How can I promote my freelance business?

The number one problem freelancers face is finding the time to market their business.

Or, more bluntly, knowing how to effectively market their business in the first place.

Either you have too many clients to find five minutes to put yourself out there, or you don’t have enough clients — which means the methods you’ve been using already aren’t working.

So, in the vein of being quick and easy, I’ve put together different things to do today that will help you market your freelance business. These things range from taking between 2 minutes and an hour, so choose wisely which ones you have time for.

Remember: it’s all about tweaking and testing with marketing.

Try a few of these things to determine which ones work best for you and incorporate them into your ongoing strategy.

Assess again after a month to determine which methods get you the most leads and which ones are duds.

1. Ask for referrals

If you are a freelancer, you can market your business through asking for referrals from your clients- both current and former. If a client is satisfied with your work, he is guaranteed to make referrals if you ask of him. In fact, recent research indicates that 84% of B2B buyers start buying through referrals.

The majority of the buyers, close to 90%, are influenced by their peers to make purchases. So, if your business gets a referral, it will gain more popularity, and your client base will gradually grow. You can motivate your clients to make referrals by giving them incentives such as offering a discount.


2. Build a professional social media presence

Whether you’re a graphic designer, content marketer, or freelance writer, your online portfolio should appear across all social media channels, including your LinkedIn profile. Depending on the services you offer as a freelancer, different social media sites will better help you market your freelance business. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you’ll likely find greater benefit using Instagram than LinkedIn to show clients the quality of your work.

However, it’s important to ensure you’re effectively promoting yourself on social media. This might include geo-tagging Instagram posts to attract clients or customers from certain areas or using hashtags on Twitter to attract other professionals who you can network with. Whatever you choose to do, though, the key is to post often and with quality content. Your social media marketing strategy might also include answering clients’ questions related to your area of expertise. Whatever you do to self-promote, just make sure you maintain a professional presence.


3. Build Portfolio Website

When you look for advice on how to get clients as a freelancer, you’ll find all kinds of tips on how to beef up your online presence. A good place to start is getting your own self-hosted website up. This is where your clients will learn about you, the work you do, and how you can help them. Ideally, this is where you’ll host your blog, share information about your services, and contact information.


4. Send cold emails

As a freelancer, you can take some of your free time to send cold emails. To send these, all you need are the emails of potential clients. You can send about 20 to 50 emails a day, something that doesn’t take much of your time, plus it’s free of charge.

Your emails should be about your products or services, and out of the 50 contacts, you should expect about five replies. This strategy requires patience, but with time, it can grow your client base, as it is an excellent sales pitch.


5. Build a network

One of the most effective ways of marketing your business is by building a network. So, how exactly do you network? You can do it in person by attending events hosted by individuals in the same industry as yours. This gives you an opportunity to meet one or more people that can work with you to grow your business. A business card would help at such events.

You can also build an online network, especially on social media. You can contribute to forums that seek answers to questions within your field of expertise. This effective strategy may see people flock to your platform in pursuit of your services and products.


6. Attend industry events

Regardless of what industry you’re targeting, there are likely a few in-person events you can attend to get face-time with potential clients and promote your freelance business.

One freelancer wore a simple shirt with the word “copywriter” on the front and just walked around a conference surrounded by his target audience. Soon, people in need of a quality copywriter started approaching him. This tactic worked so well for him that he had to stop using it because he had too many clients.


7. Generate leads with a “freebie”

Finally, try creating something for free that you can send around to potential clients in exchange for their phone number or email address.

I’m not talking about a free water bottle or chapstick; I mean something truly valuable like a book or a course teaching your potential client how to do exactly what service you offer for them.

Some people will choose to tackle the task independently, but others will hire you when they learn how complicated the task really is.


8. Answers Someone’s Question in a Facebook Group

Facebook groups are great for finding clients, but you have to be in the right groups and conduct the right etiquette (it’s a minefield out there!).

First of all, make sure the group is filled with your target client.

Write for fishing companies? Join groups for fishing companies.

Create logos for single mums in business? Join groups filled with them.

Once in there, scour through the latest posts to see what kind of questions people are asking about. Then, pick the one you’re most equipped to answer and offer a lengthy response.

Now that you’ve read this list, the question is: how will YOU promote your freelance business moving forward? Take a few ideas from the list above, give them a shot, test, and repeat.

Over time, you’ll find lots of new clients and build a strong book of business.