Finding gigs isn’t hard for most of us; actually a lot of freelancers know what works for them in order to secure jobs. Over time, however, we can become so busy with the influx of gigs that we forget to continually market our businesses. We know it’s something that has to be done, yet, we don’t do it.
If you cease marketing your business, not only can that dry up your pipeline of incoming work; it can also be a detriment if you’re relying on new business so you can increase your rates over time.
Working with the same clients regularly can be fantastic, but if you are raising your costs like many freelancers do, it can be hard to constantly ask for an income boost. Many of us take on new projects and set our “new” rates with fresh clients, then grandfather in the old ones if we like them.
I have to admit, I think I am in a rut. After months of working hard on many projects and penning my third book, I’m not hurting for work–but I have let my marketing efforts fade a little. And while it’s nice to know that it’s not hurting my business, I know I can’t ignore the need to market myself forever. I have to refresh and reboot my marketing!
So I’m regrouping and thinking of some fresh ways to enthuse myself and revitalize the way I market what I have to offer. I’m using a combination of new tactics and inspirational ideas to get myself rolling again. And you can apply these same techniques to your freelance business too. Continue Reading
Recently on Freelance Switch, I outlined the pros and cons of Facebook Profiles, Groups and Pages. My verdict was that Pages are the best bet for most freelancers.
In this five minute video, I guide you step-by-step through setting up a Facebook Page for your freelance business. I show you where you need to go on Facebook to create a page, and which Page types are most suited to freelancers. I also give a brief overview of Facebook’s rules for choosing a Page name. Continue Reading
Once you’ve decided Facebook is right for you as a freelancer, you’re ready to put together an action plan on how you’ll use it to promote your business and market your services.
Your next step is to decide whether to promote your business with a Profile, a Group or a Page. These are the three set-ups Facebook offers, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Continue Reading
If you’ve gotten your act together and put up a website to advertise your freelance services, congratulations. Most freelancers still don’t have a website, so you’re a step ahead of the competition.
But is your site getting you clients?
If the phone hasn’t started to ring, the problem may lie in the design, layout, or content of your site. I’ve reviewed hundreds of freelance writers’ websites, and I find many make a series of basic mistakes and do a poor job of attracting and converting prospective clients.
In general, freelancers usually overestimate how much patience a prospect will have for poking around your site to find the information they want. In fact, people are massively lazy on the Internet, have short attention spans, and want everything handed to them quickly and easily.
The job of your website is to quickly get prospects the information they need to hire you.
How can you make your site into a client magnet that has prospects ringing your phone off the hook? Here are the important items your freelancer website needs: Continue Reading
When constructing the perfect freelancers’ website, you want visitors to know what you do the moment they reach your site — at least generally speaking. For the specifics, you’ll need to give them a clear idea of the services you offer.
For most freelancers, that means creating a services page that lays out the details, along with a little information about how you provide such services and what results your clients can expect. Continue Reading
Is there any freelancer in the world who hasn’t heard of Facebook?
It’s the place online to hang out with friends, share family photos, follow updates from your favorite brands, and find out what your fellow high school students have made of their lives.
For many people, Facebook is synonymous with the Internet. It has become such an integral part of life that many smartphones come with Facebook apps and buttons built-in.
But is Facebook a good fit for freelancers?
Do you, as a freelancer, really need to use Facebook? It’s easy to be drawn in just because everyone’s using it. That’s not an altogether bad reason (where there’s a gold rush there’s usually gold), but it’s better to think it through in more depth before you plunge in.
Facebook’s self-stated mission is to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”. Now that sounds like what freelancers need. A place where they can share their skills and connect with potential clients. Continue Reading
Giving away “free samples” is a time-honored marketing tradition, one that is very alive today.
It is also one of the excellent habits common to many successful freelance consultants. In fact, I’ll argue that sharing “samples” with prospects may be even more important for the consultant than for many other types of businesses.
Of course, you have been on the receiving end of many samples. Perhaps you nibble and graze on free offerings when you go to the grocery store. You might have received small samples of cosmetics or other items, either through the mail, or handed out in various settings.
