Can you work from home and make your own decisions? Do you choose when you want to work? Are you in direct contact with the clients? If your answers to all this are ‘yes’, then you’re a freelancer.
Many say that this is the best way to work, just because of the great freedom that you have. But, working in the company carries some benefits too. Tools for work, space, clients, organization, regular salary… As a freelancer, you have to take care of all these things by yourself.
One of the most important things is finding clients. So, your question is: how to sell myself? As an individual, you’ll only be able to do that through self-promotion.
So, you want to take things into your own hands and start deciding – about your own job, for who you will work for, which projects you will work on. The first step most freelancers make is to create an account on upwork.com, freelancer.com, 99design etc. Of course, for creators of these networks, the most important are the people who post job advertisements ie. employers. For employers, it’s better there are as many freelancers as possible because that way they can choose the best for the lowest price.
Of course, this situation isn’t good for you if you are a freelancer beginner. The first thing you need to do is to fill out your profile to the maximum. Filling in your portfolio is the most important because it’s the only thing that can make the difference between you and some other freelancers (assuming you don’t have any reviews from customers on these websites). The worst thing is that here ends all you can do on such networks.
Build your landing page
So if you want to find customers, you need to start with the self-promotion, but you can’t engage in self-promotion if you’re the same as everyone else. One of the effective solutions for this problem is the creation of an original landing page. This will be a place where you’ll be presented in the way you want. There will be your contact information, your portfolio, and links to all of your accounts at social and professional networks.
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If you’re not particularly good at development of landing pages or just want to save time, you can try some of these tools:
- landing page builder
Of course, for this you’ill need some hosting provider. There is no doubt, I’d recommend you Hostgator because I’m using it for a long time, I don’t like to experiment a lot.
Now, when applying for a job, you can forward the link to your landing page. You’ll look more professional. For your clients/employers you will be someone who is passionate about his job, who is long in the business, who invested some effort in his business and in himself.
Create unique content, over and over again
Your next goal should be that you aren’t looking for customers, but customers are looking for you. The only thing that could constantly bring visits on your landing page is creating original content, over and over again.
By original content, related to self-promotion, I consider something unique, some of your opinions and experiences. You can’t present yourself as something you’re not and you have to believe in what you are talking about.
Also, such content could be shared all over the internet, you could also do the SEO optimization of content to get a good visit through search engines later.
To create a blog, the simplest and most effective would you be to use WordPress. Not only because of the numerous options and big community behind it, but also because of the great opportunities for expansion and freedom in creating different functions. To start with WordPress, it would be good to get some theme for your blog. This will save you a lot of time, and there are a lot of free themes as well as premium. You can find some on mythemeshop.com. Also, you can use free online blog/website builders such as:
You may be using these solutions to make the blog easier and faster, but you will not be able to add some custom functions and have freedom in development and design.
Social networks – You can’t without them
Original content from the blog can also help in the next step of self-promotion – your appearance on social networks.
Of course, on social networks, you can share people’s links, text, images, but your followers most respect originality and effort. Try to write posts related to your business because you’ll also attract potential customers, people who are interested in the same niche, people who have the same job, and you will be able to get some cooperation with them. You can check my previous post where I answer the question “Do you need all social media channels at the beginning and why not?“, so you’ll find best social networks for your business much easier.
Also, it’s essential to share something from your private life sometimes, for example, pictures of your cat on Instagram or some impressions from travel. People love to work and communicate with people, not with some robots who talk only about work.
Direct self-promotion through email marketing
Now when you have your website / landing page / blog, another aspect of self-promotion can be covered. This aspect is email marketing. Most legal, white-hat, method for creating a mailing list is to let people give their email addresses via a form on your website by themselves. Best and most used tool for creating mailing lists is the MailChimp. Of course, you can use alternatives such as AWeber, which provides a lot of features too.
For creating popups where you can add subscription form, you can use one plugin which comes with the original MailChimp plugin named boxzilla. About this method, opinion is divided, but if you offer your visitors something in return for their emails, you’ll have good results for sure. That could be e-book, some code snippets, discounts, design templates etc.
In the end, the point of self-promotion for freelancers is that the clients come to you, not you to them. For this, you need quality, persistence and original content which will lead people to see your portfolio, resume, and contact information at the end.