Time to Bust Out of Your Marketing Rut
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.
Time to send out a new email newsletter–or finally create one.
Ideally, set a regular publish routine for your newsletter and craft your long term content strategy.
This can feel a bit like pulling teeth for many of us, especially writers like me who string together words all day and don’t want to write unless they are getting paid for it. But it’s a necessary evil, so to say. So if it’s been ages since you sent out your newsletter, a good way to stay on top of your indirect marketing efforts is to publish a new one.
Ideally, set a regular publish routine for your newsletter and craft your long term content strategy. Even updating it once a month, every month, will yield results.
Don’t have an email newsletter at all? There has never been a better time to get started than now. Can’t think of a valuable article topic? Post some relevant links with industry news instead. No one says you have to write original content in each newsletter, just provide some sort of benefit for your target reader.
Go after brand-spanking-new clients.
Before, I mentioned raising your rates. This is natural for creative professionals to do from time to time. Do you know that you’re worth more than your current rate? If you don’t think that asking for more money is possible from an ongoing gig, consider targeting new clients.
Grab a pad and pen, or browse through LinkedIn, and find a few companies you have always wanted to work for. Whether you work once for a new client or they retain you for ongoing projects, this helps you gradually increase your rates and bring in a fresh source of income–a win-win situation if you ask me!
Take the local route.
For telecommuters like myself, it’s easy to get into the mindset that the world is your office. But sometimes, it’s nice to maintain some local roots. I began checking out a few local groups online, especially via LinkedIn, and responding to conversations.
This has helped me connect with prospective leads. In remembering to focus on your geographic region, you will also make valuable contacts in your local networks. Another bonus: They could be for businesses that you use, so you’ll already understand their products and/or services.
How have you broken out of a marketing rut? Was it a matter of finding new techniques or finding inspiration?