One of the most difficult parts of freelancing is figuring out how to market your business and attract clients. It's tricky, especially for non-marketing freelancers like editors, programmers, and designers. Lucky for you, I've prepared three tips to help you grow visibility for your freelancing business and help you generate leads.
1. Establish a useful brand
Clients have a lot of options for freelancers; why should they pick you? Your brand is key for differentiating yourself in the crowded freelancing marketplace, and it should be more than just a cool logo or website. Your brand should be the underlying philosophy that connects you to clients and guides all efforts related to your business.
If establishing a "brand" for yourself as a freelancer sounds daunting, here are a few questions to help you get started:
The second part of this tip is the most critical. Having a brand is great, but having a useful brand is what will land you clients. The difference between a brand and a useful brand is direction. It's not enough to merely establish a personality or a visual look. A useful brand leverages those elements to show potential clients the value you can add to their business.
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to give your clients something they find valuable before they're even your client. Blog posts are a great way to give potential clients insight into who you are and the value you can bring to them. Figure out what you can
2. Engage on twitter
If you're not on Twitter, you should be. Trust is a critical part of the client/freelancer relationship and Twitter is a great way to establish that trust. It provides an opportunity to show off your knowledge and facilitates interaction with potential clients. Real, authentic engagement helps build relationships which in turn inspires people to want to work with you.
Not sure where to start? I highly recommend taking part in Twitter chats. Tweet Reports has a great Twitter chat organized by topic here. I love Twitter chats because they're a chance to show off my knowledge and connect with other people who are passionate about the same things I am. I'm proof positive of the power of Twitter; a client actually reached out to me for assistance with an editing project after interacting with me on a Twitter chat.
3. Don't neglect your website
When was the last time you looked at the usability and usefulness of your website? For many freelancers, your website is the most important consumer touchpoint. Your website should be easily navigable and make it easy for potential clients to contact you.
Here are a few important questions for you to ask yourself (or a friend) about your website:
I also recommend taking a look at your analytics. If you have a website and haven't set up a way to track visitors, website visitor demographics, conversions, and visitor journey on your website, you're missing out on very valuable information. Google Analytics is an easy way to track all of that info, and can indicate which pages you start to lose the most potential clients at. User flow is one of the most useful aspects of Google Analytics for figuring out what pages you need to improve, and Orbit Media has a great guide on how to glean actionable insights from your user flow here.
The big takeaway
If you don't market yourself as a freelancer, success will be difficult to achieve. Marketing may sound daunting, but it's actually pretty simple: know the message you want to get across, then make sure you're speaking to that message at every touchpoint. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or through my email (social links below)!
For more tips on how to market yourself as a Freelancer, check out FreelancerMap's blog carnival.