How to Market Yourself as a New Freelancer – with Zero Experience
Making the jump into freelance work can be daunting. The prospect of finding people willing to pay you for your work? Even more so!
Still, you can find clients and be on your way to creating a fulfilling career for yourself – even without freelancing experience! It comes down to how you market yourself and services to potential clients. Whether you’re a writer, web designer and mobile app developer, marketing, and PR consultant, graphic designer, photographer, or social media manager, the following ways can help in marketing your new-found career.
Identify a Niche
Businesses want to hire and pay for someone who knows their stuff. They want a freelancer who specializes in their industry, who they trust will produce the best work. A writer writing for tech startups or a website developer designing websites for B2C companies are examples of freelancers finding their niche. In return, they get to market themselves as experts in those industries.
How can you do this without experience? Consider your experiences and passion. Perhaps a former account manager for a digital media agency wants to help local nonprofits with social media campaigns. She can leverage her professional experience to appeal to clients with causes she’s passionate about.
It may require some soul-searching, but finding a niche you’re familiar with and enthusiastic about will help you appear competent and proficient to potential clients.
Start a Blog
This is significant, even if you’re not a writer. Having a blog is a perfect way to present yourself as an authority on a given topic. It also gives you a voice and platform to share valuable insights. Blogs attract an online audience, as well as prove to prospective clients you know what you’re talking about. And if you don’t have much experience, this can demonstrate your capabilities.
A general rule with blogging is to keep your content relevant and fresh. Aim to write at least one blog post per month. This will help you to set the stage to promote yourself as a freelancer.
Join a Coworking Space
Freelance and remote work doesn’t have to be isolating! One way to combat loneliness and gain support is finding a coworking space to join. Most offer varying types of memberships, including a one-day-a-week option. Being a member of coworking spaces offers a strong sense of community.
It’s also a great way to build your network. Someone you talk to may know of someone in need of your work. There’s the potential of finding ways you and other co-workers can help each other out in marketing as a freelancer.
Hone Existing Skills and Keep Learning
If you have an academic or professional history, you have skills to build upon. Your job, now, is to recognize these skills and pinpoint how businesses will benefit from your talents.
There’s always room for improvement. A photographer can take photos and edit them with quality equipment, but he could always learn new techniques or software to enhance his craft. A willingness to expand your skill set will make you invaluable to paying clients.
Create Samples of Work
Just because you don’t have examples of paid work, doesn’t mean you’re unable to show what you can do.
Writers should form a portfolio of article or blog post samples. Graphic designers can create sample social graphics and logos to showcase their creative abilities. Web developers can create an interactive, powerful website for themselves to impress businesses.
Creating relevant and high-quality samples of services you offer increases the likelihood of landing your first couple clients. They will serve as “work to trust” while you are building your freelancer career.
Attend Networking Events in Your City
Professional networking events are a great way to meet people face-to-face and talk about what you do for a living. With freelance gigs being notorious for searching online for jobs, getting out and actually talking to people can be refreshing. It also sets you apart from the dozens of emails businesses receive in response to job board posts. Coworking spaces, as mentioned earlier, also regularly host networking events.
Don’t knock the fact that a person could hire you simply because they like you. Low-pressure conversations show personality and can lead to a connection, resulting in someone trusting you to take on a project for them.
Be Active on Social Media
Social media allows you to connect with people and businesses you may otherwise not have been able to. For example, a startup from another country could come across your marketing consultancy account on Twitter via hashtag.
Determining which social media platforms to join is key. You should also post often to build your brand, and market what you can offer businesses.
Use Your Personal Network
Letting friends and family know what you’re doing could open doors to opportunity. A friend could know of someone starting a business and in need of a website. Your current personal network is probably bigger than you think; don’t underestimate the power of friends and family.
There you have it! A number ideas on how to launch your marketing efforts to establish a freelance career you love!
This article was contributed by Brittney Stern.