In this age of increased remote work opportunities and a desire for more freedom in the workplace, many marketers have turned their heads away from large agencies in favor of offering services as freelancers. This is an attractive option for a rapidly growing percentage of seasoned marketers, as it allows them to set their own hours, choose clients that they are passionate about, and often make more money than they would elsewhere.
Arguably, the largest barrier to starting your own freelancing business is knowing how to get the word out about your services. As marketers, we certainly have an advantage in this department, but it can still be daunting to think of yourself objectively, as a client. Understanding who you are as a professional and as a brand is crucial to demonstrating competency within an industry, and GYDE is here to help with some tips and tricks we’ve picked up along our journey!
We’ll start with the basics: before you can start marketing yourself to potential clients, you need a clear understanding of what you are trying to sell. Whether you’re a graphic designer, copywriter, or marketing strategist – even if you do a bit of everything – you need to effectively communicate your skills so prospective leads can make an educated decision to work with you. Make sure that your services are clearly listed online to prevent confusion!
Additionally, ensure that you have clear brand guidelines. Even if this requires hiring a fellow freelancer to design a logo and corresponding colors or fonts, you’ll be glad you did! Having defined branding across all marketing channels will convey professionalism and personality, making your business appear more attractive to clients.
It is undeniable that social media has become a necessary aspect of any marketing strategy, and for good reason! The ability to connect with your audience on channels like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc. is unparalleled in any other marketing space, as it allows you to be more conversational in your messaging and stay active within the communities you are marketing to. Social media is a phenomenal tool to gain trust from your audience and share mutually beneficial content; sharing your expertise, testimonials from happy clients, and examples of your work are just a few ways to grow a following while also marketing your business. Don’t forget to stay on top of replying to comments and DMs – people notice when your engagement is lacking, and so does the algorithm!
Yes, we know that networking is not a new concept. If you’ve been in the marketing industry for some time, you’ve surely paid your dues by reaching out to hiring managers, experts in your field, and other colleagues to make connections and land new opportunities. As a freelancer, this becomes even more necessary, as you’re likely operating alone, without the backing of an already-established company’s roster of clients and connections. Don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone you think may help expand your knowledge or get your foot in the door somewhere, whether it be past coworkers or companies you dream of working with. This can be a daunting process at first, but it rings true that you’ll never know if you don’t try!
Having confidence in yourself and your abilities is necessary as a freelancer. You’ll have to get comfortable selling yourself, and chances are that you won’t be the only marketer that a client is considering hiring. You must understand what makes you different (and better) than other freelancers, so spend some time listing out your strengths and weaknesses to understand the areas you may need to improve and highlight those in which you excel! Additionally, practice simple nonverbal communication tactics that will make you appear confident; a firm handshake, sustained eye contact, good posture, and appropriate fashion choices are all easy habits that instantly make you come across as put-together. When all else fails, fake it ‘til you make it!
There are a plethora of great job boards out there for freelancers to advertise themselves on – that’s where GYDE comes in! The beauty of platforms like ours is that everybody logging on is actively looking for a freelance professional to hire, so you know that you’re marketing to the right audience no matter what! This also means, however, that everybody posting their services is competing for similar, if not the same roles, so the key here is to differentiate yourself by playing into your strengths and weaknesses (hello, confidence tips!). Include a portfolio and client testimonials here, as well as any valuable links to social media or your website. Give prospective clients everything they need to make an informed decision about working with you, and they will respond to your authenticity!
Without a strong marketing strategy, your freelancing dreams probably won’t come to fruition. Making a name for yourself seems like an intimidating task, but it is easier to achieve than you think! GYDE is passionate about helping freelancers do what they are passionate about, and our community is here to support one another at all stages of their journeys.