How to Give It Away and Get It Back
Time is money for freelancers, but sometimes giving it away can benefit you in the long run. Providing free advice through social media channels, offering a free eBook, giving away a free newsletter, or offering free consultations, are all excellent strategies used to build upon your client list.
That is not to say that you want people to become accustomed to receiving your services for nothing, but providing some key information to potential clients for free will provide you with more exposure. This marketing method draws in new clients by allowing them to become familiar with you and your work.
Here are powerful, proven techniques to capitalize on these freebie marketing techniques.
Social Media Freebies
As a freelancer responsible for your own marketing efforts, it is to your advantage to use social media networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Using these websites can help you stay connected to your clients and attract even more.
It is not enough to have a profile simply because everyone else does, but the key is that you should offer some of your expertise for free.
It is not enough to have a profile simply because everyone else does, but the key is that you should offer some of your expertise for free. Allow your followers and friends to submit questions to you that you respond to. Then post the answers on your social media website (or blog), so everyone can benefit from it.
While not every follower will become a paying client, it will set you up as an expert. Your social media account will become know as a place to go for help in your professional niche. Tracking conversions for social media is challenging but possible. After building rapport, send them special links to make purchases or contact you for services.
Free Ebook or Newsletter
Giving away a free eBook (or newsletter) is helpful for attracting clients and upselling to the ones you have. You can create a simple email list to keep up with your clients and offer them a free ebook (or newsletter) as a gift for subscribing.
You can simply type up a few pages with answers to common questions or create a basic guide to your industry. Either of these approaches works well for a free eBook. You can send it to people that ask you questions and let it speak for itself.
A newsletter is slightly more labor intensive because you (or a ghostwriter) must create content for it, but it can be quite valuable in terms of staying connected and promoting your services. You could say that your newsletter subscribers receive the first notification for special promotions.
When using this strategy, you can easily determine the people that actually made a purchase using the links you provided in your eBooks or newsletter software, allowing you to further refine your approach.
Free Initial Consultation
Having a free initial consultation for about 10 minutes over the phone, Skype, or email can also attract clients. Have a time limit for each consultation and let them know that they will have to compensate you if they need any more assistance.
A brief consultation will let them know what to expect from your services. You will also know if they are the type of client you would want to work with in the first place. Moreover, they will have to pay you the next time they contact you.
Conversions for free consultations are easy to track. Be sure to take down their information when you speak with them. Just add them to your mailing list or keep them in a customer relations database.
As always, you should think about your overall marketing strategy and figure out which freebies tend to work the best for you. Some people get a lot of clients from their free eBooks, while others get more from social media posts. Be careful to not give away your services for free without a clear strategy that leads to paying work.
Set goals for these free marketing efforts. Be sure to set monthly time limits as well. Consider that this is a marketing funnel. You’re reaching out to a wide group of potential clients, offering them something for free to get them interested in your services.
The goal is to bring in more paying clients and close new sales. This approach should give you the most bang for the time you invest. Be sure to track your results to find out which ones perform best for your freelance business.