the same thing that you’re doing. You have to find a way to separate yourself from the pack.

If you want to take this seriously and make a living at it, and to develop good relationships with your clients, then dress professionally. Now I get that you’re going to be crawling around in an attic. You’re going to be pulling cable, you’re going to get dirty, you’re going to get sweaty.

But showing up in clothes where you’ve got a nice polo on,

nice work pants,

being clean shaven, having your hair look decent.

You’ve got to be able to pick up the phone and sound professional,

don’t answer the phone and be like, yeah,

what do you want?

Answer the phone like a professional.

This is Michael,

how can I help you?

Say thank you, say please.

The third thing that I think is very important.

Have a good, positive attitude.

Don’t be out there complaining at every little thing that’s going on. You’re working for yourself. You want to do this. Act like you want to do it.

Don’t whine and bellyache to the client about, oh my gosh, this cable pull is so hard.

Clients aren’t going to want to deal with you if you have that kind of attitude.

I’m a field tech, I get it. The job sucks sometimes.

You’re sweaty, you’re hot, you’re dirty. The client asks you to do one more thing before you leave, and you’re like, mentally checked out already.

Keep a smile on your face and do what they want you to do.

They’re paying you to do it.

Do the job right.

The next tip,

do excellent work.

I’m

just shocked when I go out to sites and I see what other techs have done.

They’ll put

pieces of equipment in a rack, and they won’t put the screws in it.

They’ll pull a bunch of cable and just not cable

manage it, and it just looks like crap.

I don’t understand

not taking pride in your work.

If this is something you want to do for a living and you want to have good relationships with your clients,

then take the time to clean up your cables. Make them the same length.

Use Velcro.

Do the little details. The details matter.

They’re going to appreciate what the site looked like when you got there, and what the site looks like when you leave.

They’re going to notice those little details. And if you see something that needs to be done and you can bring it up to your client,

they may be willing to pay you for another hour to do some cable cleanup.

The next tip to being a successful field tech,

is communication.

When you’re a field tech, your clients are in another state.

They’re not physically going to see what you’re doing.

You have to communicate with your buyer,

so they know what’s going on.

If you want to be able to do this, you’ve got to be able to answer your phone, answer text messages from your client, and give them updates so they understand what’s going on. Especially if there’s delays and things that aren’t your fault

or things that are just

more difficult than what anybody could have anticipated.

But if you communicate with your client and say, hey,

you know, I needed to pull this cable through a conduit and the conduits full, or it’s got two 90 degree bends in it, or whatever the case may be.

If you communicate with the buyer about the process and about what’s taking so long or what needs to be done, or additional work that needs to be done, then they’re going to understand the situation and they’re going to be more likely to approve additional time. And of course, they’re going to trust you more because you’ve talked to them throughout the process.

If you disappear for 2 to 4 hours on a job site and you’re not answering your phone and you’re not giving them updates, they’re not going to trust you.

Another aspect of communication is

don’t argue with the end user at the site

with this contract work that I’m teaching you about. Remember you have three parties involved. You have the client that’s giving you the work. You have the end user, the site where the work is being done, and you have yourself.

Generally speaking,

the site is not the decision maker in the process.

When there are three parties involved, the company that hired you

is the decision maker.

There may be situations where the site does have control, but that is not part of your pay grade. You want to stay out of that fight.

If there is ever a disagreement on what you need to be doing versus what you think you need to be doing.

Don’t argue with the site. Don’t get into discussions with them. Go out to your work vehicle. Get away from the site and call your client and say, hey, this manager is wanting me to install this AP in their bathroom.

You know, whatever crazy thing they’re wanting you to do right?

Ask the client, is this within scope? Is this what you want me to do?

And they’re going to say, okay, that guy’s crazy. We’re not going to put an AP in a bathroom or, you know, whatever situation it is.

if you don’t feel comfortable

talking to the site about what the client is telling you because you know that the site is going to be angry about it.

That’s a situation where you would say to your client, would you mind calling the site

and talking to them so that they understand what the scope is?

Because I don’t feel comfortable getting into that discussion with the site.

The other aspect of communication is simply picking up your phone when they’re trying to give you a service call.

I know it’s a pain in the butt when you’re out in the field and your phone is ringing.

You’ve got to have a delicate balance between still doing the work and still being able to pick up new work and talk to buyers and clients.

Another aspect of communication is be willing to answer stupid questions.

Your clients

don’t know you from Adam.

It’s not an insult.

Don’t get an attitude about it. But they’re going to ask you

idiot test questions.

They’re going to ask you, do you know what an RJ 45 plug is?

Do you know what a console cable is? Do you have a laptop?

Do you know how to run a cable through a wall? They’re going to ask you screening questions. Listen, they are dealing with

people who have applied for these jobs

and have told them that they could do the job and then show up and destroy the job,

don’t meet the client expectations.

They have been through this.

They want to make sure, until they get to know you, that you know what you’re doing and that you’re going to take care of them. They just need reassurance and confirmation that you have a brain, that you have the tools, and you’ve got just the personal skill set to be able to do the job.

At the end of the job, the communication is even more important than any other stage. You need to talk to your client about the entire process.

What was done, what’s complete, what is remaining to be done? What supplies did you use? You know, what things do you need to be reimbursed for?

