Saturday, September 29, 2007

BT contract ends ...

So after a record 16 months, my work with the BT Wireless Cities programme has finally ended. I was rather touched by the emails and phone calls I got yesterday afternoon, all, I hasten to add, saying nice things. Very kind, as they absolutely didn't have to do that.

So I am now in marketing and sales mode again. Here is how it works.

1. There are plenty of agencies out there who exist to bring freelance consultants and work-opportunities together. The economics are those of the classic middleman. All I had to do was to send some emails, make some calls, and generally let people know I'm back in the market.

2. Obviously margins are better if you can go straight to the customer. Rather than just contacting prospective clients directly (mostly senior carrier executives, who hate spam) I think it's better to deliver some value. In the past, I have sent out an occasional newsletter or news release, with included links to material I've put together.

It's then up to the recipient as to whether they wish to 'click through' and read further. Often they do, and I've been contacted like this:

"We have this problem, and I read your newsletter and thought maybe you'd be interested ... ."

Another way to get work.

And I do have something to say of interest. The BT Wireless Cities programme is one of the world's most ambitious urban WiFi developments. Our experience has lessons in terms of negotiating with Councils, technically rolling out a working network, and the viability of various business models. While properly respecting commercial confidentiality, I do think there are some public-domain points which can be documented, and I'm minded to write them up as core news release content.


Incidental point: it's not often you read a science article with the title "6 Die From Brain-Eating Amoeba in Lakes" but this tragic story is recounted on here.