If you’ve chosen freelancing to be your career, then there’s no two ways around it, your livelihood in large part depends on your ability to promote your freelance business and attract new clients. For freelancers, self-promotion is a whole lot more important than for your average 9-5 guys and this is definitely not a profession for you if you are squeamish about touting your own horn.
Yet, marketing yourself and attracting new clients is often the part where many freelancers fail, especially those that have just entered the industry. But all said and done, this isn’t as hard as it looks and in this post I will show you how to effectively promote your freelance business and attract new clients, whether you’ve just started freelancing or you have some experience behind you, but didn’t find much success in marketing yourself and your business.
2 Things You Need to Know Before You can Promote Your Freelance Business
Before you can promote your freelance business to bring new clients, there are two things you need to know:
- What are your goals?
- What is your target market?
Every business needs goals to drive it forward and freelance business is no different. But what many do wrong when setting goals for themselves is that they often set goals that are too daunting. In other words, they bite more than they can chew. Your goals need to be challenging enough, but not impossible. Otherwise, you might lose interest in your business pretty fast.
Another mistake people make when setting goals is making them too broad. For example, “get more clients” sounds like a pretty straightforward goal you can put before yourself, but its unmeasurable. You can easily say that you’ve accomplished your goal after getting one client, even though that probably pretty far from the truth. At the same time, a goal like this doesn’t give you any deadlines. Is it a success if you get a client 3 months after you’ve set yourself this goal or not?
Clearly, your goals need to be well defined and clear, rather than broad and vague. They need to set goals that are doable, yet that challenge you and drive you forward. Only by knowing what your goals are can you truly know what you need to promote your freelance business.
Another thing you need to know before you can promote your freelance business is your target market. Who is your target audience? Where do they come from? What are their needs?
You need to know your target audience to be able to market to them. If you’re not sure, for instance, if you’re just starting as a freelancer, start wide and from that narrow it down. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you can start as a generalist, covering all kinds of topics and then slowly pick a few niches that you are most comfortable covering.
5 Ways to Promote Your Freelance Business
Now let’s get to the meat of this post and some ways to promote your freelance business. The idea is not to rely on just one but to use them interchangeably. True, you might find that one brings you more referrals and clients than the others, but why put all your eggs into one basket and in the process miss on a lot of potentially lucrative business opportunities?
There are 5 ways that you can use to promote your freelance business. These are:
- Launch your own website
Launching and managing your own website is a difficult process and it requires a lot of patience and work on your side before you can see any fruit from it. Which is why many freelancers either never do it, or give up on it too early. But regardless of that, a website can serve as a perfect platform for you to promote your freelance business as it allows you to showcase your expertise to potential clients and eventually get them to hire you for their projects.
Make sure that your website includes a portfolio of your work that you can show to potential clients, an About page to let people know what you do and a Hire Me page to make a sale and get a new client. And, of course, be sure to get your blog promoted as well.
- Increase your social media presence
Facebook and Twitter aren’t just for fun, but they can also help you to market yourself as a freelancer. Of course, just like your website. it’s a lot of grinding. You need to have a strong social media presence before you can start seeing leads. Also, don’t forget that social media is not just about you, so be sure to share only useful content and help others by spreading theirs as well.
- Use word of mouth
You never know where opportunities lie, so don’t neglect telling your friends and family about what you do and that you are looking for some freelance work. They might just drop your name (and email or phone number) to a potential client over a drink. Also, be sure to establish and keep good relationships with your clients. They might not need your services any more, but they might know someone who does.
- Attend events
Freelancers sometimes rely too much on establishing a strong online presence, that they completely neglect their offline presence. But there’s a whole world of opportunities you can tap into by just attending industry events and shaking hands. Before you do this, however, be sure to perfect your elevator pitch. You’ll often have a very limited time to get someone interested in what you have to offer. You might not feel comfortable at first introducing yourself and mingling around a room, but before you know it, you’ll be handing your business card left and right! Oh, and be sure to dress nice and look professional when you’re attending these networking events. You might be able to work in a tracksuit when you’re home, but here this won’t work.
- Guest blogging and commenting on other blogs
To give is to receive. By finding blogs in your niche and ask them to write a guest blog for them or simply commenting and sharing their own posts, you can not only establish a valuable connection with other bloggers and thus gain a potential opportunity to work with them in some capacity, but you can also tap into their audience as well.
Know of any other ways to promote your freelance business? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget about that “word of mouth”, so be sure to share this post with anyone who might be interested in it.