There are various ways that you can promote yourself as a freelancer. The most obvious and arguably the most valuable promotional tool when you start out is the websites dedicated to putting clients in touch with freelancers. That said, it would be foolhardy as a freelancer to remain a one trick pony for any length of time when it comes to promoting yourself.
When you’re promoting your freelance business, it’s important not to forget about all the traditional methods of promotion and of course word of mouth. So what should you be doing to promote your freelance offering?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Dedicated freelance websites.There are any number of websites where freelancers can promote themselves. Some are better than others and it’s a case of experimenting to see what works best for you. At this point though, it’s really important to familiarize yourself with the websites and decide how and where you are going to promote yourself. The likes of People Per Hour and Elance should be your first port of call. Before you register with either site though, take time to look around at the people who seem to be securing a good amount of work in your chosen sector and see what they have to say about themselves because you’re going to have to write a profile for yourself and it’s a good idea to see what seems to be working for other people. That said, don’t ever be tempted to copy someone else’s profile, just have a look and see what sort of voice they’re speaking in and then create a voice of your own to say what you want to say about your offering.
- Local businesses. Sometimes freelancers forget that local businesses are highly likely to want to avail of your services. Reaching out to local businesses can be done in a whole host of ways. Depending on where in the world you live, the likes of Chamber of Commerce or other business networking events are a great way to get yourself known on the local business circuit. If you’re going to make the effort to go along to such events, do make sure that you have a great elevator pitch (a highly benefit focused short description of what you do) and a top quality business card, so that once you’ve made an impact, you leave your potential contacts and clients with a way of getting in touch. If your business is complex, you might even want to invest in a brochure that you can hand out selectively.
- Your own website. Irrespective of what you do, having your own online presence is essential. Whether you make your website yourself or you pay someone to do it, you need to make sure it’s professional looking and sends out the right messages about the service you are offering. Depending on the sector that you plan attack on the freelance market, you are likely to have your work cut out for you to get to the top of any Google search, so using incoming links, article writing and social media are probably the best ways to get traffic to your website.
- Word of mouth.Sometimes freelancers forget that good old word of mouth can be the best way to fill up their diaries. There are few things more effective than a happy client recommending you to a contact of theirs. It’s important to remember to ask your satisfied clients if they think any of their contacts may be interested in your services and asking to be referred. Done the right way, this isn’t at all pushy and will enable you to build a strong and sustainable business.
- The social media.Because most freelancers can theoretically work with clients all over the world, it’s a good idea to use the social media to promote your service. At the start, LinkedIn is likely to be your best friend and getting your LinkedIn profile spot on is essential as well as Face-booking and Tweeting.
If you’d like help to get your freelance promotional plan in order or if you’d like me to write you a hard-hitting SEO friendly LinkedIn profile, why not get in touch? firstname.lastname@example.org