Starting out as a freelancer requires you to learn new skills and adopt new techniques —and brand marketing is one of them.
There’s no use for your freelancing expertise when your target market doesn’t know about you. Other than seeing freelancing as a “gig”, start treating it for what it actually is — a business. Start by expanding your client base and make yourself more known to prospective clients.
For now, focus on marketing basics and build your marketing campaign later on. Below are a few useful techniques to get you started.
Grow as a freelancer through these 9 marketing techniques:
Every freelancer needs to learn about the fundamentals of sales — even web developers, designers, illustrators, and virtual assistants. In essence, you will be “selling” your services. With that, you need to learn a few basic sales tactics to approach and attract clients.
1. Content Marketing
Having the skill to write good content helps you in communicating with current and prospective clients.
Know what to write in emails and posts. Be direct and comprehensive in the message you want to convey. Make sure also to proofread your email or post for any errors before sending. Clients don’t want an error-ridden text from an unknown freelancer asking for a job.
Also, be creative! You want clients to remember you. Avoid sending emails with a plain template for your introduction and utilize other formats. It can be video, infographic, artwork — anything to make your email stand out. Just be careful not to overdo it. Select the format that can best present the message you want to send.
Here are some ways you can spruce up your introduction email:
Video introduction containing the services you offer
Infographic-type or creative video resume
Comprehensive online portfolio or website
A poor introduction will lead prospective clients to dismiss your application. They won't even give your portfolio a second glance. Which brings us to the next method — writing a pitch.
2. Sales Pitch
A good pitch can land you clients that pay well. Don’t worry if you have no sales or writing background. You can find dozens of online courses on how to write a sales pitch from websites like Coursera and Udemy. Another option is to ask a friend or a trusted professional to write the pitch for you or edit the one you’ve already drafted.
II. Online Marketing
There’s a big chance you’ve been doing online marketing without being aware of it. If you’ve set up a website and social media profiles, then you’re already doing online marketing.
Go beyond and organize an appealing online marketing campaign to bring traffic to your site.
3. Mobile-Ready Website
Stats report that there are about 3 billion mobile internet users worldwide. Also, most online users leave a website when it’s difficult for them to navigate it.
That said, make sure your website is mobile-ready so that you don’t turn off potential clients. Make use of responsive web design and mobile-friendly features.
Search engine optimization (SEO) makes your website search engine-friendly, making it rank higher in search results.
There are two ways you can perform SEO — on-page and off-page. On-page SEO involves key strategies such as keyword research, meta title and description, website content, and others. Off-page SEO, meanwhile, involves online listing, guest blogging, social media marketing, and other methods.
5. Social Media Marketing
Make use of social media in marketing your business to drive more traffic to your website, engage current and prospective clients, and strengthen your online presence. Develop your social media marketing techniques, which include unique content, appealing campaigns, and authentic user engagement.
Study the performance of your website and social media platforms through analytics. This allows you to get to know your followers through their demographics and their behaviours. You will also get insights on your post reach, post engagement, and many more. This information will help you figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your online marketing campaign and plan a better one next time.
III. Public Relations
Hubspot defines public relations (PR) as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” That makes PR a key ingredient in growing your freelance career, helping you find new clients and leave a great first impression.
Meet people through your existing connections. Mingle with other freelancers through events and seminars.
Networking will also help you grow your online presence. Use social media to build relationships with your existing and target clients.
IV. Reputation Marketing
Your name is your brand, so you need to take good care of your reputation, especially online.
Reputation marketing is a proactive approach to your brand management. You go beyond what is required in customer service. You take your clients’ feedback seriously, especially criticisms, and prioritize their satisfaction.
8. User Experience
What’s the client’s impression on your overall interaction? Are they satisfied, or just indifferent? Worse, are they upset? Disappointed?
Excellent user experience is a major goal. Think of your clients’ experience in every decision you make, whether in the service you provide or the way you conduct your transactions.
To achieve this, learn the importance of listening to specific requests and asking the right questions. It helps to create a system where you take note of every client feedback you receive. Then identify and make changes to the areas you need to improve on.
On the technical side, your website needs to be fast, interactive, and uncomplicated. Invest in a reputable website development company or a reliable website builder to make sure your visitors do not experience any delay or inconvenience.
9. Feedback and Criticism
The way you handle customer complaints speak much about your character. Make it a point to be respectful and provide alternative solutions to their complaints. Your professional treatment of difficult situations will add great feedback to your reputation.
Brand marketing is a necessary step if you want to be on the radar of established clients — the ones who pay well. Your future self will thank you for acquiring these marketing skills to get you far in your freelancing career.