As a freelancer, it’s essential to look at yourself as a business and a brand. Whether you’re a copywriter, designer, photographer, or virtual assistant, it’s well worth it to add “marketing skills” to your resume. Marketing yourself effectively will help you reach your target audience, draw in new clients, and land the projects you want.
So, what are some of the necessary marketing skills you need as a freelancer? Let’s take a closer look.
1. Create Social Media Content
One of the best ways to market yourself and your services is via social media. There are millions of freelancers out there, and the ones who stand out the most are those who humanize their marketing efforts.
Social media is a fantastic way to do that. Chances are you already use at least one platform for personal purposes. Consider how you can capitalize on your knowledge and use it for business.
Social media allows you to better understand the voice of your customers and clients. That’s important because it allows you to:
● Identify their needs, wants, and expectations;
● Develop new ideas;
● Prioritize improvements;
● Increase customer retention.
Using social media will also make it easier to connect with your audience. You can host Q&A sessions, live streams, and post relevant content that links back to your website or portfolio.
Social media isn’t just a great way to build a community around your personal brand, it’s an opportunity to share the fruits of your labor and give your audience real examples of what you can do.
Social media also makes it easy for others to share information about you.
For example, if you did a job for a specific client and they’re happy with your work, they can tag your name or share your website with their followers. That immediately opens up another new target audience for you, including other business owners or individuals who could use your expertise but would have never found you without the power of social media sharing.
Every marketer knows that word-of-mouth advertising is priceless. The same thing can be said for advertising done via social media.
2. Analyze Your Audience
As a freelancer, your goal should be to stand out from your competition. Your target audience is out there somewhere, and it’s your job to find them. Focus on demographic data points such as age, gender, location, and occupation to determine who exactly you should be catering to the most. Google Analytics and social media metrics will be instrumental in identifying these groups and audiences.
From there, you can really personalize your branding, focusing on what will compel niche groups instead of trying to please everybody. You might not be able to market your workplace culture like major brands, but you can market your own personal values and beliefs, including things like your background and the types of work you like to do. You can even try A/B testing in your marketing to further analyze what works best for your specific audience.
All of those factors will play into specific audiences. Eventually, they’ll start to recognize your name and associate your “brand” with certain things. That could be a niche writing style, specific subjects, or even how active you are on social media.
Once you’ve established your voice and identity as a brand, though, how can you make yourself more visible to those audiences?
3. Diversify Your Portfolio
Aside from utilizing social media, consider starting small and taking on jobs through freelance sites like Upwork or Guru.
The drawback to these sites is that they take a portion of whatever you make from each order, so while you can set your price, it won’t be what you end up making by the time you deliver your work.
However, they are great ways to get your foot in the door of the gig economy. Upwork is the largest platform and can serve as a great resource for freelancers just starting out. Even if you don’t initially get paid as much as you want, you’ll still be able to:
● Build up your portfolio;
● Hone your skills;
● Take on new writing challenges;
● Retain customers;
● Get positive reviews to attract new clients.
Eventually, you can branch-off on your own and stop using these sites as you gain more clients and have a stronger reputation. Marketing yourself from the ground up might not sound like much fun, but it’s a tried and true method. Once you start getting through jobs and becoming more visible on these sites, make sure your website and portfolio are both up to date. People will start seeking you out sooner than you might think!
No matter how talented you are, freelancing is just as much about marketing as it is skill. Keep these ideas in mind to brush up on your marketing techniques, and you’ll be able to stand ahead of the competition while enjoying a long, successful career in the gig economy.