This is the fourth part in our series. I’m going to be talking about each essential stage of freelancing. So this post shares some tips about the fourth stage: marketing and getting clients.
We’ve talked about Stage 1: how to choose the perfect freelancing niche…how to determine if you want to be a bookkeeper, a proofreader, a freelance writer, that kind of thing.
We’ve talked about Stage 2: how to build an online marketable skill set to perform services in your chosen niche.
We’ve talked about Stage 3: how to onboard new clients.
Now we’re going to talk about marketing and getting clients.
If you prefer to watch the video, just scroll down.
Marketing…everybody’s favorite or least favorite part of building their freelance business.
One of the biggest fears that freelancers have is getting out there and actually interacting with clients.
I like to think of marketing as a two-part process:
- Identifying who and where your dream client is and finding them
- Interacting with your dream client and closing them…Taking them from being a prospective client to a paying client.
Knowing your dream client very well is the key to finding them. I know that’s a cliche, everybody says you have to know who your dream client is, know their avatar, but it’s a cliche for a reason.
When you know who they are, you can find them easily. You can find out where they’re hanging out.
But it’s more than that, it’s also about being able to tell what job posting is a good one and what’s a red flag, the one you don’t want to apply to.
Then comes that second part of actually interacting with them and taking them through that process of going from a prospective to a paying client, and that’s really about communication and nurturing and adding value without an expectation of return, but it has to be intentional and it has to be pretty structured from beginning to end.
I know that this can be an overwhelming part for a lot of aspiring freelancers. They’re unsure, they don’t want to feel salesy or sleazy.
I like to say that if you’re doing the marketing the right way, then it should feel natural and it should feel easy. It should not feel sleazy in any way.
If it does, you’re marketing yourself incorrectly.
So, one piece of advice that I want to give: choose one expert and only one.
Put on your blinders to all of the other strategies, just choose one expert to follow and then emulate before you innovate.
Try out their strategy, do what they say when it comes to getting clients, do what they say first, and then innovate on that strategy. So emulate before you innovate.
And keep in mind that it should feel natural. I also like to think of marketing as a game of Marco Polo where the prospective client is online, looking for a freelancer, crying “Marco,” and you are there to just say “Polo,” so it’s a natural response.
So, chin up! Marketing is fun. Marketing is easy if you do it right. Don’t shy away from it. Do it, but do it with intention and with prior planning, so you’re not winging it, so that you do it correctly from the get-go, and get those clients.