Working as a freelancer can be liberating. You are your own boss. For many people, that goal alone is literally worth any extra headaches. However, it’s still worth noting that those headaches can be plentiful. In particular, trying to consistently market yourself so that you have steady work can cause lots of people more anxiety than they feel it’s worth. Marketing is more of a habit than a singular action, though. Once you get into the habit of doing specific things to get your name out there, you’ll find that it will start to come naturally, and the work will start flowing more freely. Here are some tips to help you get started marketing yourself as a freelancer…
Go to Relevant Trade Shows
Trade shows are an amazing opportunity for freelancers. They put you right in front of your customers and allow you to speak with them face-to-face, which is the advantage of being a freelancer since your personal touch is inherent with what you do. It also provides a great opportunity to showcase promotional materials, from vinyl signs to decal cars. When setting aside your marketing budget, look up the prices to attend specific shows as a vendor. While many events can easily run a few thousand dollars (between the booth, marketing material, lodging, and travel), some can cost under $100.
There are many local event groups that you can join and have a booth at a small, local event if you are concerned about your budget. However, make sure that you chose the right show. Many shows are industry-specific, so choose the events that will best fit you and your brand before you sign up.
Have a Unique Business Card
While it’s important for people’s face-to-face interaction with you to be memorable, your business card is going to constantly remind people of that interaction. As such, their importance should not be underrated. Having a unique design or making your business card useful will leave a lasting impression on your customers.
Try to be creative with it! For example, you could make your business cards fold out to become an airplane, easel, or chair. Or, you could make your business card a useful multi-purpose tool. Some other ideas are edible business cards, business cards that have an equipped thumb drive, tear-away business cards (so they can give one to a friend), a cheese grater, picture frames, or have a tear-off sticker. The opportunities here are endless. Some companies only specialize in unique business card ideas. Remember, this is your personal brand, don’t be boring with it.
Attend Popular Community Events
While the marketplace is getting more and more global, it’s important to remember that we are a part of smaller communities as well. Getting involved in your own community will help get your name out there. Oftentimes, these community events are a great way to give back, as well. (There are also tax-deductible advantages here, as well.) Look for opportunities to sponsor a local fundraiser, such as a school fun run, a charity relay, a shoe drive, etc. Just make sure that the event is a good way to represent you and your culture. You don’t want to sponsor an event that your audience is not attending. If you can’t find a good event, host your own!
Collaborate with Valuable Partners
Your greatest ally to you, a freelancer, is other freelancers. Even your competitors can be valuable resources for marketing and finding new clients. Reach out to other freelancers in your area, especially ones who provide services that are complementary to your own, and work together to feed each other work. Have each other’s business cards on your person, attend events together, mention each other on your site/social media, etc. This takes a good deal of the load off of you to provide the sole source of advertising for yourself and helps build valuable business relationships that can be fostered over time.
Be Present on Social Media
Social media is one of the great marketing equalizers. While large companies may pour thousands and thousands of dollars into having a solid social media presence, the freelancers of the world actually still have the advantage over them, because people want to follow other people. A freelancer has the advantage of doing awesome work to show off, while still having a face and a personality that people enjoy interacting with. For this reason, it is critical to invest in social media marketing, as a freelancer.