Estimated reading time: 3 mins
The freelance world can be a highly saturated and ruthlessly competitive marketplace with strong international competition.
This means you aren’t just competing with the person down the road, or in the next city, you’re now competing with a global network of freelancers, many of which can undercut you dramatically due to living in much cheaper countries such as India and Pakistan where the cost of living is much lower.
Today, your ability to market yourself effectively is paramount to your success. See, you can have the best skills in your particular area of expertise, whether you’re a graphic designer or teacher with a TEFL qualification – but if you aren’t able to market yourself effectively nobody is going to know you even exist, let alone hire you.
Therefore, the quality of your ability to get the job done is often overshadowed by your ability to market yourself. This can feel very intimidating to people just starting out, yet, personal branding is here to stay, so now’s the time to get to grips with it.
If you’re new to online marketing, it’s understandable that you might feel somewhat overwhelmed, as there are so many things to learn about aspects such as search engine optimisation that you might feel so bamboozled you don’t know where to begin.
For this reason, we’re going to look at three simple strategies to help you get the ball rolling.
FOCUS ON A PARTICULAR NICHE
It can be tempting to purport to serve everyone, but this can come across like being a jack of all trades, as most people like to do business with someone they view as an expert within a particular field. Therefore, rather than promote yourself as someone that dabbles or tinkers in their craft, it would be better to position yourself as an expert within a clearly defined niche.
The further benefit to this is that it will significantly reduce your marketing cost if you are focusing your ad campaigns and keywords on more niche focused terms, as for instance, “graphic design” is a lot more competitive than “graphic design for boutique hotels”.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
In the age of social media, it would appear redundant to attend networking events in person, as everything is now done online yet it’s important to remember that people buy people. Today, we focus much more on developing our online personas via facebook and instagram than we do interacting with people in the flesh, but if you want to make a good impression (bearing in mind people often buy ‘people’ more than the service that you provide) you need to get out there and make some connections.
WORD OF MOUTH
Imagine now, someone you know and trust recommends a film, the chances are high that you’ll go ahead and check that film out. Similarly, when people we know recommend people they trust we tend to go with their recommendation.
In summary, marketing yourself as a freelancer is fiercely competitive and it can feel overwhelming to the extent you may feel the need to get a degree in digital media – but this isn’t necessary, as by leveraging the tips above you can get started and learn all about content marketing, lead generation, SEO, and so on as you progress.