Marketing is something I know many freelancers struggle with.
It’s how we find more work, drive traffic to our sites, and as a result it’s how we make our money. No one is going to do it for us, so we have to figure out what our clients want, what they’re willing to pay and how to go about offering them a solution with our services.
It’s a forever task that you can’t put off for later.
If you aren’t taking every possible opportunity to market yourself, then that’s just another opportunity missed and possible income lost.
I’ve been freelancing full-time for over two years now – I’ve read countless articles online about freelance marketing, and I’ve observed many successful entrepreneurs on their strategies of self-marketing.
I wouldn’t be sharing these tips with you if they weren’t working.
The only way these five marketing tips are going to work for you is if you put them to use! That’s one reason I’m not afraid to share everything I know, because I know only those who take action will succeed.
There’s no easy way to building a reliable client base or audience. Like I mentioned before, marketing is a forever task that must be done almost daily.
If you’re ready to market yourself and grow as a freelancer, continue on and use these five marketing tips to actively market your freelance business.
1. Understand your business & set attainable goals
The very first thing you should do when starting any kind of business is understand the who, what, when, where, and why’s.
The best way to do this is with a business plan, and luckily for you – you can use a previous post of mine to create your simple three section freelance business plan.
By setting attainable goals and understanding your freelance business you’ll be more focused on how to market to those you wish to reach.
For me, one of my current goals I’m working towards is diversifying my income. Instead of relying solely on client work to pay the bills I’m trying to earn revenue in other ways. Instead of marketing to clients, I have to market to an audience of potential customers. I’m not going to lie, it’s taking some time, but I can see results and that’s truly what matters to me.
After I took the small amount of time to layout my freelance business down on “paper”, I was more motivated than ever to accomplish my goals.
2. Know your market
This ties directly in with tip one.
What matters most when you’re marketing is understanding who you’re marketing to and/or what you’re trying to market. Knowing that will make things much easier for you when it comes time to market.
Before you start a blog, create a product or offer your freelance services, find out who you’re marketing to, and then create a strategy around those details. Will you be walking into a client's place of business directly? What promotional items will you need? What are you offering for their benefit and how can you make it appealing?
Again, getting all of the details written down will help you better execute an effective marketing plan.
3. Create value
You can do this by launching a few products throughout the year, by creating educational content on a blog, or in so many other ways. Get creative here and create something of value that you’re passionate about.
Take a look at all of the influential entrepreneurs online; they offer some sort of value to their community.
Chris Spooner of Blog.SpoonGraphics is a great example of how creating value has brought him a steady amount of freelance work and all-around success. Chris shares in-depth graphic design tutorials, and not only does that attract other designers to his site, but proves that he’s an expert to clients. Chris mentioned in one of his Question Time Videos, “I’ve gained most of my clients in the past through the extra exposure my blog has generated for me.”
Chris is one of so many successful freelancers and entrepreneurs online that are there simply because they offer valuable content for an audience.
Take one of your top influences, observe and think about how you came to know about them, then observe how they market their business. What are they doing that works? How are they driving people to their website? What type of content are they creating that creates buzz? Analyze everything, then learn from their success.
Creating value doesn’t necessarily mean you have to set up a blog either (although I think every freelancer should), you can simply provide a client or customer with anything that’s beneficial.
Understand your goals, know your market and provide something of value. [tweetable]
4. Network often & connect
Twitter and Facebook are excellent for networking with clients, customers and like-minded people.
That’s obvious, but you’d be surprised by the amount of freelancers that don’t utilize its strengths. Social media is the best marketing platform and resource goldmine that a business can have – plus it’s FREE!
Aside from Twitter and Facebook, I’d encourage you to connect with your clients, customers and/or audience in other creative ways – for example by using a mailing list to send out updates or Instagram for photo-based content (like this).
I utilize all of those and more! One way I like to connect with my shop customers is by encouraging them to share their photos of them enjoying their purchased products. I then take them and throw them up onto my shop gallery.
All of these platforms online and many other creative strategies offline can be used to market your freelancing. It can be overwhelming, but remember this: stay focused and consistent!
5. Stick to your plan
You’ll get busy as your freelancing continues to grow, so it’s important that you stick to the plan – continue to share content on your social media accounts, send out scheduled newsletters and continue to bring your ideas to life.
You can never stop marketing yourself. The only time you should stop marketing your freelance business is when you’re ready to give-up.
None of these tips are going to make you an overnight success, so stick with it!
As long as you stay consistent and are always getting your name out in front of others in some way, then you’re successfully marketing yourself.
It’s time for you to take action!
Like I mentioned before, I share all of my “secrets” about freelancing, because I know not everyone will take the content and apply it.
So if you’re ready to actually succeed at freelancing, take what you’ve learned and put it to use today!
Each day you aren’t marketing yourself is a day of potential opportunity and income lost.