PS has worked as a freelance writer since 2012. When she's not traveling and writing, she helps people with web design and development.
For any business, whether online or offline, getting the first client is the biggest concern and challenge. Here, we are going to talk about online businesses, especially freelancing businesses. Working on the Internet has its own perks, yet generating the expected amount of traffic and receiving steady income is not at all easy. It requires a budget and solid marketing strategy to stand ahead of the competitors.
Here are a few tips to help you kick start your freelancing business:
1. Word of Mouth
Sounds pretty boring because you might have heard it so many times, but it’s effective, indeed. If you are an expert in your work and provides effective services, then word of mouth can help you receive an innumerable number of offers. Many freelancers agree with the fact that the jobs they receive are through their past clients. It is about the experience, relationships, and exposure you receive working as a freelancer that helps you in the long run.
Website is an essential part of every business. Most of the clients search for websites, first to know about an individual or a business. If you are unaware of web building techniques, then get quotes from professional site builders. There are many trustworthy online companies to help you build a website. You can also choose to build your own through WordPress or Wix. It is easy and affordable and has better visual effects to give your client a positive note about you.
3. Advertise your Skills
Marketing is crucial in everything we do online, whether it is building a business, portfolio or social media channel. It can be done in many ways. Marketing technique depends on the type of service you provide. If you run a retail business, then social media marketing is a good option. On the other hand, if you are a writer, then you may opt for a content marketing strategy.
4. PPC Marketing
PPC i.e. Pay Per Click is the Internet marketing tool that pays the individual or business on the basis of a number of clicks received on their websites. Google’s AdWords is one of the largest PPC marketing techniques. Not easy, but still the fastest way to generate web traffic.
In this, you need to sign up an account with AdWords and create an ad for your website. You pay to Google only when someone clicks on your ad.
5. Article/Content Marketing
Content Marketing is one of the best measures to popularise your services on the Internet. It is indirect marketing. In other words, you create articles related to your business, publish them on the Internet and build backlinks. Through this, you can generate huge traffic on your website. Make sure your content is SEO-friendly so that you can build your brand and establish yourself in the market. It is worth noticing that many businesses have generated website traffic in less 6 months through SEO and content marketing strategies.
6. Social Media Channels
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn are the leading social sites. By becoming an active member on any of these sites, you can generate a huge number of potential clients. To get the maximum benefit out of these sites, you need to follow a strategy. Many people complain social media are not worthy enough for businesses, it is because they failed to build a strategy. On the other hand, many freelancers have received huge gain in their businesses only by using social networking.
7. Forum Marketing
Forums are a great way to discuss your business with others. You need to follow some rules and guidelines. Do not spam others, build a solid profile by helping others and asking them to visit your website and give reviews. Some examples are Quora, Reddit, LinkedIn groups and many more.
8. Know your Target Clients
While promoting your services, first note it down, what kind of clients you wish to target. Develop relevant strategy and use specific keywords in your website. Build a list of all the possible problems that your client might be facing and how you can solve them.
9. Write a Guest Post
Some people don’t agree with the fact that writing a guest post can help in building a successful business. The most understood reason for this is that they post on wrong sites. Posting on sites which are written for a specific audience won’t let you receive any potential client. On the other hand, try to write a guest post on sites like Entrepreneur, Forbes and other similar sites which is read by different mindset people, can help you reach your potential clients within a short time.
Old is gold. Blogging is nothing new to us. People do it every time, but hardly we realize that it is an effective measure to spread the news about our business. Most of the websites have a blog section where they talk about their business aspects, past experiences, present and future prospects. Through this, they have the chance to explain their business and generate web traffic. It can be slow, but promisingly an effective tool.
A portfolio helps you visualize your experiences, project, and achievements. If you have doubt on how to build one, make use of sites like Sortfolio, Coroflot, Graphicartistguild, and Hireanillustrator.
12. Keep your LinkedIn Profile current
LinkedIn is the soul of the recruitment process. In comparison to other social sites, spamming and fake accounts on LinkedIn are comparatively less, clients thrive on this social site to know more about your business. Also, the LinkedIn profile appears higher in the Google Search Result. Maintain an up-to-date profile with a professional profile picture and a captivating headline about yourself.
13. Build a Profile on Industrial Social Sites
Besides Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, there are other sites that help you build a professional profile to leverage your freelancing career. Here are the most famous ones:
- Github (Developers, Project Managers)
- Dribble and Behance (Designers, Copywriters)
- Flickr and Photo Critique (Photographers)
- Vimeo (Videographers)
14. Attend Events and Conferences
Events and Conferences are a great way to meet like-minded people and develop a professional relationship. Though digital marketing is a solid medium for promoting yourself, still there is no match for face-to-face networking. Check for upcoming events near you and visit them to build up your professional network.
15. Visit Co-working Spaces
Most of the companies are building co-working spaces to stimulate the freelance network. If you wish to know how other freelancers are building their base, then this is a great place to get started. WeWork is one such example of co-working spaces.
16. Think as an Expert, Work as an Expert
There is no limit to learning anything new or old in any field. So, no one is an expert in a true manner. People call them an expert when they excel in a part of something big, they are already doing. If you think you can play any part pretty well, then you are an expert too. Try writing an ebook. It will not only generate leads but will also help you earn money when you sell it. You can also create online courses.
17. Sell Yourself
Often your hard work is not giving you what you expected. Because it lacks smart ways to make you sell yourself better. The best way to improve the situation is to build a great narrative. By this, I mean to write a self-description that persuades your clients to contact you. Here are a few tips to create a great narrative on your website:
- Display what you specialize in: As soon as your site loads, it must communicate your specialization through visuals. Build a logo or an animation effect that appears as the site loads and disappears in a few seconds.
- Capture their Thought: Your headline and first paragraph of your content must speak volume about you. If you read a book and can’t find it captivating enough after reading the first few paragraphs. then, you are surely not going to read it further. Same goes for your website. Your headline should be your topmost priority.
- Make it simple: Do not include any technical or industrial jargon at the top of your website. It may confuse your clients. Learn their language and speak the way they speak. Research about them what keeps them motivated. It’ll help you generate better objectives for yourself.
- Urge them to take an Action: After you have captured their attention, this is the time to ask them to do something. For example, at the end of the page, you can provide them with a link saying “Click here for Free Consultation” or you can choose to display a clickable button on your website saying “Hire Me” (location depends on your website design.)
- Left no chance to Doubt: Make sure your client is left with no doubt before making a hiring decision. Highlight your testimonials, if you have some recommendation on LinkedIn show that too and show your certification. Certification is also an effective way to lure clients, especially when you have no experience.
Finally, these are some effective tips for you to build a strong base in the business world. Hope this will help you achieve your dreams.
Thank you for reading!