As the famous saying goes, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know”
It is a cliche for a good reason, though. We have to come to terms that it is equally important to build our market appeal for potential clients to strengthen our skills. These two factors are crucial to landing a job in the freelance marketplace and ultimately earn a living for yourself.
So when it comes to building your brand, putting up an appealing freelance website, and just marketing yourself online, what are the best ways to do it?
The following are the ten best digital marketing tips for freelance that they should consider to market themselves:
10 Digital Marketing Tips for Beginners
1.Find your niche
The online world is filled with very diversified projects and job positions that, in turn, requires very diversified skills and talents. That’s why finding your niche is an important part of freelancing. You’ll be surprised that half of these high-quality skills set and talents are ones you could already do exceptionally. Simultaneously, the other half are skills that you can as easily learn and profit off of online. Such skills include freelance digital marketing, writing, web design and web development, project development, virtual assistance, accounting and bookkeeping, graphic design, and the list goes on.
Before marketing yourself online, you have to decide what skills you’re strongest at or what skills you want to be strong at. Once you have decided on what your expertise will be, it’s easier for you to move forward and go for an appropriate marketing strategy to promote yourself online. It’s easiest to market yourself when you’re doing it for the appropriate market.
Make sure to have the “Big Four” of freelancer websites.
As a freelancer, a website is going to be one of your most powerful tools. It gives off a sense of credibility for potential clients to bank on.
Inputting up a good freelance website, a freelancer has to make sure to have the following:
- The Homepage
- The About Me page
- The Portfolio page
- The Contact me page
It is worth noting that employers spend an average of two seconds going through a resumé before moving on to the next one in the traditional job-hunting culture. That being said, one can assume that clients find it disappointing if they need to take more than twenty seconds to find what they’re looking for in hiring a freelancer.
Know how to charge clients
Understandably, setting rates is confusing and an anxious experience for beginner freelancers. After all, charging is a very nuanced part of freelancing.
But for beginner freelancers, it’s important to relax on the matter and always remember that their rates can be flexible for the moment.
How flexible is flexible, though? One can go as far as working for free, provided that it is for any of the following reasons:
- You’re building your portfolio.
- The person/company you’ll work for is a good stepping stone to broaden your network.
- You have an alternative mode of income, so you can afford to trade time for experience.
Once you’re building your portfolio and connections, you can start considering being more rigid in charging rates by considering payment models such as hourly, project-based, retainer, and commissions/bonus.
As a beginner, you’ll most likely find clients if you charge hourly. This keeps them in a safe position to gauge your skills and work ethic. This model as well helps you build a portfolio without running the risk of piling up works.
Create an Online Course
The e-learning market is growing more significant than ever, and fast! Statistics MRC projects that by 2022, the market will amount to $275 billion in 2022.
Creating an online course does seem to be overwhelming. But with platforms like Thinkific or Podia, it has become easier for freelancers to sell their expertise.
You can host online courses on your website or through other freelance platforms, and you can promote courses via social media posts, paid to advertise, and segmented emails.
Create A Client Onboarding Checklist
Once you get a client, expect that starting to work on the project is still way down the road. A crucial step to take first is to make sure you have a client onboarding checklist first. This is a tool that helps you sustain productive client relationships.
This does so by performing functions like sending an automated welcome email to the client, sending an invoice for the first half of the payment, and setting up a project management tool where you and the client can monitor the project’s progress. The client onboarding checklist helps the project to stay on track and the client to maintain confidence.
Address The Most Common Client Objections
Not every freelancer and client is meant to see every detail eye to eye. There are bound to be disagreements and even reasons not to hire a particular freelancer in the first place.
But as a freelancer, keep in mind that these clients are hiring because they need help. And so, when common client objections arise, you have to be ready to handle them.
Some of the most common client objections and how to handle them include the following:
- Your rate is too expensive. Instead of naming your price upfront, it’s crucial to put forward your work quality first and all the benefits of working with you.
- You don’t understand my business. It’s essential to respond with curiosity rather than defensiveness. The client will feel safe knowing that you’re willing to understand them so that you can do the job well.
- The client doesn’t have the time or resources for this right now. Instead of asking them when the best time to talk later is, ask them what time and resources they DO have right now. This helps you learn what support you can offer them in the meantime.
Ask for Referrals
After finishing a project with a client and hopefully getting a positive review from them, it’s important to muster up the guts to ask for referrals.
Alternatively, you can approach the deed closer to home by asking people you know. These can be friends, families, colleagues, and former clients.
There’s no shame in asking for referrals as this, more often than not, opens windows of opportunity for you to be known in your field of work. It’s an opportunity to share the quality of work that you take pride in.
Treat Yourself Like A Business
Whether freelancing is your full-time career or is just your side hustle, it’s important to take the opportunity seriously. You shouldn’t approach freelancing as something “you just do in your spare time,” regardless if it’s true or not.
Anything, including freelancing, is a sustainable career if you put your heart into it. And your approach shows through your work. Whether online freelancing is your side hustle or not, when you approach the deed like you mean business, the client feels that.
Stick To Deadlines
As much as you have to avoid overselling your skills, you have to avoid overselling your time as well.
We get it; you want to turn in the best output in the shortest period. But you have to remember that the unexpected happens. You have to give yourself ample allowance for such. At the same time, you have to manage the expectations of the client.
Setting realistic expectations and reaching deadlines are better than overselling your time where you’re compelled to adjust afterward. It gives your client a negative impression of you.
Regularly Pitch Your Services
Consistency is key. That is still mainly true in freelance work. Apart from these digital marketing tips, Any regularly pitching your products/services online is an excellent way of garnering clients.
No matter your chosen niche, you have to keep in mind that finding work heavily includes selling yourself. And the basics of business is that you can’t sell what you don’t sell.
Take it from top freelancers and utilize the digital marketing tips to earn handsome income. In regularly promoting themselves in whichever platform necessary, there comes a reasonable spike in traffic in their inbox and a pile of workload for which the payout is proportionately blowing up.
You have to aim for consistent online marketing of yourself to statistically raise the chances of you being seen, considered, and ultimately hired by potential clients using these above digital marketing tips for freelancers.
Kunal Vaghasiya is the writing adviser for International students that seek rapid paper assistance. Kunal shares helpful suggestions on writing, productivity, study, references. Occasionally Kunal goes off-topic by discussing his personal experience peppered with playful humor.