As a freelancer, you are faced with a number of hurdles when you first start out. Getting your name out and finding clients is arguably the biggest hurdle you’ll face. Because you likely don’t have a massive budget to dedicate to marketing, it’s important to find cost-effective ways to go about it.
Find a Niche You Can Specialize In
Part of the challenge when it comes to marketing is finding a way for your product or service to stand out from the competition. In the case of freelancing you want to be able to stand out from other freelancers who seemingly offer the same services. This is where it can help to find a niche that you can specialize in.
By specializing in a particular niche, you are seen as an expert, which of course helps you to stand out. It's about being different and offering different things from a customer's point of view. Your “added value” needs to be included in your marketing and advertising pieces, and should appear on your website.
Build an Eye-Catching Website
Speaking of websites, this is another important step you’ll want to take. Your website is your calling card of sorts. Visitors can find your contact information, as well as take a look at your services, your expertise, visuals, videos, and ideally a blog that allows you to showcase your many skills.
It can be very difficult to get your new website seen, so you want to be sure you link it to all your social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Create Professional Business Cards
If you will be out in the public marketing yourself then you absolutely need to have professional looking business cards that you can hand out. Nowadays you can take advantage of online printing services and make your cards at home, and not have to spend a fortune on them. Your business cards should contain your contact information, your company logo/tagline, and your social media information.
Create an Online Portfolio
An online portfolio is becoming more and more mainstream, and is a fabulous place to showcase your skills and talents. You can even start to build this portfolio while you are still in school. This portfolio can be linked to your website, on your business cards, and of course on your social media accounts. Your online portfolio should contain the best of the best.
If you happen to be acting as a guest blogger or contributor on other people’s websites and blogs, make sure you include a link to your online portfolio in your “author’s bio”.
Network as Often as Possible
Lastly, it's important to get out there and network as often as possible. While it would be great if all your marketing could be done online, the fact of the matter is that in-person networking is still important and still has value.
A Long Process – Consistency is Important
Marketing yourself as a freelancer isn’t a quick little thing that takes little effort on your part, instead it’s about staying consistent and keeping at it.