Freelancing is a rewarding business if you set the right strategy for marketing. However, marketing is a demanding job, so most freelancers either do too little or do too much to gain faster results.
Although, one must understand that marketing is a long term effort, and you have to continue to do it consistently to see sustainable results. You should start by creating a strategy for yourself. Once you have the strategy in place, you can fit it into your schedule. Showing up for your freelancing business will then become easy.
While creating a marketing strategy, you should answer the following questions:
- What is your main goal?
- What should you do to attract customers or clients?
- How much can you spend on marketing?
- What can you expect from this routine?
Answering these questions will give you a direction which will make it easy to set up a rock-solid marketing strategy.
1. Understand and set goals
You should start by outlining the kind of services you want to offer. Just make a list on a piece of paper. Once the understanding of your services is clear, you will be able to set a goal. While thinking about the plans, consider whether you want to freelance part-time or full time as that will offer you more clarity.
Set a monthly and annual income goal. Quantifying goals will help you to set a direction. At the same time, they will help you tweak your service charges. Make sure to write your income goals as that has a different effect on the mind. Apart from income goals, you can even set a goal of working with clients from a particular location.
For example, if you are a graphic designer based in India, you can have a goal of working for a client from London. Setting such goals will help you strategize better as you will have to find companies from London and pitch them.
2. Explore your Market
After setting goals, explore your market. Check which industries can benefit from your services. For example, if you are a content writer, digital businesses will surely need your services as their significant engagement comes from the content they post online.
You can even do competitor research to understand the market. Check what other people in your niche are doing. You can check their website, LinkedIn and Instagram. It will give you a better idea to advertise your services.
3. Personal Branding
It is one of the best strategies for freelancers. Personal branding will help you connect with industry leaders, founders and agency owners. It will also help your potential customers to understand more about your services.
It acts as a mini portfolio for freelancers offering content writing, graphic designing, and social media marketing services. For example, you can create a LinkedIn account as a content writer and talk about the benefits of making the right kind of post for brands. Your potential customer might read it and reach out to you.
Also, you can optimize your social profiles so that your potential customer can find you easily. At the same time, you can connect with your possible audience and reach out to them for work. Personal branding is an excellent way of receiving outbound and inbound leads.
4. Advertise your Services
You can spend money on social media ads if you have the budget. Apart from that, try to spread the word amongst your friends and relatives. Send them a Whatsapp message and let them know about your services.
You can even ask your existing clients to refer you to other clients. One good sales tactic is to offer a discount to a customer if they get you new clients.
Apart from drafting a message, you can even create a video where you speak about your services and how you can help grow their businesses. It will give a good impression and help convince people to try your services.
5. Cold Pitching
Cold Pitching is also known as cold email marketing. It is a technique where you send a pitch to a client unprompted. It is a great strategy to reach out to clients who didn’t know you existed.
For example, if you are a freelancer providing blog writing services, you can search for top content marketing agencies on Google. You will have to find their emails, verify them and send them a message about your services.
Many freelancers benefit from this technique as they close a lot of projects. Most clients don’t post a job ad for hiring freelancers. When you cold email them through a Gmail app, there is a possibility that they might be looking for your services. Thus, it is a great way to connect with new customers.
6. Create a Website
As a freelancer, you can build a website for defining your services. A good website will come in handy while cold emailing and reaching out for outbound leads. You have to add a link instead of writing paragraphs of content to convince your customers to go for your business proposal.
You can even start a blog on the website and explain how customers will benefit from your services. For content writing freelancers, the blog itself can be your portfolio.
Not only that, but once you optimize your website with SEO, you can even get inbound leads through your website.
Marketing is not a one time task. It is a continuous activity for freelancers as you might have a project today, but you might lose it the next month. So, if you are marketing your services regularly, you will always have a replacement for the client leaving.
You will also have to track your progress and evaluate the results. If you are not getting the desired results, you might need to change your strategy. Be flexible about your virtual marketing strategies. Also, give three months to any strategy as you will only be able to see results after a certain period.
You can combine the strategies given or focus on one step at a time. For example, you can start with personal branding, and later add cold emailing. Make sure to try each strategy at least once to know what works for you better.
Piyush Shah is the Head of SEO at Dukaan and a 6 figure affiliate marketer. He’s committed to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their online stores with the power of SEO.