You’re getting a free sample when you read a book excerpt before you order it on Amazon. And you may not realize it, but you are getting samples when you sign up for newsletters or “special reports” and articles from web sites.
Why are all of these businesses willing to give away items of value, with no assurance that you will buy something?
While there is no guarantee of landing any individual buyer, businesses have known for a long time that giving away samples — items of real, if sometimes small, value — works. It brings in customers. Continue Reading
Your portfolio may be the first introduction potential clients have to you: it tells them what type of projects you do well at and what kind of work you want to land — even if that’s not the message you intended to convey. At the most basic level, the people who view your portfolio will assume that you don’t do anything beyond what is included in that portfolio.
As a client gets to know you, he may ask if you take on projects further outside the realm of your portfolio, but it’s rare that any client will want to try something far beyond your portfolio’s limitations the first time you work together.
It’s crucial that you craft your portfolio with this fact in mind. You need to focus in on the type of work you want to land and showcase your abilities, which means first, you’ve got to figure out what type of projects both appeal to you and will be valuable for your clients. Continue Reading
With over 150 million members, LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the Internet. Chances are, potential clients for your freelance business are active on LinkedIn. What’s more, as LinkedIn is a professional network, people are there to do business, making it the ideal place to promote your freelance services.
In a previous article, I showed you how to set up your LinkedIn profile for freelance success. In this article, I share advanced strategies for actively promoting your services to potential clients.
Marketing on LinkedIn is all about building relationships. You’re there to connect with people who could hire you, give you testimonials, or put you in touch with prospects. As such, I’m going to show you how to use LinkedIn to:
- Get in touch with potential clients
- Allow potential clients to find your profile
- Stay in touch with potential clients
LinkedIn makes sense for professionals, but what about for freelancers?
In my experience, LinkedIn is an important tool in my marketing toolbox. Being on LinkedIn allows me to showcase my skills and experience. Additionally, LinkedIn is a networking platform, which makes it perfect for finding prospects, hooking up with new clients or reconnecting with past clients.
In this article I show you how to set up your LinkedIn profile as an effective marketing tool. Setting up your profile for success is important because it provides the foundation on which to build your LinkedIn networking and marketing efforts.
Here’s what you want from your profile.
- You want people to find you on LinkedIn. In other words, your profile must be search optimized.
- In every aspect of your profile, from your headline right down to the nitty-gritty of your skills and experience, you want to draw people in and make them interested to find out more about you. Your profile must be well written, and structured in an accessible way.
- Often as freelancers, we have a broader range of experience than is typical. You want your profile to give a solid, focused account of your skills and experience, putting your best foot forward.
In this tutorial, I show you how to achieve these goals. Continue Reading
Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytics packages available online, in part due to its price. Where most analytics software is relatively expensive, Google Analytics is entirely free to use — you just need a free Google account to use it.
Analytics gives you invaluable information about what happens when prospective clients visit your website, including what pages they look at before contacting you or sending you money.
It isn’t the most user-friendly piece of software, though. It’s easy enough to get some basic figures, but for anything more, you have to learn how to use Google Analytics effectively. Continue Reading
When was the last time you’d heard that phrase? I hadn’t heard it in years, until a recent assignment for a magazine article led me to sit in on a local networking meeting. As I took my seat, the woman I was sitting next to drew me aside.
“After the general business, each person can stand up and give a 60 second elevator pitch,” she whispered.
I hoped my confident smile hid my panic. The last time I’d even thought about an elevator pitch was back in college. As I listened to the other members, I felt some relief. Some speeches were smart and polished, like the business designer who opened with “Is your brand in black and white? I can provide the color..” but others were completely informal “I’m laid off, I’ve been cleaning out the attic…”
By the time it was my turn I had worked out something better than the attic cleaner’s speech but not as good as the polished designer’s. Happy to have gotten past that, I was left with a nagging sense of unfinished business. I realized that when friends or acquaintances ask me what I do for a living, I don’t take the opportunity to boost my business. I decided to take my ‘elevator pitch’ more seriously. Continue Reading