If you thought it was difficult trying to determine your rates as a freelancer, just wait until you begin trying to market and promote your brand. While this may not be a major concern for a seasoned freelancer or even a marketing wiz, it’s still a hurdle that each and every freelancer must deal if they want to make a career of out their independent work.
Earlier it was mentioned that freelancers should have a website that introduces themselves, showcases their work, and has contact information. A website is a great starting point when beginning to promote your brand. And, one of the most effective ways of getting people to visit your website is by creating top-notch content that your specific audience cares about.
Marketing and Promotion
Let’s say that you’re a freelance accountant. Maybe you could create content that assists small business owners with tax inquiries by writing in-depth articles on your blog, hosting a podcast or webinar, or creating an infographic that depicts various tax levels.
The idea is that this content would not only help small business owners with taxes, the content proves that you’re an expert in your industry and will be shared by others in the accounting on their blogs or social media accounts. In other words, you would be doing some good ole-fashioned content marketing.
Here are a few great ways to get your freelance name out there:
- Create case studies that not only illustrate your skills and talents, but how you helped previous clients resolve a problem. If you have a portfolio on your site, this content is already up and running.
- Ask past clients if they are willing to provide a testimonial that describes your work and place that testimonial on your website.
- Network in-person at industry events, your local chamber of commerce, or by interacting with relevant groups and forums online. For example, you could answer questions on Quora or exchange ideas with a relevant LinkedIn group.
- Become a guest writer for a respected industry publications or blog in your field. Not only will you illustrate your knowledge, you’ll also get some valuable backlinks.
- Educate others in your industry by teaching a workshop or course. You can also try speaking at an event, giving a presentation, judging a competition, or writing an eBook.
- Get listed in local business directories and on both Google and Facebook ads.
- Promote your brand through swag: t-shirts, pens, coffee mugs, or whatever cool stuff you may think your clients will enjoy.
- Offer a free consultation, 30-day free trial, or product. Who doesn’t love free stuff?
Freelancers mostly also do a little cold e-mailing. It may be a little awkward at first, and it may not be the most effective, but it’s a necessary evil. Just search for the names of around 5-15 potential clients that you would want to work for, do a little digging, and find out how you can help them. Then reach out to them through an email. You may have to submit a contact form or message on Facebook if you can’t locate an email address.
Remember, cold emails need to get right to the point. Introduce yourself, briefly explain why you’re contacting them, and provide a link that displays your work.
While many of the above strategies can be effective, there’s nothing as effective as using your current network or seeking word-of-mouth referrals. Whether it’s a family member, friend, former co-worker, a college professor, or past client, word-of-mouth recommendations are priceless.
You can earn this coveted recommendation by informing your current network of friends, family and business associates what you’re up to – hopefully they’ll spread the word for you – and by providing quality work on-time, there will be clients that will be glad to recommend you for work with others in the field you are working in.