Did you know freelancers contributed around $1.4 trillion to the US economy in 2017? And this number continues to grow each year. With the increase in popularity of remote work, freelancing is becoming a popular part-time or full-time career option for many people.
The thing is, with an increase in demand and supply comes an increase in cut-throat competition for independent workers. In order to stand out in the world of freelancing, it is important to put your best foot forward.
Here are 6 effective marketing tips for freelancers to help them kickstart a successful remote work career.
Identify key focus areas
Before any career move it is important to have a clear understanding of your expertise and desired focus areas. So, if you are delving into remote work, ask yourself why you are becoming a freelancer and jot down those reasons.
Since there are many opportunities for all different skill sets, having clarity is key. Like any job search, you need to dedicate your freelancing job seek towards key focus areas. This will ensure you are only competing for jobs you will be considered for instead of wasting your time.
For example, if you are a designer with knowledge of various types of designing skills, research the one that pays the most or the one that you are best at; and dedicate your job search towards that skill set. Not only will your odds of securing a freelancing bid improve, but it will also help you enjoy your remote work journey with things you are capable and interested in working on.
Increase your online presence
When you venture into freelancing, your online presence becomes a part of your freelancer identity. Regardless of what channel you use to reach out to prospects, chances are they will Google you. While you have the option of building a website and showcasing your best side, social media platforms are a cost-effective way to build your online presence.
For example, a Linkedin account can show your skills, experience, and potential common contacts. This will showcase your skills and should there be a common contact, it could increase the chances of a prospect converting into a client. Alternatively, you can use Twitter to demonstrate your knowledge and interest in your focus areas.
Simply put, social media platforms help increase your relevance and comfort amongst potential clients. Both of which will help improve your freelancing career.
In the world of freelancing, think of yourself as a product. And it is a known fact that branding is essential for a successful product journey.
Make sure you have a consistent message across all online platforms. Unless you choose to create a logo for yourself, chances are your face is your logo. Use a nice professional photo across all platforms to promote yourself. In fact, you can even create your own signature online to share additional details with anyone you email.
The perk of using an email signature is that it will add on to your professionalism and help people you email see your picture, click through to things like your social media platforms and links of previous work. It works as an avenue to share additional contact details like telephone numbers.
So, make sure you brand yourself wisely and use it as a marketing opportunity for your skills.
Your marketing efforts do not end with a well thought out outreach strategy. Even logistics should be a part of your marketing strategy. In order to place yourself as a competitive freelancer, it is important to understand the market pricing trends for your area of expertise.
Typically, the popular pricing methods are hourly and project based pricing. Create a ballpark hourly pricing for yourself so you can determine a project price when you take on any new project. This will ensure you are able to provide what you promised without compromising your worth and sanity. Plus, this will help clients determine the costs of your services without ambiguity. All of which will give you a competitive edge in the freelancing world.
It’s good to start with a bit of flexibility with your rates initially and build on your rates as you build on your experience.
Do not underestimate professionalism
Though you might be behind a computer screen while freelancing, you are working with real people who are trusting you with their needs. Along with having the skill sets required for the project you take on, you need to make sure you are professional at all times.
Do not miss deadlines. While it might sound like a no brainer, missing a deadline will hamper your freelancing efforts. Remember, missing a deadline on one project will not only take that opportunity away but it could also jeopardize other great clients who are a part of the network of the client you disappointed.
Professionalism is a key marketing strategy to make sure you are the cream of the crop at all times. Unless you have a once in a blue moon life threatening experience, put in all you have to make sure you at least meet the deadline.
Never neglect clients but prioritize accordingly as 20% of clients usually make up 80% of a freelancers’ paycheck.
Reach out for referrals
As a freelancer, you have the flexibility of working as little as you want, but in order to work as much as you want, you need to plan well. Sometimes you strike clients that require a lot of your time and sometimes you have short-term clients. Often times as a freelancer, particularly if you are a full-time freelancer, you have to accommodate all of them. But there is a silver lining to each scenario, you can use existing and previous clients for referrals.
Use your clients as your influencers in their network. For example, if you had or have a client that is particularly vocal about their satisfaction with your work, they could be a great referral opportunity. Most of the time clients are happy to help out if they have peers who are in need of a known freelancer, and client networks are happy they do not have to delve into the online ocean of freelancers. Plus, this is a budget friendly way of marketing your services.
Freelancing and marketing go hand-in-hand. In fact, your marketing efforts as a freelancer never end, it should be an ongoing process to attract and retain clients. So, if you are interested in becoming a successful freelancer, make sure you master the art of marketing yourself effectively.