The world is filled with all kinds of freelancers, and they are eager to get work. Regrettably, there are also people out there who think they’re freelancers, and they too are trying to attract attention and get work, increasing the field of competition to a truly alarming level. In order to stand out from the rabble, you need to market yourself in ways that can’t help but compel prospective clients to avail themselves of your talents. Here’s ten marketing tips on how to market yourself.
1. Get A Website
First and foremost, start with this. Creating a website gets your work out there at minimal cost to you. Make sure you put your best foot forward, showcasing the creations you’re most proud of.
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- Beginner’s Guide: How to build an SEO optimized website.
- My web development site SimpleMediaCode.
2. Make Online Contacts
Now that you have a website, make sure you sign up for social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and GooglePlus, and make sure you put together a profile. Try to show off your talents as you do so, and link back to your website (the one that you put together because you followed Step 1, right?).
- Say “Hi!” to me at LinkedIN.com/in/umbrovskis;
3. Make Real-Life Contacts
Whether it’s friends and family or former co-workers (and bosses) from past “regular” jobs, getting the word out to everyone that you’re available for freelance assignments is crucial. After all, people can’t hire someone who they don’t know exists.
4. Visit Job Sites
If the jobs won’t come to you, then you go to the jobs. Sign up on job sites such as Monster.com, Indeed.com, and Freelancewritinggigs.com, to name a few. See what’s out there for work. Again, the idea is to get your name out there, get exposure.
5. Give ‘Em A Free Taste
In “The Dark Knight”, the Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger, said “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” Wise words from a homicidal clown. However, that little pearl of wisdom can be modified somewhat. If the opportunity presents itself and you are still in that reputation-building stage, consider volunteering to submit a small piece, a single illustration, a well-taken photograph, to a site that needs it, free of charge. Let people see what you’re capable of. After all, many businesses give out tiny samples of their product. But be warned: do not make a habit of doing this, and above all else, don’t let the word get out that you’re doing free work, because believe it, you will be sorry.
6. Advertise By Participation
Find sites dedicated to those things you find interesting, and post comments in forums and message boards. Show people that you know what you’re talking about by creating quality replies, and of course making sure that your signature has an embedded link back to your website! However, there is a qualifier here: try to avoid controversy. Going to websites that center around, say, politics or religion may result in your annoying and alienating more people than gaining contacts.
7. Work With Others
If the opportunity presents itself to team up with an established member of your craft, then by all means do so. Maybe you won’t get top billing, but remember that the purposes of all this is to market yourself, and that means getting exposure. Not only will you get some necessary experience this way, you may pick up a few tips from the veteran.
8. Put Together A Portfolio
Whether you’re writing, illustrating, or shooting pictures, put together a collection of your work. If you’re writing for a website, make sure you get screen shots of your work, or save them in some other fashion, because eventually many of those pages will be taken down.
9. Make Yourself Into A Brand
Marketing is used to sell a product. You are the product. Print up business cards, get a good photo of yourself, keep conveying a consistent message throughout your profiles, blogs, posts, whatever. Present a single image, one impression, of you, something that people will remember.
10. Remember Deadlines And Keep Them Holy
Reputation is an important aspect of marketing, and once you get assignments, you not only need to do them well, you need to complete them in a timely manner. This establishes your reputation as a reliable professional that an editor or project manager can trust and depend on. Deadlines are not suggestions. Even if your work is good, if it comes down between picking you and your deadline-snubbing habits and someone else who is almost as good as you and turns their work in promptly, guess who’s getting hired.
People out there are always looking for talent to help them with their projects. Get your name out there and start building a reputation. Once people realize that you’re out there and they see your work, you’ll get the opportunities you’ve been looking for.