There are plenty of advantages to working on a freelance basis. You get to be your own boss and enjoy more freedom and flexibility than a regular employee. But a steady flow of work is essential. And to get it, people need to know you're out there and avai
There’s an art to marketing. It’s not just about publicity – it’s about presenting yourself in an eye-catching and appealing way. You need to show yourself and your services in the best possible light and give potential clients and customers a reason to get in touch.
As a freelancer, marketing yourself should be something you do on a constant basis – it should be embedded in your everyday actions. But as a starting point, it pays to have a marketing plan. If you don’t know where to start, here are five pointers:
1. Who is your typical customer/client? In order to target your marketing effectively, you need to build an accurate picture of the type of clients and customers you are trying to reach. What kind of areas do they operate in, both in terms of location and market? What problems do they have? What solutions do they require? What services are of most use? What selling points appeal to them most? Once you’ve created this profile, you can use it to tailor your marketing appropriately.
2. What do you do that’s different? Look at your competitors in the market. What can you offer that they can’t? How can you publicise yourself in a way that helps you stand out from the crowd? Try to differentiate your services in a positive way and offer more.
3. Which media? Think about the best way to get your message across to potential clients and customers. Consider the potential benefits of advertising in local or trade media, organising a leafleting campaign or even going door to door. Regardless of the business you are in, a website is a must. It’s the perfect medium for publicising your services and showcasing your talents, and offering potential clients and customers an easy way to get in touch. Social media is another no-brainer. You can use the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to make valuable contacts and get noticed by business prospects.
4. What’s in a name? So you’re a freelancer. But you’re also a business. You don’t have to stick to the name on your birth certificate to publicise your services. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple, and many freelancers do, but if you think a catchy business name will make your marketing more effective then come up with some alternatives and see what works best. Make it appropriate for the business you’re in and the kind of clients you’re aiming for.
5. Have you thought about branding? Regardless of the name you use, branding will help you build an identity for your business and make an impression with clients. At the very least, design an attractive, eye-catching logo and use it for your advertisements, letterheads, business cards, website, leaflets, invoices, etc. It will give your marketing a professional, consistent appearance.