It’s easy for me to stand up on the roof and shout “Look at me, I’m a creative Sydney copywriter and freelance marketer!” but what would be the point if I didn’t take my own medicine and try to write a lot and market myself?
When you become a freelancer your clients don’t just turn up at your door asking to hire you. Even the super popular ones are rocking it through making themselves known to people on a regular basis.
You need to be your own strategic freelance marketer. Here’s how…
Have a Website
WordPress and similar blogs have made this super simple so you have no excuse not to have a website. In fact, I think if you can’t spring for the day it takes to set up your site and add some representation of your work where someone can see it, view it and read a little bit about you, forget about being a freelancer.
- Potential clients use the web to find freelancers more than anything else.
- It’s a simple, Google friendly showcase of your work where people can contact you to ask for help.
- Its cheap marketing that gives you validity.
- You’ll have a hard time asking for professional rates of you don’t look professional.
- Having to think about how to market yourself will help you be able to pitch yourself better in person.
So set aside the time to get it done or go get a job working for someone else. I’m serious!
Rock the Social Media.
Go back to the two guest posts on Social Media 101 and Social Media 101 Part 2 by Sarah Allen and take notes. She does it for a living and has over 10,000 Twitter followers, regular work and knows her stuff. It may take you a day to get everything set up and ten minutes a day to talk to people and maybe half a day to touch up once a month, but it’s worth it.
People will talk to you- it’s your way to break the ice, create connections and even find jobs. It will also help you feel less isolated on the crappy days.
NOTE: if you are one of those freelancers who offer social media as a service but don’t use social media for business and/or don’t use it well, stop putting it in as a skill.
It just weakens your credibility when it comes to the things you are good at. I cannot stress this enough. Learn it or lose it.
Keep Making Connections
I love working from home, keeping my own hours and am not much of a fan of networking however that doesn’t stop me from going out to make connections.
When you go to like minded events (online or off), you meet like minded people and those people can turn into clients or people who will recommend you to clients. It doesn’t have to be business stuff either.
Try some of the following:
- Hot Desks– places like coworking joints are packed with creative, fun, interesting people- including startups
- Contracting- approach agencies you might like to work for with an email and a CV and ask if they have any contract work
- Share work- start recommending other freelancers who have skills clients may need that you don’t necessarily possess.
- Newsletters- Join things like the Fetch and Startup Digest so you can find out what is happening that might appeal to you.
- Networking- If you are in Sydney, check out things like Think, Act, Change or Greenup’s if you like social and environmental causes or Pozible talks, Vibewire Fastbreak and Surry Hills Library Events or the Freelance Jungle and find/start similar events in your city if you aren’t.
How does all this make you a strategic freelance marketer?
You build a presence, attract like minded people, and can start super simple and low entry point conversations through your website and social media. Connecting with people online and off on a semi regular basis helps to keep the creativity flowing puts you in front of people in an easy way.
At the very least, following these three steps will teach you what’s involved with marketing yourself, get you to think about the way you present yourself to people and you get out and about.
So what have you got to lose?