If you’ve landed on this page then you’re either a full-time freelancer, or you have a side hustle, and you’re looking for tips on how to smash your freelance marketing. (or you’re just reading this to kill time at work, but we’re not judging).
Whatever it is that you’re offering – mad copywriting skills, slick web design, or mind-blowing illustrations – you need to get your name out there if you’re going to start making proper money.
And that’s where we come in! We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to marketing as a freelancer – and because we understand freelancers, it’s all advice that will genuinely help to put you on the map – rather than just another article telling you to ‘write a blog’.
Read on for our 5 top tips for freelancers looking to promote their skills…
Pinpoint Your USP
What sets you apart? What do you offer that’s different to everyone else? Whether you can do something better, cheaper, faster, or just in a friendlier way – find your hook and let it inform all your self-promotion.
Define yourself as a brand – are you edgy? Funny? Classic? Do you offer a full package deal, or expert insight into a specific field? Find your niche and play up to it. Make sure everyone knows exactly what you offer, and why they should choose you over another freelancer offering a similar service.
Get an Online Presence
No – this doesn’t just mean that you need to start a blog! Although, if you can create timely, relevant and educational content that you promote across a number of channels then it certainly won’t hurt your chances at finding new clients. There is a reason why this is considered the bread and butter of freelance marketing.
This is much more wide reaching than a blog – you need to set up a website (a good one that covers your whole portfolio and services!) and numerous social media channels, and you need to actually USE them. LinkedIn is great for professional contacts, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore Twitter or Instagram – or even Pinterest! Depending what you do, there are hundreds of clients browsing these profiles every day and you’re not in front of them.
Try paid ads – you don’t need to invest a huge amount and you could see a lucrative return. And make sure that you’re engaging with your followers consistently – these are likely existing clients and new clients, and it directly reflects on you as a brand if you care what they’re saying.
First impressions count! When you’re trying to win new business, you want to look as slick as possible. That means setting yourself up with a professional email account, phone number and postal address.
The easiest way to do this is to use a service like Virtual HQ, who can set you up with an impressive office address and even a call monitoring service. Protect your privacy and create a proper storefront with a virtual address. Once you’ve done this, all of your freelance marketing efforts will instantly appear more professional.
Be an Authority Within Your Industry
What are you best at? What could you teach to others? One of the best ways to demonstrate your own talent and skill is to hand it over to others by way of education. You can fast track yourself to a position of authority within your industry by creating tutorials within your niche. You don’t need to give away all of your secrets – but maybe offer a few impressive hints and tips for free, just while you’re getting started. Once you’re established then these tutorials can even become lucrative for you.
Guest blogging is another way to share your expertise and promote yourself as an industry expert. Find publications that are relevant to your target audience and offer to create content for them which uses your knowledge. Not only will the links be amazing for your SEO profile, but you’re getting your name out there in a professional, positive way.
If you don’t have time to create content, then a super quick way to establish yourself is to become a member of QUORA and answer questions within your industry.
It sounds simple, and even a little bit intimidating – but it really is the best way to promote yourself. Most business comes from word of mouth, so the first step towards new clients is to mention this to your current and former clients. Make it clear that you have enough time to look after more than one client’s work, and ask them politely if they would be happy to refer you to anyone they know who is currently looking for a freelancer.
Tell your friends and family about your work – you never know who will be looking, and if someone knows you personally and likes what you do then they’re much more likely to hire you than a stranger.
Go to networking events and hunt out potential clients and be brave! Tell them outright what it is that you do, and even negotiate a face-to-face discount if they take your card. If you don’t manage to secure any business then and there, don’t be afraid to connect with them on LinkedIn – then they can see what you do through the channel.
Now you’re armed with all of the tools that you need for freelance marketing, get out there and discover all of those clients who are just waiting to hire you!