If you're in business for yourself as a freelancer, you should always be looking for new and creative ways of marketing yourself. Since you can't rely on a steady paycheck, you have to be consistently drumming up more clients. Even the most basic marketing techniques can pay off. If you don't know where to begin, here are 5 strategies for marketing yourself as a freelancer both online and offline.
1. Increase Your Online Presence
Find related forums, blogs and other online communities in your industry, including those related to freelancing, and get involved. Leave comments on blogs, or answer questions in forums. Build a public profile that lists your skills and experience, as well as your contact information in any community you join. Don't spam these sites, but instead be helpful and meet needs. The return on investment will be the relationships you build that may lead to getting hired.
2. Network Through Social Media
Social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, can be fantastic tools for marketing yourself as a freelancer. You can build a profile on social media sites and invite employers and others to check it out. You can start and maintain interesting conversations and broadcast news, tips and events. This will make people curious enough to become your friend or follow you to learn more about you. Also, you can introduce yourself directly to potential business owners and other employers using social media.
3. Network with Other Freelancers
If you have skills that another freelancer doesn't possess, or vice versa, you can refer clients back and forth to each other. There may also be times when someone else is just too busy to accept any more work. Rather than turn clients down, they can outsource the work to you for none or a portion of the payment.
4. Business Cards
Always keep a supply of business cards on you. You never know when you'll bump into a potential client and strike up a conversation with them, whether it's at the bus stop or in line at the grocery store. Make sure the card has your name, your business, your contact information and your website or blog url.
5. Community Involvement
Take the time to get out in your community and meet with other business leaders. Your local chamber of commerce may have weekly luncheons, which are a good way to network with other professionals (bring your business cards). Think of church groups, book clubs or other social groups that share an interest similar to your business. Joining these groups can be another way to market yourself and find new clients.
Marketing yourself as a freelancer is an ongoing process. It takes time and (sometimes) a lot of follow-up calls to land a new client. Don't get discouraged, and remember that the work you put into marketing yourself today will help you pay the bills a few months down the road.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.