This post will help you with Phase 3 of the Black Freelance Foundations Workbook…if you haven’t started yours yet, download it now!
Getting clients isn’t near as complicated as it might seem.
Sure, you need to know the service you provide and have an online presence that showcases your work, but a lot of it is about just setting up good habits.
Good habits mean less worrying about whether you’re marketing enough or the right way, as well as a system you can go back and refine as you move along your freelancing journey.
Figuring out marketing habits that will work for your schedule, goals, and the clients you’re looking for will take time, but you have to start somewhere. That’s why I wanted to share this basic template for a marketing week that covers the foundation of cold contacting, followup, content creation, and searching the web for activity in your industry. You can dedicate whole days to these activities or just a few minutes or hours. Here’s the rundown…
If you don’t have a prospect list, spend a few minutes searching for publications or businesses that buy the work that you do. Put together at least 10 prospects and work through them over a period of time. (Download the template here to keep track of the companies you find.)
You’ll run across a lot of different takes on this, but I’ve seen numbers that say it can take up to 12 contacts with a business to get them to sign. That sounds like a bit much to me, but it holds an important lesson…One shot isn’t enough. You may need to try different methods ranging from offering a free discussion of their problems to sending samples from your portfolio…even articles you’ve written that could be helpful to them. Whatever you do, be creative, persistent, and most of all respectful.
Wednesday: Checking Press Releases
This works for any kind of news search, but if you make a habit of running searches (and setting up alerts) for your keywords, you’ll have a head start on finding the companies that are active in your industry, as well as a growing prospect list.
Thursday: Bidding Sites
Yes, those websites with the ridiculously low rates can be your friend. The trick is to only spend short amounts of time, and to not waste time fighting to be the Walmart of freelancers (you won’t win in the long run, even if you do get the job.) Pop in to these sites (Upwork is the largest out there right now), look for the high-dollar posts, and be about your business.
One caveat…brand new (and I mean BRAND new) freelancers with no experience might consider one or two lower-paying jobs to get started and build a portfolio. Whatever you do though, don’t stay too long.
Content creation as a freelancer is an essential. You’re facing competition not only from other freelancers, but in many cases, your potential clients can simply put off the work you do for another six months. Blogs, newsletters, and even longer social media content (LinkedIn Posts are GREAT) and audio or visual content help not only make you stand out, but also convince your clients to sign on faster.
Take a look, see what you can fit in your schedule, and let me know how it works out in the comments! (And if you’re ever wondering the bare minimum you should be doing to market your business, that’s covered here.)
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