I hate selling. Mostly because I’m bad at it, but it also just doesn’t fit my personality. Because of that, I have to be extra-deliberate about my marketing efforts…if I’m not, my client stream would be pretty weak.
So here are five, simple steps you can take today (within the next hour even) to get going on marketing your own freelance work.
1) Set a marketing day: Mine is Monday. It gets my week started in a way that feels like I’m really pushing my business and keeps me motivated for the rest of the week. Beyond that though, it lets my mind rest from worrying about whether I’m doing “enough” to sell my services, and lets me concentrate on what I do the rest of the week.
2) Find friends: Sometimes I get offered jobs that don’t work for me…either they aren’t in my field, don’t fit my hourly rate, I’m too busy, or I just don’t vibe well with the client. Regardless, I always try to pass these jobs off to other freelancers/consultants that I know. This is a common practice among freelancers, so the more you know, the better chance you have of just being “handed” a job.
3) Compile a list of marketing agencies: This applies mostly to writers, but marketing agencies are always looking for good content creators, and connecting with one (or a few) can get you work without the trouble of playing the sales/marketing game.
4) Get going on social: For a freelancer, this means more listening than talking. Choose topics you write well on and search to see how people are addressing them online. Are they talking about them on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn? Are they big on Reddit? If you have a site (and you should), write a quick post addressing the topic as proof you’re connected. If it’s something popular, consider doing that regularly and spreading it via social channels.
5) Create a presence: Best case is your own site…you’ll have control, it adds legitimacy and you won’t be subject to the issues around digital sharecropping. If you don’t want to go that far, create a profile on a site like UpWork. They actually have quite a few offerings specifically looking for Black/African American workers. It doesn’t look quite as professional, but it’s a great start and it’s incredibly easy.
Getting started on a solid marketing habit is the hardest part, so pick one of these to finish today, and let us know how it goes in the comments.