[Beginner] How to Market Yourself Online as a Freelancer

For the freelancer, self-marketing is the number one tool for finding work, gaining clients, and making the profits necessary to maintain a livelihood. And with more and more people turning to freelance work as their primary means of income, the freelance world has become more competitive than ever before, emphasizing the importance of self-marketing.

Knowing how to market yourself online as a freelancer does more than just put your name out there, though; as the majority of companies and people search online for a freelancer for everything from content creation to graphic design and more, making sure that you’re easily findable through the Internet is essential for success. Online marketing – as opposed to non-virtual marketing methods of old – is the most effective marketing means given today’s high levels of digitalization and technological-obsession. Plus, online marketing is much easier to measure and optimize than is offline marketing. Outbound marketing, for example, is very difficult to gather data and analytics on, whereas inbound marketing (which is done online), allows for easy metrics measuring so that you can make changes to your self-marketing strategy as necessary.

Use Social Media to Connect

Social media is a blessing to businesses and freelancers when it comes to marketing, as social media provides people with the ability to connect with thousands of others at absolutely no cost whatsoever. As a freelancer, you absolutely need to be taking advantage of the benefits that social media provides you. Social media sites that you need to be on are YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr are all advised, but not quite as pertinent to your self-marketing approach. Use the former three to post a quick video about your skills and talents, advertise yourself using paid advertising, and connect with other users who will spread the word about the services that you have to offer.

When using social media for marketing purposes, though, be careful of what you post. All content should always remain professional, and you should consider establishing a secondary business page in addition to your own personal page if necessary.

Build a Website

When it comes to knowing how to marketing yourself online, having a website is a fundamental step. Building a basic website is easier than ever, and less expensive than it ever has been, too. There are a variety of services out there, such as WordPress Site Building, that allow you to create a website that looks very professional with no graphic design or coding skills at all. And, a lot of these website building services are free, or very inexpensive (around $30 a month) if you want to upgrade to a more unique or professional looking design. A website can be a great place for you to share information about yourself, give clients a sneak peek of your work, post a blog, and provide a contact form for interested clients to get in touch with you.

If you’re building a website, then you should go a step above and beyond by making your website optimized for mobile use. A 2014 Nielsen Report details how mobile phones and tablets have taken over the Internet, being used far more often than the PC or laptop of old. As such, your website needs to be optimized for mobile use so that potential clients can read about your services and get in contact with you while on the go.

Share Clients with Other Businesses through Affiliate Marketing

You might be scratching your head at this one, but let us explain first – depending upon your skill set and services, there are probably a variety of businesses or other freelancers out there who operate within your same target market, but don’t operate within your particular niche. For example, a legal writing company probably has a slew of lawyer clients that require law content for their websites. But, what happens when one of those clients requests a piece of non-legal content? If you write marketing content, for example, then this might be a perfect client for you to connect with. On the same token, if you have a client that you do marketing work for, who then requires a legal post, you can refer them to the legal writing company if you don’t have a background in the law. By sharing clients with your non-direct competitors, you can forge strong relationships and help to build your customer base.

Get Blogging

The blog- the single tool that, no matter how much you talk about it, never goes out of date and is always mentioned as a way for freelancers (and others) to market themselves. And so, it is said again: get blogging! A blog is arguably the most effective way to showcase your talents as a freelancer and can act as a portfolio for your talents. More than that, though, a blog gives readers and potential clients a way to get to know you, and get a feel for your style and personality. Of course, blogging also gives you a means of free promotion and self-advertising and will help to improve your search engine rankings, or how easy it is for search engines like Google to find you. The more your blog focuses search engine optimization (SEO), the more traffic that your blog will receive. Link your blog to your social media sites and website, and vice versa, and watch as the customers start to flow in.

More than that, though, a blog gives readers and potential clients a way to get to know you, and get a feel for your style and personality. Of course, blogging also gives you a means of free promotion and self-advertising and will help to improve your search engine rankings, or how easy it is for search engines like Google to find you. The more your blog focuses search engine optimization (SEO), the more traffic that your blog will receive. Link your blog to your social media sites and website, and vice versa, and watch as the customers start to flow in.

The more your blog focuses search engine optimization (SEO), the more traffic that your blog will receive. Link your blog to your social media sites and website, and vice versa, and watch as the customers start to flow in.

Make an Ask

If you notice a company or client that really could benefit from your services, or if you’ve done a one-time project for a company that went really well, don’t be afraid to ask for work. If a company needs a graphic designer, content editor, social media marketing guru, etc., and your skill set fits their needs, there’s a good chance that by simply asking, you’ll get the job. If a company doesn’t need your services at the time but is impressed by your work, then provide them with your contact information and follow up with them in a few months’ time, reminding them that you’re still interested in helping out. When potential clients notice your enthusiasm and passion for your work, they’ll be more inclined to work with you.

In addition to asking businesses if they’re in need of your services, another how-to for marketing yourself online is to ask businesses that you’ve already done work for to write a testimonial or review that can be shared on your website or blog.

Know How to Market Yourself Online, Attract More Business than Ever Before

If you know how to market yourself online effectively, then you’re bound to start attracting more clients than ever before. By building up a community of followers on social media, building a website where clients can discover information about your services, sharing clients with other businesses through affiliate marketing, blogging regularly about your niche, and asking potential clients and businesses if they could benefit from your services, your freelance career will begin to flourish.

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