What

tolls, parking fees?

All of these things that you need to let the client know about.

You’ve got to tell them.

That means along the way, keeping track of how many feet of cable did you use?

What kind of cable did you use?

Keeping receipts for parking.

What equipment did you install? Taking photos. All of these are aspects of communication, and they’re very critical to the client being able to, from a distance, understand what you did on the job

and knowing that you did the job right.

The next thing I want to talk about is

documentation.

You’ve got to document your job. Just like I talked about and communication. You’ve got to be able to document how many feet of cable you used, what you did on the job. And here’s proof of these things.

For example,

if you don’t take pictures,

then you’re crazy.

You need to be taking pictures before you touch anything in the site,

along the way, as you do the job, and at the end of the job.

Since these clients are remote, the only way that they have

to prove that you did the job

is photographic evidence. Take great photos.

Send them to the client. That lets them know that you did the job right.

If a client has paperwork to fill out, then fill the paperwork out.

I have hired and trained technicians for years, and I swear the number one thing that I struggle with is getting

a technician to write on a piece of paper, or fill it out on a tablet or what whatever method,

they will not put

the time they checked in, the time they checked out, notes on the paperwork explaining what was done on the job,

their signature if required, and the client’s signature.

And the client is not going to pay you for the job until you do those things right. So do them before you leave the site.

The other thing I do to protect myself, is anything that I install, anything that I touch, I take pictures of the serial numbers and the mac addresses before I install it. You don’t want to have to go grab a ladder and climb up and pull a serial number from an AP or mac address, or take something out of the rack that you’ve already neatly installed and be…

that’s done, just to get a serial number off of it.

Do these things as you’re going along. Document what you’ve done so that it’s easier to get paid. And of course, send them the paperwork. Once you’ve filled everything out, get it to the client so that they can release your payment.

Another tip

that is absolutely critical is,

follow the instructions of the client.

You may have an opinion about how this job needs to be done, and there’s nothing wrong with having a discussion with your client about how to do something. But don’t argue with them.

Share your point with them. Say, hey, you know, in my opinion, I think it would be good to do it this way.

But if the client tells you to do it a certain way,

do it. They are the people that are paying you.

They’re the ones that get to make the call.

And I know, you are an independent field tech. So you have this desire to be independent. You think for yourself.

You don’t like being told what to do. That’s why we’re independent, right?

The truth is, as an independent contractor, you have

different bosses every single day depending on how many service calls you do.

And over the course of a month you might have 30, 50, 100 different “bosses” that are telling you what to do.

Be willing to follow the instructions. And a lot of times these clients are doing national rollouts, national projects. There’s going to be a document, generally a PDF or a word document that they’re going to send to you that’s going to have step by step instructions and photos.

They’re going to tell you what port to plug this piece of equipment into, how to mount something on the wall, where they want it.

You need to follow their instructions on how to do that. So number one, it doesn’t take you extra time. And number two, it makes the client happy. And you don’t get into arguments.

Do what they ask you to do.

Another very important tip is

don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions.

The flip side of that is don’t ask

stupid questions.

There are going to be times that you have no idea what you’re dealing with. You’re going to be dealing with a piece of equipment you’ve never seen, or you’re going to have a client asking you to do something that you don’t know how to do.

The trick is to ask clarifying questions without

sounding like you don’t know what you’re doing, or without saying outright, I’ve never seen this before.

I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

A lot of times the way I will get around that is I will ask them, so how do you want this installed in this situation?

How do you like this to be done?

There’s ways to ask the question without coming right out and saying, I’ve never seen this piece of equipment. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what you want me to do.

Have Google, obviously, available to you, but even sometimes Google, I mean, these jobs are so specific and proprietary that Google’s not going to help you.

Make sure that you’re not asking these kind of questions in front of the end user. If you really, genuinely don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re going to have to come out to the client and say, hey, I haven’t seen this piece of equipment before, I’m really not sure how to deal with it.

Can you kind of give me some instructions? That’s a situation where you want to step out of the site, go out to your work vehicle and get on the phone.

And that’s where you ask those kinds of questions. You don’t want the end user to lose faith in what you can do.

The final thing I want to leave you with is

Don’t be afraid to try new things.

You need to be a technician that has certain foundational experience.

You need to know how to do basic things, like how to pull a cable from point A to point B, how to terminate cables, how to rack and stack network equipment. You need to understand certain basic things, but outside of that, you need to be willing to try new things.

In this industry, you know, I’ve done this for 25 years.

To this day, I go out in the field.

There’s a lot of times I have never seen the equipment that I’m working on. I have no idea how to configure it by myself.

Most of these clients do this project nationwide day in and day out. They know their equipment.

You’re always going to run into situations where you, you are working on equipment you’ve never touched before, and that’s okay.

That’s why you work in this third party industry, because your client is going to be there to give you an explanation of…

How do they want it installed? They know because they’ve done it 100 times already across the United States.

If you can achieve these tips and tricks that I’ve taught you about here today, then you can go way farther than most techs that try to do this in their spare time.

You may be able to even become a full time tech.

My hope for you is that the things that I’m teaching you can help you achieve independence. So you can go out there, make money, and

have a life to yourself and not have to go punch a time clock for somebody else.

Like this video, subscribe to the channel, and let’s get you out there making money.

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