In many ways, a freelance business is just like any other. There's the pricing to finalise and the commercial objectives to set. Cultivating a strong digital presence and keeping on top of all the admin. Building a roster of trustworthy, reliable clients.
And then of course, there's the marketing. Actually promoting you and your services.
Your objective might be to find new clients, create a buzz in your sector, establish yourself as a thought leader, or something else entirely - marketing your freelance business can help you achieve all of those and more.
It can, admittedly, also be one of the trickier aspects of solo entrepreneurship. It can take time, effort, research, and a lot of trial and error. So, we wanted to cut down on some of that for you. We've compiled some of the best ways to market your freelance business, no matter where you are in your journey…
Tip #1: Develop an holistic marketing strategy
As any other brand might do. The trick here is to build on what you already have, factor in your short- and long-term objectives, and focus on a few core tactics to really make the most of it.
If you're fresh to freelancing, consider starting small and building up your marketing efforts over time. Align your social platforms, keep content consistent but relevant, and tap into your network to promote your new company or personal LinkedIn page.
If you've been in the business for a while, it could be time to amp it up. Building a simple, effective website is one way to drive traffic, as is a paid ads campaign on social platforms. Email marketing is also still alive and well, so do some research and plan out what could work for you and your objectives.
Tip #2: Leverage the network you already have
It's extremely rare for freelancers to establish themselves straight out of school or uni. Chances are, you already have a network of great professionals from previous jobs - which can be a goldmine of opportunities.
Connecting with peers and former clients is a great way to market yourself. You or someone you know may have an industry connection, or an upcoming project they need support on. It could even lead to some great introductions.
We often think of marketing as a big, externally-facing machine filled with multiple cogs and tactics. The reality is, something as seemingly small and subtle as a review can pay dividends.
Tip #3: Collaborate on content to optimise your outreach
Freelancer collaboration is becoming more and more popular. It enables professionals to tap into new industries and sectors, build skills, charge and earn more… the list goes on! Collaboration can also play into your marketing efforts, particularly where content is concerned.
Webinars, podcasts, Q&As and guest blogs are all fantastic ways to enhance your digital outreach, and potentially build your profile across new sectors and markets.
Plus, it gives you ample opportunity to tag across social channels and make the most of platforms' algorithms, as well as leverage backlinking to boost SEO. Win-win-win.
Tip #4: Use a freelancer platform, like The Work Crowd
There's a wealth of digital platforms out there which enable you to market your business by creating a profile or portfolio for prospective clients to look at. Decision-makers can gain a flavour of your work, your style, and even your experience without you needing to initiate communication.
Having said that, that can also be a downside. Many platforms don't guarantee quality projects, so you could spend a great deal of time building your page, only to have to weed out dozens of opportunities that may not be relevant to you, or for the profile to sit dormant entirely.
The Work Crowd, however, is designed to support leading businesses find leading freelancers, collaboratively. Choose to browse current projects and opportunities, and pitch directly to a prospect, or, build your profile, and treat it as part of your inbound funnel.
Last year, The Work Crowd's top earning freelancers brought home over £43,000 through our platform alone. So it could well be an addition to your overall marketing efforts.
Tip #5: Consider hiring some support
It's not uncommon for your own business to take a backseat to your clients', but if you're finding that your marketing efforts are suffering because of it, it could be time to bring in a little extra support.
For the more established freelance business, a junior marketing officer could help bring some of your content to life, or take on the management of your digital channels. Alternatively, hiring an experienced consultant to create an effective, but simple strategy may be a great option for you.
Just because you're your own boss, doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone.
A word of advice…
It's important to remember that marketing can be a huge venture to undertake, and as a freelancer, finding the time, resources and energy to run your own promotion can be extremely challenging.
Our final words of wisdom? Don't bite off more than you can chew. Consistency is key, and that means setting realistic goalposts from the offset. Not only will this help you plan and prepare ahead of time, but means you're not left with a flurry of activity across your channels for two weeks, before a month of radio silence. Not the recipe for marketing success, or a stress-free freelancer!
Our free download, The Ultimate Guide to Freelancing has even more tips, tricks and insights on how to market yourself, your services, and your business, however young or established it might be. Download it today and grow your freelance venture, one step at a time.