Freelancing is being a one-man army. When you start out in this competitive space, standing out, creating a unique identity and generating sales is a challenge. Even with a tight budget in hand, focus on marketing and promotions is important when you want to get more leads or generate more traffic.
Understanding marketing and framing effective strategies for your business will require time and commitment, especially when you are looking for inexpensive ways to promote your freelance business. While you may come across many marketing strategies that may prove to be very costly for your business, in this article we outline the most affordable or low-cost marketing strategies for your freelance business.
Build Authority Around A Niche
Every freelancer has a niche that they operate in where you want more people to be aware of your offerings. Once you know who your clients are, building the right content and presenting your opinions gets easy. The idea is to have an authority in your niche so that you can build credibility and portray yourself as trustworthy. Leverage on this to do self-marketing by using the right communication channels.
- Follow the updates, including the latest trends, events, news, highs, lows, etc. surrounding the industry that you operate in.
- Post relevant and researched articles on your blog or on your social media pages. Share your opinions on the relevant topics around your niche to position yourself higher.
- Share your tips, knowledge, ideas, experiences with your followers, and engage with other influencers and potential customers in your niche too.
- Invite other professionals to write a post on your blog or go for a guest post in your niche blog to present yourself as an expert and get more traffic on your own website or blog. Have your own distinct voice in your niche.
Engage With Your Past Customers
Another strategy is to hold on to your existing clients and build a long-term relationship with them. The solution to your unstable income is having repetitive clients by maintaining a healthy relationship with past clients. You do not want to go through the process of lead hunting and converting prospective clients for each new project.
- Create an email list of your past customers and send regular updates on your new work to them.
- Optimise your social media platforms to stay in touch with them. The process is very useful as these customers already know you and are aware of your work style and quality.
- Doing this, they will be able to comprehend certain new things that you are capable of doing and they might want to get those done for themselves too.
Launch A Website
A website is a way of presenting your work identity. Launch a website and use it as your main communication channel to present your portfolio, list your skills or to get static information. The website should be able to illustrate the services you provide in a reasonable manner that makes your work look unique and result-oriented. The client should be able to find a solution to their problems when visiting your website.
- Center your website around your potential customer and maintain consistency through it. Make sure it is user friendly and allows customer interaction.
- Highlight your contact details on the site for potential clients to reach out to you.
Your website helps you get organic traffic, build credibility, establish authority and drive sales. Add your website link to your social media, email signature, proposals, invoices, everywhere you find it suitable to link to reach out to as many people.
Ask For Referrals From Clients
Get testimonials, references and referrals from the clients whom you have worked with and delivered satisfactory outputs.
- Once you deliver a successful project, use that immediate instance to ask for referrals from the clients. Since they are happy with your quality of work, your chances of receiving referrals are high in those situations.
- Remember that here consistency is really important. You have to follow up with clients who do not give immediate responses. Do not push too much or have a commanding tone in your follow up message. If you send a genuine reminder 2-3 times, they are more likely to give you referrals.
Marketing does not end once you finish a project, the key is to market and optimize each opportunity that you get. A word from a credible source who has worked with you can help you get business links and prove to be an effective strategy when rightly implemented.
Network With Other Freelancers
Apart from your existing clients, you can also form partnerships with other freelancers through networking.
- Join communities to get to know other freelancers operating in your niche.
- Attend events or join online communities like LinkedIn groups, Google Plus communities, Facebook groups or Quora.
- Becoming a part of various groups on social media channels can get you more support and opportunities. Make sure to connect, be active and engage with them.
The key is to be yourself and become visible amongst the other freelancers by advertising the value you provide through your offerings. Add value and give your inputs in these formed relations, because it should not look as if you are just taking their advantage. Another advantage of networking with other freelancers is that you can outsource your work to other credible people when you have a tight schedule and do not wish to say no to any clients and vice versa. Helping people and establishing a connection can help you build a network of recommendations through which you can gain more business.
Besides the five mentioned strategies, there are a lot of other ways to promote your business. In any strategy that you implement, ensure that you are adding value in one way or another. Focus on marketing is imperative for any freelancer in today’s world. By following the techniques mentioned in this article, we hope that with minimum resources and available methods, you can grow and scale your freelancing business.