10 Tips for Marketing Yourself as a Freelancer
Published Oct. 11, 2020 by Andy L. in Marketing yourself
Much like any business, marketing plays a vital role for freelancers. Spreading the word about what you do and who you do it for is a great way to find high-quality clients and repeat work. This article lists ways you might market yourself as a freelancer.
As an independent professional finding new and repeat work is always a goal. Without marketing, you might find it hard to get inbound interest in your services.
By sharing more of your personal brand's presence you might find that work starts to come to you. This leaves you with more time to earn and succeed which for many is the primary goal.
1. Have a website
These days it is obvious that you need to carve out a place of your own on the internet. The days of submitting physical resumes and portfolios to your prospective contractors are long gone.
Having a website makes it easy for others to find out more about you.
A website is like a digital resume but one you can be more expressive with.
Your website can be simple. You don't even need to learn how to code. Popular no-code tools are on the rise. Anyone with a computer and access to the internet to create now a website. The main goal of a website is to make it easy for others to contact you. Make the act of contacting you 100% percent obvious how to do on your website.
2. Take time to brand yourself or company
Without a solid identity what you offer might not appeal as you would have hoped to contractors. As a solo freelancer used an alias called "justalever" – "just" "andy" "Leverenz". I would suggest doing something similar or using your name if you are going it alone. It's often easier for people to reach out to you if they know who they are going to be talking to first-hand.
Try to not establish yourself as an agency unless you are one. Using words like "we" and "our" on a website or social media might confuse your clients when they find out its only you behind the scenes. The opposite is true here if you are an agency of course.
Branding is not about your logo or colors of your choice. Branding is your message, tone, how people view you, and also the aesthetic qualities discussed before. Take time to establish exactly what these things are early so you can more sell your services later. You may need to refine your brand as time goes on. A defined brand will help you stand out from the pack.
You don't need to be everywhere but do be somewhere. This doesn't mean you have to be on social media although this could have some benefits.
If you do choose to leverage social media, having every social media channel is way too much work. I recommend trying each channel you think might help market yourself. After some trialing, pick two that worked best for you and go all-in on those and only those.
If you are seeking work , you need to be surrounding yourself with potential clients. Go to events, conventions, or anything else you might think is relevant to your services or offers. Introduce yourself and make it clear what you do. After the introduction follow up with an email to establish a new relationship. If you can compound this process over time, these individuals might remember you when they or someone they know needs help.
3. Start a blog
While more of a long term approach, blogging is a great way to gain visibility from people all over the world. You might find clients without even trying based on a blog post. Use your skills to your advantage and write about what you know. Teaching others by blogging is a great way to gain a following and help spread the word about what you do and why.
Remember who you are writing for. Some freelancers tend to write for other people like themself. While this might get noticed, people like you are not looking to hire you. Instead, consider writing toward the audience you want to hire you. This will make it easier to win them over should they come across your website, work, or blog.
4. Leverage social media
Social media has great network effects. It can also be a very unforgiving platform to try and market yourself on. What works for some might not work for others so there isn't a great playbook to follow. The best advice I've heard is to provide value to your followers. If other people can find you, follow you, and learn from you then over time this should see some results.
As I stated before, I recommend choosing to 1 - 2 social media networks and honing in on those. This allows you to not spend all your time on social media but still reaping some of the benefits.
5. Take part in discussions
For Twitter in particular I recommend following people you look up to or want to learn from. As those people post more, reply to their Tweets. Those people will begin to recognize you over time and new friendships can be born. They might even open their network to you.
6. Attend meetups, conferences, and events
Attending meetups and events is a great way to help spread the word about yourself. Each impression you make on a person helps them know who to contact should they need help in the future. The whole idea of attending is to make friends. If you make a lot of those you might notice work starts to poor in on its thanks to referrals.
7. Speak at local events or conferences
Speaking is a great way to market yourself. You provide value to others and network at the same time. This also makes it easier for people to contact you for work.
If you are not a huge fan of general networking events, speaking is a great way to break the ice. Speaking can be scary if you're not used to it. As a speaker, you have a topic to discuss by default which makes it easier to get approached by someone you might not know.
8. Work in public
A more efficient way to market yourself is by working in public. Whether you start a YouTube channel or share your work on your blog the key is to share . People take interest in watching professionals fine-tune their craft. Why not benefit from their interest by also working in public?
9. Create freebies or materials of value
Creating value is time-consuming work. To create a meaningful audience you need to give a little value away for free. Sharing freebies or some form of knowledge with your audience attracts more people because of the incentive they receive. Those that see your work might remember you in the future and come back to you with referrals. Growing an audience can also lead to more contractors reaching out .
10. Collaborate with other freelancers
Collaborating with other freelancers is a great way to combine two separate networks into one. The collaboration might result in someone from the collaborator's network reaching out for help. This network effect is ideal!