How to Survive as a Freelancer Part 2
This is the second in our ongoing series, about surviving as a Freelancer.
In this blog, we’re going to get into the issues of Marketing.
You’ve already launched your Freelance Business and now you’re ready to get the word out. You know that you need to invest time, money, resources in promoting your new business - but what are the smartest and most effective ways to do so?
Marketing is an ever-changing process, of course - particularly in today’s world. It may seem challenging to keep up with the newest trends and developments. But ultimately, even with today’s technologies, Marketing still boils down to one simple statement:
Marketing breaks down as:
Who: who needs to see your brand message?
Where: where will you find those people?
What: what message should you share with them?
How: what mediums will you use to connect to them?
I recommend starting by identifying two distinct groups of people. Your first group will consist of people you know who will support your efforts. These aren’t your prospective clients necessarily - they are the family, friends, colleagues and others who will probably put in a good word.
The second list will consist of people that actually can benefit from the freelance writing work you’re doing. It’s important to have a clearly-defined client type. If you don’t have one, please inquire about our Brand Narrative workshops - Evergreen Script Services can help you determine who is most likely to benefit from the services you’ll be offering. When making your list of prospective clients - be specific. Don’t just write “small business owners in my area” - do your research and identify the types of businesses that can most benefit from your services, and find out the names of their CEO’s or managers. If you wrote a business plan (please tell me you wrote a business plan?!) then you already have completed your market research and know how in demand your business is.
In the previous blog, I wrote about how to have a successful launch of your business including the possibility of hosting a party. The same friends, family, etcetera who would attend your launch party are the people that should be on List A.
They’re the first people I want you to reach out to in Marketing. Draft an introductory email, with your new logo and information about your business including what you’re doing (party or Open House, etc) to launch. Send an invitation to all those people on List A and specifically tell them:
This lets your people know that you NEED their help. You may even offer a gift to those who refer business to you. But you definitely want to thank anyone who does so, and it’s a good idea to let your friends know at the start of your freelance business that you want them to think of you for referrals.
With List B, you want to reach out to your potential clients in a professional, courteous and non-invasive manner. I would suggest using LinkedIn to send a private message to business owners in your community who you’ve already identified as potential clients. Send them a quick message, letting them know:
Of course, you’ll want to follow up with each of these people and when you meet with them, having something specific you can offer them. A trifold folder, a business card and a specific request. They may not all need your services immediately, but if you have clearly defined your business market, they will eventually need you.
Social media offers a wealth of possibilities when it comes to marketing but ultimately, nothing beats the face-to-face opportunity to share your message and ask for what you need. I also recommend joining a referral-sharing network like BNI. BNI allows you the opportunity to meet like-minded professionals each week and to provide them referrals, while also training them to become your salespeople and provide you with the business you need to grow.