Self-marketing may not be easy, but it is essential for success. And it’s not something that you do when you have little to no work, it should be a part of your daily routine. It’s all about showing people what you can do, what your skills are and what you bring to the table.
- Self-marketing tips for freelancers
- How to self-market your freelance brand when you hate talking about yourself
Self-marketing tips for freelancers
Here are five tips to help you convince future clients that you are the man/woman for the job:
#1 Do a good job
This may be pretty obvious, but it is the first and most important step to self-marketing. Being good at what you do and getting your work done in the best way possible really goes a long way.
On the one hand, it will help towards establishing your name and skills amongst your current clients, and can guarantee that they will consider you for a future project. On the other, word of mouth can spread pretty quickly. So make sure your clients are happy with your freelance work by doing your absolute best and being the freelancer that people will remember.
#2 Get involved in communities
This is especially important if you are just starting out. Being a part of different freelancing communities and networks will help keep you up to date on what is happening in the freelancing world and, ideally, in your field of business.
Furthermore, you will be able to directly contact other freelancers and be able to talk about your experiences and also exchange tips. Seeing how others market themselves and approach their work can help you figure out what marketing strategy fits you best.
#3 Social Networking
Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are great marketing tools and can help you get in touch with a wide range of people. Use them wisely though – show your clients what you are made of, but be respectful and professional.
Make updates about projects you are working on or clients you have worked with – seeing that you are active on your profile will make you look trustworthy in the eyes of potential clients.
#4 Build up your online presence
If you want to successfully market yourself online, the sites mentioned above might not necessarily be enough. You can step it up though. Consider making your own personal website – especially if you are a web designer of some sort. Even if you aren’t, there are easy ways to make a personal site, tell people about yourself and put a portfolio up.
Alternatively, making a blog or publishing guest entries on popular sites can also help you put your name out there. Again, frequent updates are a must!
#5 Attend events
Having a strong online presence is great, but even today, personal contact is a must. Getting a business card and participating in different events or doing charity work in your region can be very useful, particularly when starting out.
Alternatively, you can go to different freelancer meetings, events or workshops. Get to know new people and build up your network. The saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is true – make sure people know who you are and what you can do for them.
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How to self-market your freelance brand when you hate talking about yourself
If self-marketing is something that doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t worry! You can still promote yourself. Consider the following tips:
#1 Go for a concept not a name
Just because you are on your own does not mean your company has to be called www.namesurname.com and your website doesn’t need to have a lot of sepia tone photos of you looking soulfully at your computer screen or looking important on a TV broadcast or TED style talk.
Equally, it doesn’t have to be all corporate stock shots and no personality. Instead, try centering your business around a concept that’s unique to you.
#2 Get known as an expert not a player
Being boutique is often advantageous as it allows freelancers to excel at a few things and to profile themselves accordingly. If you do a bit of this and a bit of that, it can dilute your brand. Plus, no individual or organisation excels at millions of different things.
Having a niche also makes it easier to market yourself through content i.e. blogs, media articles, conference speaking slots etc because you can start to get ‘known’ as the owner of a particular topic or issue.
#3 Show, don’t tell
Social media may have plunged us into an era of SEO headline chasing and rampant click narcissism but these kinds of emails get automatically deleted by most people.
Listening to a client’s actual needs, talking about your past experience where relevant, and not trying to sell them stuff they don’t need, are generally much better tactics for developing long term relationships.
#4 Let others do the talking
If not you, then who? Your clients, of course. Start collecting testimonials from pleased clients as soon as you have a good enough relationship to ask them for one. As with a good LinkedIn recommendation, a testimonial looks professional and credible on a website and in proposals.
Plus, it’s evidence that someone is willing to hire you more than once. If the client can’t or won’t go on the record, then you should at least try to have attribution e.g. Managing Director, Organic Food Company, France. Otherwise, who’s going to believe that you didn’t write your testimonials yourself?
What’s worked for you when it comes to marketing yourself? Tell us below!