3 Content Marketing Tips for Building Your Client Prospect List
It’s no secret that freelancers face real challenges balancing self-promotion and client demands. That’s why it’s important for you to optimize your time and make smart decisions that produce real results.
Content can be the hook that attracts visitors and engages them.
Using your time to grow your list of potential clients – or “leads” – is crucial to expanding your network and locking down business opportunities. But how does a freelancer squeeze that into their daily workflow? It starts with a smart content marketing strategy.
Content can be the hook that attracts visitors and engages them. If prospects find your content valuable, they are more willing to share their contact information with you, and also share your content with others. And once you have a prospect’s email address, they’re one step closer to becoming your client.
Here are 3 tips to grow your prospect list and get noticed consistently:
1. Blog Regularly
To optimize your online exposure, integrate a blog to complement your website, where you can showcase your brand and personality. You should post at least once a week to maintain your blog’s freshness and reader consistency. Then use your social networks to announce your new blog posts. Remember, most people don’t come to your blog daily, but millions visit Facebook and Twitter. Be a part of the dialogue where your customers are gathering by cross-posting your content there.
Use your blog as an opportunity to capture new leads by featuring a newsletter sign-up form directly on your blog (you can create a very simple signup form through Google Docs or via your email service provider). This provides another opportunity to capture new email addresses when people visit your site.
Build Your Website’s SEO and Attract New Visitors
Your goal with SEO is to appear on the first page of search results. Building your rankings on major search engines starts with a well planned keyword hitlist relevant to your field. This hitlist is 20-50 words that you think a potential customer would be using to search for your services (i.e. “healthcare branding consultant,” “commercial photography retoucher,” or “infographic designer”).
Keywords are highly competitive, so applying a greater level of specificity to your keyword strategy will pay off.
Keep in mind that clawing your way to the top of a search for “freelance writer,” however, could be very hard, so using more specific terms will help you climb the rankings for less competitive search terms that are closely related to what you offer.
Keywords are highly competitive, so applying a greater level of specificity to your keyword strategy will pay off. Your list of terms should mix competitive and not-so-competitive terms. The point of creating a concise list is to help you focus on terms that can really help drive traffic to your site, rather than trying to optimize on 1000 terms simultaneously.
After your hitlist is created and you’ve placed these keywords across your site, you should turn your attention to building backlinks – links from other websites to yours. These links serve as votes of confidence as the search engines consider how credible your content may be – the more backlinks, the more likely you are to climb the search rankings.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing “set it and forget it” about online marketing. But because of that, you have the ability and tools to analyze and constantly improve across every channel. Establishing a commitment to testing is the only way to get better, and ultimately you’ll arrive at a formula you feel is properly optimized for driving new business and maintaining client relationships.
If you haven’t already done so, this starts by installing an analytics tool in your website, like Google Analytics (which is free), which will give you a better look at how your website traffic performs so you can make informed content and marketing decisions. You should be constantly forming hypotheses for what might work better, and scheduling your own tests. For example, you can test:
- Keywords, page titles and descriptions that drive greater search traffic and conversion
- Social platforms and content that drive greater traffic and conversion
- Blog content that attracts more interaction and social sharing
- Website layout, design, and content that leads to conversion vs. bailouts
- Newsletter subject lines that drive greater open rates
- Newsletter content that drives greater click through rates
The list goes on. It’s also important to prioritize your testing according to what you feel might have the largest impact for driving prospects consistently. Be sure to follow documented best practices to avoid extra work where others have already learned the hard way.
For more tips and marketing strategies for freelancers, check out PhotoShelter’s free business guide, The Freelancer’s Online Marketing Blueprint.