You probably didn’t sign up for this- marketing, that is, when you chose to go into freelancing. You were simply following your passion, treading along a path you were convinced would lead to your fulfillment. And it will, but only if you add marketing skills to the feathers already in your cap.
However, sometimes it’s possible to fail because you have underestimated your skill set, the industry reputation or your need to get creative.
For the burgeoning freelancer, there might not be so many referrals as at now, and you might have to rely upon being ‘out there’ for others to see you or to notice your good work. Don’t lose heart; there are actually ways to do this:
If you are a content creator, you can volunteer to create content for well-read sites, and more so, if this would grant you visibility. In other words, you are trading your skills- not for money at first, but for visibility.
2. Social Media
Your freelancing career should be one of your brands on social media, if you understand what I’m talking about. People, who follow you on Instagram, Twitter, and who have you as their Facebook friends shouldn’t be surprised when you are introduced as a freelancer, at any point in time. Do you get my point? You can’t keep your freelance business a secret, or rather, you shouldn’t. Everyone knows that A is a lawyer, and that B is a caterer, because of that, if any services are needed along that line, the first name that comes to mind is A or B. Not only should you be known as a freelancer, but do well to post a few snippets about what you do, or what you can do for all to see.
3. Freelance Website
You can also run a freelance website for better visibility, where you post your freelance samples and then wait to get people to see it. While this might take a while, it certainly pays off in the long run, and eventually, you get a lot of visibility.
4. Family and Friends
As a matter of fact, they could be good referrals for you. If any of your services are needed, don’t feel uncertain about your abilities or withdraw from providing such services. Visibility is key. Word of mouth is a good way of receiving referrals, and don’t be surprised if you land great jobs from a friend of a friend of a friend (a grand-friend).
5. Pitch Your Other Services to Clients
This is especially useful if you offer more than one service as a freelancer. Are you a writer and as well, a graphic designer? When you have done good work for a client, pitching the other service/services which you can offer to a client makes it easier for the client to ask you to offer that service. If you don’t, how do you expect him or her to ask you?
6. Have A Pricing Guide
This is of importance if you are listed as a freelancer on a freelance website (you should be), or if you run your own website. With a pricing guide that lists your price range for certain kinds of jobs, it certainly makes it easier for clients to want to patronize you, especially if your prices are reasonable (not too high, nor too low)
7. Attend Marketing Classes
Yes baby! School isn’t over, even as a freelancer. You might have kissed working for others goodbye (or haven’t), but you definitely haven’t kissed school goodbye. One exciting way to spice up your craft, and to learn how to market your services better is by taking marketing classes, two of which are Seth Godin’s freelancer course, and Marketing Basics for Freelancers and Solopreneurs– targeted specifically at enhancing your marketing skills.
8. Paid Adverts
If you can afford to, having paid adverts will definitely put you on the radar and make more clients come your way
9. Samples are Essential
How will I know how good you are? Simple. Let me see samples of work you’ve done in the past. As in any other business enterprise, your past work speaks volumes about what you are expected to churn out in future; so what are you waiting for? Let’s see those samples!
10. Availability is key
Come on! You can’t be one day on, one day off. You’ve got to be present. Any good marketer would tell you that the more they are ‘in their customers’ faces’, the better the chances of being patronized. No matter how good you are, if you are just starting out, you still need to show us that you’re available for the tasks we would have you do. You don’t have the luxury of replying mails sent by potential clients, say 3 days later. When they have grown on you, maybe you’d have such luxury, but that time definitely isn’t now. Let them grow on you!