The number one problem freelancers face is finding the time to market their business.
Or, more bluntly, knowing how to effectively market their business in the first place.
Either you have too many clients to find five minutes to put yourself out there, or you don’t have enough clients – which means the methods you’ve been using already aren’t working.
So, in the vein of being quick and easy, I’ve put together 14 different things to do today that will help you market your freelance business. These things range from taking between 2 minutes and an hour, so choose wisely which ones you have time for.
Remember: it’s all about tweaking and testing with marketing.
Try a few of these things to determine which ones work best for you and incorporate them into your ongoing strategy.
Assess again after a month to determine which methods get you the most leads and which ones are duds.
You ready? Of course you are! Don’t forget to download your profitable freelance business blueprint before you start:
1. Add a Link to Your Social Profiles
You’d be amazed at how many freelancers have really dull social media profiles.
They might say something like, “likes coffee and dogs but not walks in the rain”.
Great. But what’s missing?
Oh yeah, only the fact that they’re a freelancer who is looking to get clients to make a living!
Jeez people. If there’s only one thing you do on this list today, make sure it’s updating your social profiles to include what you do, who you do it for, and a link to your portfolio or services site.
Here’s my Twitter profile for inspiration:
2. Leave a Comment on a High-Profile Blog
Now before you start huffing and rolling your eyes, this is a good one if you post the right comment in the right place.
You don’t want to leave a “great post” comment on an unknown blog because that will do absolutely nothing for your business.
Instead, you want to find a recent, well-shared post that your ideal clients are highly likely to be reading. Oh, and it needs to be on a decent blog.
Sound like catching a unicorn? I’ve got you covered:
- Find a top blog or influencer in your niche or that shares the same audience as your target client
- Add the blog to your reader or set up Google Alerts for it (this is better if you rarely check your reader)
- As soon as a new post comes in, skim through it and leave a well thought-out comment
The key is being quick and helpful. You want your comment to be near the top so that when future readers come along, yours is one of the first comments they see and read.
Here’s a great comment from Elna Cain on my blog.
When you’re helpful or add to the conversation, people will want to click through to find out more about you, so make sure you link to your website.
3. Send Out a One-Pager of Your Services
Now, if you’ve read any posts from me before, you know that I’m a big advocate of cold emailing in the early days.
You need people to know who you are, so there’s no point waiting until they come to you. You have to be proactive, but also approachable and professional.
Put together a quick one-pager that details how your services will benefit your prospects and add in your packages.
Next, send this one-pager out to five prospects you’ve either Googled today or already have on your “to contact” list.
This post lays out a step-by-step guide for doing exactly this.
4. Answers Someone’s Question in a Facebook Group
Facebook groups are great for finding clients, but you have to be in the right groups and conduct the right etiquette (it’s a minefield out there!).
First of all, make sure the group is filled with your target client.
Write for fishing companies? Join groups for fishing companies.
Create logos for single mums in business? Join groups filled with them.
Once in there, scour through the latest posts to see what kind of questions people are asking about. Then, pick the one you’re most equipped to answer and offer a lengthy response.
This was a post I put out in a FB group I’m in. A FB expert responded with some GREAT advice and I might go on to hire them.
The first step to landing clients is creating a connection with them, and this is a great way to do just that.
5. Go to a Networking Event
If you’re anything like me, the thought of deciding to go to a networking event TODAY fills you with dread. Some of us need to prepare for things like that!
But, you know, sometimes it’s best to not give yourself time to think about it.
So go onto Meetup.com, see what’s on in your city or town today (or tomorrow, or this week) that’s relevant to your business and make a promise to yourself that you’ll go along.
6. Tell a Friend About Your Business
How many times have your friends and family asked you, “what is it you do again?”
SO MANY, right?!
Use that to your advantage. Don’t just say, “oh I do a bit of this and that,” tell them exactly what you do, because you never know who they might know.
They might need a designer at work, or they might know someone else who’s looking for a writer. Make sure your friends and family know exactly what you do so that they can easily refer you.
