Do you ever get stuck on the thought of how to market yourself as a freelance writer?
I mean we are not Target, Amazon or Nike, so how do small-business people/freelance writers like ourselves get our brand out there in the BIG World Wide Web?
If you have ever thought this, you are not alone. I thought the same thing myself when I started.
Thankfully, I learned that it wasn’t as difficult as it seemed to build my brand and get my name out there. It just took a little time and effort and knowing HOW to do it.
I teach a lot about branding on my blog and if you are at all “fuzzy” on this topic, have a look at related articles here
Below, I want to give you 10 ideas and tips to market your freelance writing business. You don’t have to apply all of them immediately, but it’s valuable to know what’s important as you move your business forward.
#1 – Become a blogger. I talked about this more in a recent blog post on why freelance writers love blogging. One tip I can give you is to be consistent with this. If you blog once a week, then make that a part of your weekly schedule. You’re better off blogging only twice a month and remaining consistent than blogging more frequently with sporadic posts.
#2 – Guest post on other blogs. This is a perfect vehicle to make people aware of who you are and what you do. I like to think of it as “working while you sleep.” Your post will be seen by a completely different group of subscribers, who in turn, could subscribe to your blog.
#3 – Subscribe to other blogs and comment on them. This is the ideal way to get to know other bloggers and probably guest post on their blog. Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you. That is wisdom for all areas of life, but it holds true with blogging as well. Bloggers want comments and subscribers, that’s why they post articles. And you want the same thing, so interact with them, support their blog, and they may do the same for you.
#4 – Consistently update your portfolio. If it’s been a year since you added any new samples to your portfolio, it’s been way too long. Consider revisiting your portfolio every six months and add samples that more closely reflect who you are now as a writer, and remove samples that are outdated or aren’t as solid as your newer ones.
Six months is a long time in this field. Your life and writing can change dramatically during that time period. For example, you might have started as a generalist writer, but have now moved into a specialty. Your portfolio should reflect that change.
#5 – Constantly update your website. People like activity. They believe someone is successful when they see evolution. Your website should reflect your growth as a writer and any changes that might occur in your business. If you only wrote blog posts as a service but now you’ve added press releases and website copy, your website should list your new services. Keep it current and active.
#6 – Post to forums. This is another great way to connect with other writers and potential clients. Avoid, however, making your forum posts about you as a writer or your business. Offer tips and always try to contribute something that is valuable to the conversation. Potential clients will see the value you provide and seek out your services. This is another reason why updating your website and portfolio are SO important!
TIP: Aside from forums, you can also use your social profiles and websites such as Craigslist, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to attract, find and land more freelance writing clients. I just created this over-the-shoulder masterclass video training on exactly how to do this. Check it out here.
#7 – Offer a seasonal sale. Giving clients a way to save money is a great way to drum up some business. Perhaps tie it into a season.
Example…Thanksgiving Special – 20% off your first order for writing services.
Or run the sale any time of the year. Offer “two for ones” or greater discounts. Be careful, though, not to offer too many discounts. If you run discounts that continue for a lengthy period of time, it can appear as if the discounted prices are your actual prices and the client will think he can acquire your discounted services at any time, and this may result in him stalling on contacting you. Limited-time discounts create more urgency.
#8 – Advertise if you have the budget. There are so many places you can market yourself. Facebook offers advertising opportunities, and so does Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also run ads on sites that clients might frequent. Is if you have the capital to use this strategy, it is worth trying
#9 – Run a contest. I smiled when I wrote that. People love contests! People love winning prizes for free!
Decide what prize would work for your audience (i.e. free content) and figure out how that prize can promote you and your freelance writing business. Perhaps you can use a contest to get email subscribers. Having potential clients as subscribers is an effective strategy because every time you post a new blog or offer content discounts, email them about it and keep your face in front of them at all times.
#10 – Offer referral enticement. This works especially well if you have previous clients who might want to use your services again. Offer them a percentage off of their next order if they refer clients to you that hire you.
These 10 strategies work well as they will help you market your brand. However, don’t try to execute them all in a day!
Spread them out over time or set dates for the launch of each one on your calendar. This will ensure that you follow through without getting overwhelmed.
Now, it may seem like building your brand will cut into your writing time and steal profits away from you…and it can if you let it. But, it’s also important to note that these strategies will help you increase your income over time. So, the small effort now could pay off in big ways in the future.
This is about YOU. This is about YOUR brand. You are unique and professional and deserve great success. If you are consistent and keep yourself relevant, you WILL be successful. Before long, you might be writing an eBook on how to make six figures as a freelance writer. Nothing would make me happier!
Do you have any other freelance branding strategies? Please share them with me in the comments!