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How to Market Yourself as a Freelancer

How to Market Yourself as a Freelancer

It’s hard enough to create a compelling resume and cover letter when you’re job hunting for a regular job. But when you work for yourself as a freelancer, you’re constantly hunting for new work. Freelancing can be a feast-or-famine business, and the only successful freelancers are the ones who know how to successfully market themselves and put themselves out there on a consistent basis. In this quick guide, we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty of how to market yourself as a freelancer.

Think of Yourself as a Business

One of the mistakes many freelancers make when they’re first starting out is that they think of themselves as an individual rather than as a business.

When you think of yourself as an individual, you often put yourself in the position of treating clients like supervisors. This can make it hard to charge the rates you deserve, and it can also make it hard to get new clients on a regular basis.

If, instead, you think of yourself as a business, then you start to think in business terms. You position the services you offer as a product for sale, and you realize that your prices are non-negotiable. And when you realize that you’re a business, you can begin to think in terms of branding yourself, which can help you make effective marketing decisions.

Have Your Own Website

Having your own website is key to marketing yourself as a freelancer. On your website, you should include information about who you are, what you stand for, and what kind of content you produce. You should also upload a professional portfolio where you display some of your best work, as well as a listing of the services you offer and the prices you charge.

Having your prices included on your website can, again, position your services as commodities and your prices as non-negotiable. This can make future conversations about your rates easier to navigate. You can even use your website to track where you’re getting traffic from, which will allow you to make informed decisions about which tools to spend your resources on. If you want to improve your sales tracking, use Commence CRM.

Ask for Recommendations

Word-of-mouth recommendations are some of the most valuable marketing resources you can get as a freelancer. If you work with a client and they indicate that they appreciate your work, don’t be afraid to ask them to leave a review on your website and to recommend you to people in their network.

Becoming confident about asking for recommendations is pivotal to being an effective networker when you work from home. And by continuing to ask for word-of-mouth recommendations, you tend to continue to get clients in the same field. This can allow you to learn the ins and outs of the industry, which will allow you to produce higher quality content.

Pick a Niche

If you want to charge top prices, you have to be a top freelancer. In order to do this, you have to pick a niche, or industry, to work for.

Why is it important to have a niche if you want to make it as a freelancer? Clients who are willing to pay top prices for work to be done want to see proof that you know what you’re doing. The more that you understand their industry, the more you can come to the table with insights that will give them value–and, ultimately, convince them to pay you the money you deserve.

Focusing on one industry allows you to spend your time and energy doing the research needed to have those insights. It also prevents you from being thrown off by industry-specific questions and terminology.

Prove You’re an Expert in Your Niche

Once you have a niche, you have to prove to your clients that you’re an expert in that niche. One way to do that is to show examples of work you’ve done in that industry.

But what if you’re just starting out, or you’re choosing your niche for the first time and don’t have experience in that industry? It’s possible to become an expert in your niche–and prove it to potential clients–even if you don’t have experience freelancing for that industry.

The key is to first choose an industry to work in that you actually care for. Pick something that you’re passionate about or that you have first-hand experience with. Then, do research in that industry while showing off any existing knowledge.

There are a few ways you can do this. One way is to create sample pieces for that industry and place them on your website in your portfolio. This is a great way to show potential clients what you’re capable of.

You can also create content around your industry. Blog posts, Youtube videos, and Podcasts are all great ways to prove your expertise on a subject. These are also great ways to improve your website’s search engine rankings, which can, in turn, get you in front of more potential clients.

Wrapping It Up

Being a freelancer relies on your ability to always be hustling for new work. But if you perfect the art of marketing yourself as a business with a stake in a particular industry, you can cut down on the need to make cold calls and instead have clients reaching out to you to try to access your services.

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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.