7. Reach Out For a Referral
It can seem a bit sleazy reaching out to a current or past client and asking them to recommend us to someone else they know, right?
But think about it this way: if your work was awesome and you had a great relationship with this client, they’ll want to help you out.
Not just that, though, if they refer you onto someone else, they’ll look good themselves. And everyone likes to look good.
Pick a past client or an ongoing client you’re loving and shoot them a quick email that simply states you’ve got a few slots opened up in the next couple of months and to let anyone know who they think might be interested.
You’d be amazed at how well this one works.
8. Write a Blog Post
Writing a blog post isn’t a quick and easy task, but it can do great things for your business.
First of all, think about your target client and what they need the most help with.
- Can you craft a blog post around this?
- Can you create a detailed post that solves that key problem for them?
Of course you can! Make sure you link to your services in it though, so they know they can reach out for you for more help on the topic if they need it.
9. Answer a Question on Quora
Quora is great for MANY things, and it’s only really recently started coming into its own as a great way to market your freelance business.
The key here is to be detailed and get really targeted.
Use the search tool to find questions your target clients are asking. So if you’re a designer, search “designer” and “small business” and see what questions are being asked.
Choose a question that’s fairly recent (though it doesn’t have to be incredibly new as people will be searching for this all the time). You also want to make sure the question has a few responses already, so you know it’s not a dud.
Then craft your winning response. Get detailed. Offer step-by-step guides. Link to that amazing blog post you wrote on the topic.
10. Tweet 5 Times Throughout the Day
Remember that Twitter feeds are fickle. Even though they’ve changed the algorithm to show all sorts of non-chronological posts, the chances are your single Tweet won’t get seen by even a quarter of your audience.
The answer? Tweet it multiple times. Put together five differently phrased Tweets that link to either your portfolio pieces, your services, or your site in general, and schedule them to go out at five different times throughout the day.
11. Create a Limited-Time Offer
People love discounts, and urgency really kicks ‘em in to gear.
Now, you don’t want to go crazy here and offer a huge discount to thousands of people (that’s just unrealistic).
Instead, you want to create a small offer (maybe 20% or so off a certain package) for about 5-10 people depending on how long the package takes you to complete.
Then create some stunning graphics and post it all over social media!
12. Send an Email to Your List
You have a list, right?
If not, you should get on that right away. If you do, this a good’un!
Craft an email that reminds them of your services, and maybe even advertise that cheeky offer you set up in the previous point.
The key here is to not be forward. You might even write a super educational email and then just link to your services at the bottom as a reminder, or you might write something that weaves into your services and link to them throughout the email.
13. Send an Email to Past Clients
If you DON’T have a list, don’t fret (but do get on that ASAP).
You can pull together the contacts of your past clients or even prospects who have reached out to you in the past but maybe didn’t hire you.
From there, you want to craft an email that mentions your new offer or an additional add-on they can get for a discount because you worked with them in the past.
14. Submit a Guest Post Pitch
Guest posting can do your business the world of wonders. The posts are left up on their relevant sites indefinitely, bringing in new potential leads every single day.
For this, you want to be strategic. There’s no point posting a crappy blog post on an unknown blog because that will get you absolutely nowhere. Instead:
- Find a site that’s well-known in your niche or that your target clients read
- See if they accept guest posts (either search the site for “guest post” or put the blog URL and “submissions” into Google to find out)
- Craft your winning pitch (make sure it’s relevant to the site and hits all their requirements)
- When it’s accepted, make sure there’s a prominent link to your site in there
There you have it! A speedy 14 ways you can market your freelance business on this very day.
I don’t want any excuses about you having no time to market! There are some methods here that literally take 2 minutes, so start with those.
And remember: a business isn’t built overnight. It takes time to get to where you want to be, but you have to be consistent in everything you do.
If you’re ready to start building your successful business, I have just the framework for you. Creative Freelancing Freedom is a 4-module course that lays out the 4 key steps you need to take to go from struggling to successful.