7 marketing tips for freelancers
As any freelance professional should know, marketing yourself well isn't an optional skill to have – it's a necessity.
It's a way of increasing your contacts, finding new work and ultimately driving growth for your business. You know you work hard and are good at what you do – you just need to make sure that everyone else knows that, too. Here are a few tips that will help you market yourself and your business effectively:
Know your business
If you haven't already written a business plan, there's your starting point. It doesn't have to be lengthy, but it does have to provide a vision, clarify your strategy and set out achievable goals. It is a living document and one that you will keep going back to as your business grows. Have a strong business plan in place and you are ready for anything.
Recognise your market
Whatever product or service you are offering you need to be clear about who it is for and what it is you are trying to market. There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself:
- Who is your target audience?
- How will your product or service benefit the customer?
- How can you make it more appealing?
- Getting answers to these questions now will make marketing a much easier task down the line.
Increase your online presence
Find forums, blogs and online communities relating to your industry and target market, and start getting involved. Contributing posts to big blogs can put you and your business in front of millions of users; think about producing case studies, or an article about a trend you have seen in your area of expertise. Creating digital content that is helpful and informative will help you build relationships with potential clients and create future opportunities.
In addition, having a clean, professional website is a must. If you struggle to keep its content up to date, consider adding a Twitter or LinkedIn feed so that visitors can see you are active online.
Network through social media
Social media offers you one of the best marketing tools out there. It is a great way to connect with new people including customers, clients and industry experts. If you are just starting out, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are your first ports of call. Just remember that social media is not about the hard sell – a friendly, low-key approach is best - and share genuinely useful content.
In the age of social media and blogs, business cards might sound a bit old-fashioned but they are indispensable. Always make sure you carry a supply of business cards – you never know when you may meet a potential client.
Monitor the results
Measuring the results of your campaigns allows you to make decisions that are based on fact. There are a whole host of tools available that help you to measure the success of your online activity. Web analytics tools are designed specifically to help you make informed decisions about future campaigns and the future of your business. And don't forget your offline activity; speak to previous customers and new clients alike to gather valuable feedback and direction.
Stick to the plan
Marketing is a process that takes time. It's an ongoing process, so be patient and don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Consistency and patience is key, and ultimately it will pay off.
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