“Most people don’t get paid for promoting; they get paid for doing actual work.”
― Paul Jarvis
Freelancing is a one-person show. As well as creating the work you love, you are your own accountant, PR agent, business strategist, and marketing team. Marketing can be one of those things you shy away from, thinking it’s too complicated or you don’t know enough about it. But here’s the thing: if you run your own freelance business, you have to know about marketing.
You don’t have to know everything, of course, just enough to get you going. Because if you don’t promote and market your services, who else will?
Maybe marketing makes you feel uncomfortable because it goes against your ethics. (We’re all so used to sleazy marketing techniques and greenwashing ploys.) But in the words of Denise Duffield-Thomas, ‘marketing is manifesting.’ Your work is about solving people’s problems and helping them get what they want. And if yours is a conscious business, you’re helping the planet too.
So, without further ado, here are six must-know steps for marketing as a freelancer.
Chose one platform and do it well
Most traditional marketing advice out there says that you should be active across all social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more latterly, TikTok. But I recommend picking the platform you’re most comfortable with and using it effectively rather than showing up half-heartedly on various channels. If you know your target audience well, you’ll know where their watering holes are and how to reach them. Of course, if you’re comfortable on multiple platforms, then go for it!
Consistency is the golden rule of marketing. Humans are creatures of habit, and we like things that are reliable and predictable. As a creative, it can be hard to catch the wave and post every day. Batching and automating content is the way to go! There are many free templates out there that will help you generate content ideas and free tools that will schedule your posts. Batching and automating will help you show up on your chosen platform consistently.
Share what you know
Don’t worry about giving too much information away for free; the more value you offer, the better! When prospects see what valuable content you’re freely sharing, they’ll feel much more confident purchasing your services. Sharing what you know positions you as an expert to your audience.
Nail down your freelance brand message/niche
Step inside your client’s story and position yourself as the guide who will help them get what they want. Gain their trust by showing empathy towards their problems. Then offer a solution (aka your product or service.)
Create an irresistible lead generator
To market yourself effectively, you need to grow your audience by building your e-mail list. It’s recommended that you have around 250 people on your list before launching courses, e-books, or similar offers. To build that list, you need to have an irresistible lead generator to entice your audience in. Your lead-gen could be access to a live webinar or training, a personality quiz, or a PDF file. Share what you know and offer value here. Whet your audience’s appetites. They’ll give you their e-mail address in exchange for the freebie you’re offering. And then they’re in your world and at the top of your marketing funnel.
Ask for your sales
You’ve heard the saying, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get.’ Well, the same is true in marketing. You have to ask your audience to buy what you’re selling. You might think prospects are reading between the lines and will implicitly know that you want them to buy. They don’t. You need to take them by the hand and explicitly tell them. Don’t worry about being annoying or looking desperate when asking for sales. With all the bombardment of social media, clients won’t remember how many times you’ve offered your services. So just ask.
The world needs what you’re selling. You’re ready for this. It’s time to market yourself the right way so you can help more people and make your impact felt on the world.