When’s the last time you pitched a new idea to yourself?
Once you get the ball rolling as a freelance marketer, and have gathered a nice ‘lil circle of clients, you tend to put a lot of your creative juices in the mix for them. Which makes sense: they’re the ones paying you.
But all too often, marketers suddenly find that they’ve neglected their own marketing for a little too long. A client leaves, and they're trying to fill the gap. Or their ambitions change, so they need to reach out to new clients. Doing that with an outdated marketing strategy for yourself sets you back a few weeks, if not months.
So, it’s time to take a good hard look at what you’re doing for yourself, how you can be more effective and ultimately: more creative. We’ll skip the basics such as scheduling posts ahead of time and updating your portfolio or profile. Let’s dive right into some real me-time for your marketing, shall we?
Tip 1: Don't just market your services, market you.
Chances are, your ideal client isn't just looking for a kick-ass marketer, but also a reliable person who is a great communicator. That doesn't necessarily show in your profile, and letting it come across in a thirty-minute interview is hard, to say the least.
You see, clients don't just hire freelancers for their skills. You can have the most creative mind and extensive Adobe toolkit, but if you can't effectively communicate with the team, how are you going to know what they really really want, and create that?
So, in your marketing, make some room for other people to do the talking: happy clients. Not just about your beautiful deliverables, but also your timely service, your proactive attitude and your willingness to learn—or whatever sets you apart.
You can do this with reviews on your website, snippets in blogs, or by sharing case studies where you let clients do the talking.
But don't limit it to that. Every piece of communication you send out, every interaction, is an opportunity to show clients how you are to work with. Put some extra thought into it, and it’ll come back to you.
Tip 2: Know your value and communicate it strongly
The Marketing Mix used to be made up of 4 Ps: Product, Place, Promotion and Price. With a few new shiny additions to that, it’s possible you’ve lost focus. So, time to get the basics covered and rethink your price.
You wouldn’t advise a client to start selling a product without having a price determined yet, would you? Yet, it's often a crux for freelancers. Your services feel abstract, and putting a price to them is difficult.
But, if you want to market yourself as a professional freelancer, you have to show clients that you understand the value of your work within their market—and price accordingly.
Now, you’re not in the market alone. Here at Passionfruit, we see both sides of it, client and freelancer, which gives us the ability to help you both figure out what value you add—and what price you can put on that.
Once you’ve got that figured out, you have to be able to communicate your price with confidence, know why you ask what you ask, and what you deliver to clients in return when it comes to their KPIs.
Tip 3: Think about where you are marketing yourself
Do you want to attract top-tier clients, but are you still fishing in the local pond?
Choose your channels consciously. Pick a few and then do them right, instead of reluctantly the ones you don't like or aren't good at (and thus don't get any business from anyway).
Diversifying your lead generation is important, but after a while of trying different channels you should be able to point towards which ones work best, and double down on those.
Tip 4: Become really good at asking the right questions
Marketing isn't just a sales pitch, it's a conversation. If you've spent the last few years perfecting your story, your ‘Why’, your elevator pitch or whatever it is you use: good!
Now keep it in the back of your mind, and start thinking about which questions you could ask your clients to really set you apart, and really show you’re trying to understand how to create something successful for them.
In other words: what are you saying to clients in pitches when you aren't talking about your services or yourself?
Tip 5: Don't just market yourself for this project, market yourself for the next
I don't need to tell you that acquiring new clients is a lot harder than retaining existing ones.
So, take a look at your current marketing strategy and ask yourself: is this showing clients I’m a stable, future-proof choice they can go to over and over again, or am I positioning myself as a one-time thing?
You can make yourself more valuable for the future by offering services such as monitoring, regular revisions, consultations, and a valuable network that your partners can also benefit from.
And if you don't have time for things like that, consider what subcontractors could do for you, while you still remain the point of contact for your clients.
Tip 6: Think less of it as marketing, more as helping people (for free)
You’re a marketer at heart, but you know you can't win over anyone else's heart by just putting out beautiful ads that are perfectly targeted. At the end of the day, it’s about helping people.
Scratch the word marketing out of your head for your next brainstorming session on your own marketing and replace it with helping.
How can you create content that helps people—either with finding the right freelancer, or with doing some things themselves, or understanding their market or trends?
There are many ways you can help people—for free—and it will feel a lot better to put out content like that.
Time to book a chat with yourself
Do your future freelance self a favour and start looking into some ways to spice up your self-marketing now. And who knows: maybe you’ll learn a thing or two that you can apply for your clients too. Win-win!
Vicky is an experienced Content and Copywriter with 6+ years experience. She is an expert in B2C and B2B copy across multiple industries. You can find her on LinkedIn here.