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A quick start guide to marketing your freelance services
Many a freelancer will be all too accustomed with the famine or feast lifestyle of the modern freelancer. Perhaps you’ll know also of the ever changing world of working on a freelance basis and the growing competitiveness that is all too often focused upon ever decreasing price points. Testament to this is the seemingly unstoppable force that is Fiverr, which promises much in the way of everything from marketing to design services for just $5.
In such a landscape a freelancer must not only be a pro at self marketing to maintain an income, but moreover maintain a stream of income that is more akin to a respectable river rather than a slightly pathetic and ever slowing trickle.
What will your brand say about you and your freelancer services?
Why every freelancer should consider themselves as a brand
When I talk about brands, I don’t mean in the traditional sense of logos and slogans (although both may be helpful in certain instances); instead I mean positioning yourself in a market, targeting (successfully) a certain audience and communicating in an instant why you are the freelancer right for their needs. In many ways this is the same as any other business and should see you considering the design of your website, your marketing strategy and extend to customising your services to provide a unique offering.
For me, and as a web designer and copywriter that targets start up businesses, my website focuses upon appearing friendly and personalised, but equally demonstrates past projects with start ups and what I’ve achieved for them.
Think not of what your service is, but rather what it achieves from your customer’s viewpoint
When describing your services you shouldn’t merely list what it is that you’ll do, you should communicate what it is that you provide and what it ultimately achieves: Marketers don’t just put together an advertising strategy, they increase sales; website designers don’t just provide a shiny new online presence, they provide a sales tool that works right around the clock and focuses upon business goals (such as customers getting in touch with the company) and SEO professionals don’t just improve search engine ranking, they drive traffic, sales and growth.
What do you find most challenging about marketing yourself as a freelancer?
You are really no different to any other business
Freelancer eggs and bountiful baskets
As a freelancer, relying solely upon a singular income stream (be this a freelancer website or a sole client) can be nothing short of disastrous. Too much an extent this can be overcome by following the above point, however it’s also an essential to use various freelancer platforms, as well as marketing methods, to benefit from wider client exposure. (I must admit that whilst I say this, I myself am yet to follow this nugget of advice, as I work solely for one freelancing website in particular. Nevertheless I’ve paid due diligence by checking over their publicly available company financials and have established that the outlook for them, and consequentially for me, remains pretty rosy).
You as a freelancer are (or should be) a purple cow
Reaching out with social media
Social media is as essential for the freelancer of today just as it for any other business. What’s more we benefit from having plenty of knowledge that we can share with followers and fan bases that can serve to build audiences through share friendly articles. As an example, and for me, I use Google+ and LinkedIn to build connections and promote my content and whilst the topic of building your social media networks goes beyond the scope of this article, I will be writing about this in my future articles.