In order to keep business up and gain new clients, freelancers have to take care about their marketing. Self-promotion is very important when being self-employed but can be tricky. Read here the dos and don'ts of self-marketing.
Self-promotion is an essential part of the successful freelancer's skillset. Putting your name out there and showing people what you can do and how great you're at it is a great way to get more clients. As a freelancer, you are the CEO, the manager, and the intern of your marketing department all at the same time. That means self-promotion can be time-consuming and difficult to master, but it is well worth it. And if you don't tell people about your product or service, who will? Here are some of the most important things you should and should not be doing when it comes down to advertising the business of you:
1) Promote online
Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn & Co. are all incredible tools for marketing. Make sure to take advantage of them. It is extremely important to update regularly and not only talk about yourself either. Try giving people some content which they will want to come back for.
2) Build personal networks
Even in today's world where almost every person and business has an active online presence, personal contact remains the best option to connect with people. Getting into freelancing communities and attending events will build up your personal network. The advantages are twofold - you can learn new things about the field you work in and potentially get new clients as well.
3) Be authentic and professional
Visitors of your site and personal contacts have one very important thing in common when it comes down to your self-promotion goals. You want to grab their attention and set yourself apart from the crowd. That means being different, fresh, and interesting. However, don't pretend to be someone you're not and always remain professional.
4) Show off your work
Whether it's on your blog, your site, or even your business card, giving people an example of your work is always recommendable. Upload an article, small program or give potential clients a glance at your design skills instead of just bragging about your work and telling them how great you are.
When it comes down to marketing, finding the balance between updating or posting frequently and being annoying can be pretty difficult. Don't be one of the people that only talk about themselves on their blog or site. Nobody wants to read a status update every time you finish a page. Again, tell people something they will be excited to follow up on and they will come back.
2) Ask for work directly without offering solid advice
Contacting a potential client directly via cold-mailing is a viable tactic, but not when you sound desperate. When contacting someone and asking for a job, make sure you tell the client what you can do for them. If you're a web designer, for example, suggest ways you could make their site better. Some people won't know they need your services unless you tell them how much they could gain from working with you.
3) Promise something you can't do
Whether you're applying for a job, negotiating deadlines, or trying to convince someone to give you work, being unrealistic about what you can provide is one of the biggest mistakes to make. Be sure to evaluate whether you can do the job in a certain time with the quality the client expects. If the answer's no, communicate and try finding a solution. There's nothing more frustrating to a client than learning that you haven't been doing your work in time.
4) Give up
Self-promotion is a long process. You won't get dozens of calls after your first blog post. Consistency is a must. Furthermore, if your business is doing great, you should still be promoting it. Keeping your marketing tools sharp will improve your image and could attract clients and opportunities you never thought possible!