You’ve been working as a freelancer for a while now.
Business is going well, and you’re signing on more clients every day.
But, it’d be awesome to really take your business to the next level. The level of income that’ll truly grant you the self-employed freedom you’ve been looking for. That working-four-days-a-week and still making more than you were at your day job, type of next level.
That’s where learning how to effectively market your freelance business comes in.
Whether you’re managing a team of freelancers to scale your client base, or you’re a one man or woman operation, marketing is crucial to the growth of your freelance business.
When executed well, an effective freelance marketing strategy can draw in new clients, strengthen your relationships with your current clients, establish your authority and build your personal brand within your industry, help you find new business partnerships, and sell more of your products and services.
Even if you’re content with how your business is doing, and you feel that don’t need to invest time and money into marketing it, you’re probably doing yourself a disservice by neglecting your future growth potential. If you’ve experienced some of the following scenarios, then it’s a sign that you should really consider putting a marketing strategy into effect.
• You find that you don’t have the time to go out there and find new clients. You’re too busy on a day-to-day basis with your current clients, and you can’t find the time to reach out to new ones or make it to networking events.
• You have a website, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, and email list but your traffic, follower, and subscriber counts are stagnant.
• You’re working hard to sign on new clients, but you don’t have many repeat customers.
• You want to be an influencer in your niche, but you don’t yet have a powerful personal brand.
Before you rush out and hire a marketing agency or consultant to help you out, I recommend taking the time to learn how to do your own marketing. It’ll teach you the foundation for how to market yourself as a freelancer, you’ll discover your own unique style, define your personal branding, and start to see first-hand what’s working best.
Then, once you have a foundation for your personal style of marketing, you’ll be able to more effectively amplify your results by hiring outside help to boost very specific areas of your marketing.
So, here are my top four actionable and easy ways to market your freelance business.
1. Share your content and connect with others
Content marketing is an important aspect of any marketing campaign for a freelancer. It revolves around creating and strategically distributing your own content (think: blog posts, videos, emails, whitepapers, ebooks, designs, and infographics).
To maximize your chances that people will actually discover your content, you need to promote it. Renowned entrepreneur, blogger, and CreativeLive instructor, Derek Halpern, uses what he calls the 80/20 rule of content promotion, in which he focuses 80% of his time promoting the pieces of content he creates, in comparison to just 20% on the actual making of it.
That’s where sites like Inbound.org, Reddit, and GrowthHackers come into the picture. These sites serve multiple purposes: On Inbound.org and GrowthHackers, you can post articles you’ve written about marketing, how you grew your company, and engage in discussions with other people. You can influence others and help them with their businesses.
On Reddit, you can find a popular subreddit and post relevant content about your business (as long as it’s not clearly self-promotional).
In addition, you have the ability to scroll through these message boards and learn from what the members have posted. You can learn unique business growth tips and tricks, as well as connect with other influencers within your niche and build collaborative content relationships together.
2. Improve your email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing, by far. According to a study by the Direct Marketing Association, 66 percent of consumers have purchased a product online after they read an email marketing message.
Email is a direct way to reach potential customers. Ninety one percent of people check their email on a daily basis, according to ExactTarget. Plus, email is an opt-in marketing method. Consumers (usually) give their emails to companies willingly and know they’re going to start receiving marketing messages. This makes it easier to market to them.
If you want to reach more prospects and current customers (even really busy people), start by using an affordable email marketing tool like AWeber. Their suite of email marketing tools come at a very low cost, starting at $19 a month and scaling from there. They have a 30 free trial, and you’ll get access to all of their features.
You can create responsive emails with their visual email builder, which gives you a plethora of layouts, colors, photos, and font options. You’re also able to analyze your campaigns by looking at your open, unsubscribe, bounce rates, the number of site conversions, and whether or not you’re achieving better ROI overtime.
3. Increase your page traffic and inquiries
Without a search engine optimization plan in place, your website is just going to sit there, collecting dust. That’s where SEO software provider Moz can help you out.
Moz has free tools and provides paid services that range from $99 to $599 a month depending on your needs. One of the best free tools is their Open Site Explorer. All you have to do is enter your website address, and Moz will analyze your anchor text, allow you to compare and research your competitors’ backlinks, and show you your top pages.
MozBar, which you can download onto your browser, shows you how popular the pages are that you visit and lets you do keyword research. By knowing which keywords to integrate into your content, you can increase your Google ranking and ultimately your site views.
Driving Traffic to Your Online Business with Neil Patel goes into far more detail on how to start delivering high-quality, targeted leads to your website.
4. Actively manage your social media accounts
Social media is where you connect with other professionals in your industry, and simultaneously find new clients. It’s also the perfect place to promote your content, build your followers, and grow your brand.
One of the best social media management platforms is Hootsuite, a free dashboard that allows you to oversee up to three social media accounts at simultaneously. You can schedule messages to be posted at a later time, monitor what your followers and the people you follow are saying, and integrate apps like YouTube, Tumblr, and Marketo. If you want expanded features, the Pro version is $9.99 a month and includes deeper analytics.
Taking marketing seriously will have a significant impact on your freelance business. Over time, making this investment in yourself will greatly differentiate you from your competitors.
Check out Driving Traffic to Your Online Business with Neil Patel and learn how to start making a meaningful impact in marketing your freelance business today.