How to Market Yourself as a Freelancer

It is estimated that one in three Americans work as freelancers. The number of freelancers in the US is 57 million, representing 34%  of the national workforce. Experts estimate that by 2027, most workers in the United States will be freelancers. Therefore, to remain relevant and be successful professionally, you must consider marketing your services as a freelancer. Today, we’ll discuss tips to help you promote your business effectively.

The importance of marketing for freelancers

You must promote your products and services when starting a freelance business or want your freelance business to grow. Any business needs marketing to succeed, but freelancers need it even more. Why? A freelancer's main challenge is getting work and maintaining income stability. And according to Hectic, freelancers need to know what it takes to build a business that serves customers:

It may seem to some freelancers that the time isn't right now to promote their businesses. Years of research have shown that marketing your business during recessions will help you recover more quickly when the recession ends.

The most important element in freelancing

It's easy to get caught up in the work when you're freelancing. However, contracts can end suddenly and unexpectedly. Therefore, you must balance completing work and scheduling it. Rather than experiencing periods of feast and famine, schedule work in advance.

A survey commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union found that more than half of freelancers survive paycheck to paycheck; only 43% could go two weeks without pay.

Freelancers must therefore look for work constantly. In the absence of a client, nothing happens. Perhaps that's why freelancers spend so much time looking for work.

Caitlin Pearce, former executive director of the Freelancer's Union, says freelancers spend half their time marketing, prospecting, and administering independent businesses. It is essential to develop a repeatable, consistent method for acquiring customers. Once it is up and running, you can earn more money.

You must first develop a marketing strategy to acquire new (and repeat) clients.

25% of freelancers say they can find work within the next 24 hours if needed. If you fall in the other 75%, read on to learn how you can do the same.

15 Freelance Marketing Tips that Work Like a Charm

There’s no magic pill or a guaranteed way to get more clients, but these 15 ways can help you market yourself effectively.

  1. Get in touch on social media. Clients’ social media sites are gold mines. Slack, Facebook groups, and Twitter chats are all good places to find clients. Besides creating content for social media, search for freelancers by typing “looking for freelancer X” (where X is what you do: writer, photographer, designer, etc.).“  You can also run social media ads to get your name in front of thousands of people without breaking your budget.

  2. Build a website. Online presence tips will be plentiful when you seek advice on getting freelance clients. The first step is to set up your website on your own server. Your clients will learn about you, your work, and what you can do for them there. Here you should host your blog, share information about your services, and provide contact information. Don’t forget to add a contact form to give potential leads an easy way to contact you.

  3. Create a podcast or blog to boost your profile. You can attract clients through your expertise when you have a body of work behind you. If you don’t enjoy writing, try podcasting. It is important to publish content regularly that positions you as someone knowledgeable and helpful that your potential clients will want to work with.

  4. Organize marketing partnerships. Consider partnering with someone who offers a similar service. You want to make sure your partnership isn't with a competitor. Think of Taco Bell and Doritos as examples. The millennial demographic comprises 18-34-year-olds, the target audience for both companies’ products. Their target audience is looking for convenient and easy food options. As a result, Doritos Locos Tacos were created.

    Co-branded products aren't necessary for marketing partnerships to succeed. Share the promotion results after you've collaborated on an opt-in offer or piece of content. Become a member of a freelancer' or professional organization. Connect with other freelancers by attending seminars and social media groups.

  5. Use a freelance business management platform to streamline your marketing efforts. You should find your next project after delivering your client's work. Software that helps freelancers manage their businesses is a great tool for this. In your CRM, you can see if you have upcoming work or leads to engage with by popping into your CRM. It helps you stay focused on what they do best if you use a tool to track prospective and past clients. Keep track of all client birthdays and work anniversaries so you can reach out to your clients on time.

  6. Display your portfolio online. Make a portfolio that appears professional to display your best. Featuring your skills this way is one of the simplest ways to show prospective clients that you can handle their projects well. Without a strong portfolio, you can improve your chances by taking the following steps. Creating mockups may be an option if you do not have enough pieces to show your potential clients. This process involves designing projects for clients or brands. Be sure to mention if you’ve worked with a client, so you don’t mislead them into believing you have worked with high-profile companies.

  7. Join forums and communities that are relevant to your niche. To gain visibility in your niche, join related communities. Don't advertise immediately. Engage the community instead by providing value. Once you become an expert, you can begin advertising.

  8. Request reviews and referrals. Connect with freelancers to tell them what kind of clients you want. Make sure you know the same about them so you can also send them referrals. It is common practice to do this. Freelancer's Union data shows that 81 percent of freelancers refer to one another to work.  Referrals from previous clients are a great source of future business. Incentives and discounts are often involved in this process. A client you have previously worked with may receive a discount on your services if they are referred to you by a previous client. This benefit could also be extended to previous clients by giving them a discount on a future project.

  9. Networking can benefit your business in other ways. When you complete a successful project, ask your client for a short review. Encourage your clients to leave reviews on your social media pages and post the reviews on your website. Five-star reviews are a powerful way to get referrals to hire you.

  10. Pitch your service. Identify clients with whom you want to work. Find out what you can do to help them overcome their challenges. Prepare an email that explains how you can help each prospective client. Also, practice pitching over the phone and in person.  Be as brief as possible in your message. Describe yourself, your services, and how they can reach you. After that, you just need to await a response. You must manage your leads effectively if you want your productivity to increase. You can consolidate and handle your leads more effectively with the help of a business development tool.

  11. Work on personal projects to boost your profile. You can attract potential clients by sharing your work publicly. Side projects, free software projects, and volunteer work can all be included. You can demonstrate your skills, initiative, and creativity by displaying your work online. Create a website blog and share the articles on social media if you are a freelance writer. You can attract leads by designing a beautiful website, creating an eye-catching logo, and displaying samples. Regardless of what skill you have, put it to work for you.

  12. Create tutorials or teardowns to demonstrate your expertise. Many freelancers use this approach to show potential clients their expertise. Web designers could critique existing websites. Email copywriters could critique the marketing emails in their inboxes. There are almost no professions where this does not apply.

  13. Take a look at question-and-answer sites and forums. Answer questions in your niche on sites like Quora. The more people see your advice, the more they will realize you are an expert.

  14. Engage in conversation at industry events. The importance of utilizing both a physical and a digital network cannot be overstated. Attend industry events to network in person, whenever possible. When you can’t, attend online events.

  15. Find freelance jobs on job boards. A freelance job can be searched the same way as a regular job. There are freelance or remote job openings at companies. Don't hesitate to apply. Search on Google, LinkedIn, AngelList, and Craigslist. A freelance marketplace like Fiverr or Upwork is also a good place to create a profile.

  16. Update your network. Get in touch with friends, family, and former colleagues. Tell them you're a freelancer and ask if they know anyone who might need your services. You can reach them directly, via social media, or by email.

You can also ask past clients to refer potential clients to you if you have worked with them previously.

Marketing your services is essential regardless of your motivation for freelancing. Your goal should be to develop a consistent, repeatable process to acquire clients after reading this. What will you do with these 15 strategies?