Marketing is a vital part of growing a freelance business to reach new target audiences and present new services to existing customers.
A surprising fact about the freelance lifestyle is most people’s time is spent marketing services to potential clients. The rest of their day is used to complete assignments for clients.
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are 10 creative ways to help you start marketing your freelance business offline and online.
Re-use Old Content
One of the tricks of the top freelancers is using recycled content in an article or blog to a new marketing platform. It can help you save time in research to create new content to send to customers, clients and potential customers.
Here are a few ideas to help you recycle content:
- Turn an article into an e-book
- Turn a blog into a podcast
- Use points in a listicle into a one pager
- Use a listicle for a PowerPoint presentation
When some of us hear the word self-promotion we think of television or radio station advertisements that are costly.
Self-promotion is free, and it is something that most entrepreneurs do every day whether they start a conversation with someone at the grocery store and mention their business or meeting new people at a networking event.
The key to self-promotion is to be personal, ask questions, use listening skills and build a rapport with people. Here is a list of marketing techniques to use:
In a casual or professional environment, you can start a conversation with like-minded people. Ask people about the personal interests, their line of work, and their extracurricular activities.
In return, people will be interested in learning about you which gives an opportunity to speak about your freelance business.
After you meet new people, send an email or call them after a week. You can meet them at a coffee shop to discuss your services. A phone call to find out if they had a chance to look at your website is helpful.
Use Social Media:
You don’t need an education or years of experience to successfully communicate with social media users.
All it takes is creativity in sharing your blogs, capturing moments of you working with clients in photo’s or posting YouTube videos of trending news topics.
It is important to find the social media platforms that prospective clients use the most.
Start a Blog
One of the best ways to direct traffic to your site is writing frequent blogs on topics that will help readers solve a personal or business problem.
For example, if you are a freelance human resource recruiter, writing a blog to help organizations with employee engagement tips to lower high employee turnover rates can potentially attract new clients.
Think of a blog as an online conversation with customers. The readers that appreciate your advice can help share it with other businesses, which is free exposure for your company.
Co-Marketing with Competitors
Jim Henson once said, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” In business, working together with a more experienced freelancer in your industry can improve marketing outreach.
It can reduce the cost of spending money on expensive advertising if the competitor has an established and larger audience. An example of co-marketing is spending 50% of the cost to set up a booth with a competitor at a seminar.
Another example is writing a paragraph to add to a competitor’s email marketing campaign with a link to your website that will be sent to their customers. The competitor in most cases will ask for a percentage of revenue.
Be Active in the Community
If you are in graphic design and are invited to do a presentation at a community event, bring marketing materials that include business cards, brochures, and a one-pager of what you offer.
Another idea is to attend seminars that potential customers will attend. For example, if you are a consultant for retail businesses, attend business events that present information on the retail industry.
There’s a chance that you’ll be one of the few consultants in the room to meet new clients.
Start a Podcast
A Podcast is an effective way to connect with non-freelancers in your industry. You can interview clients to share their customer success stories after working with you.
In a podcast, a discussion about changes in the economy or technology that has an impact on your business is another idea.
You can promote the podcast using social media and add a link to your website. It will present you as a subject matter expert, strengthening a prospect’s confidence that you thoroughly understand your products or services.
On your website you can write an article of the benefits people can gain from using your services over a large organization. A respectful way of doing this is to add a bullet list that includes the following:
- Turnaround time to complete work
The idea in price comparisons is to not write negative comments about competitors. It is a way of highlighting each section to show what you can offer in a better way compared to a large company.
Live Stream Videos
A marketing technique that can gain online attention is to film a live stream video of you completing an assignment. It can be a video of you at an industry event interviewing public speakers to offer tips for customers.
If you are an independent realtor, live streaming a video of on-site at a new real estate development project in the neighbourhood can attract people to contact you to learn about the opportunity.
Think outside the box and film video content the competition is not posting online. Here are some tips to create effective Facebook Live videos.
Education and Certifications
As a freelancer, you may not have plans to complete a Bachelors or Masters degree. However, online learning programs offer certifications for you to gain new technical or education related skills.
Most certification programs are inexpensive and depending on your tax situation, you can deduct education on your taxes. We highly recommend that you speak with an accountant for more information.
Personalized marketing is a simple task of using the personal information of customers to surprise them by thanking them in a creative way.
A few examples of personalized marketing strategies that can help customers remember you is to send thank you notes in the mail to long-time customers.
A ‘Happy New Year’ email with the name of a client in the messaging. An unexpected gift card mailed to a customer for their birthday.
A freelancer’s business plan needs a marketing strategy that fits within a budget. A few questions to ask yourself before you get started are:
- How can I add value to my customers?
- What are the customer demographics?
- What marketing strategies are trending this year?
- Can I use more transparency to connect with new audiences?
The more information you know about what stimulates the interest of your customers, it will be easier to use a series of marketing strategies that will help you increase business revenue.