As a freelancer, you are your own boss. You set your own hours and you work on projects that interest you. Sometimes you work for customers, but you are not necessarily bound to a schedule. Most importantly, you get to choose your own marketing strategy. However, despite all the perks, being your own boss has its challenges. You have to ensure that you are constantly marketing and promoting yourself so that you can grow your business and become more established. In this article, we will discuss five marketing strategies that work for freelancers and how you can integrate them into your own business.
1. Build A Brand
The very first thing that you should do as a freelancer is to build a brand for yourself. If you are new to the business, then build a strong brand identity so that your customers can quickly identify you. A brand is simply a promise to provide a consistent level of products or services to the consumer. When people think of your brand, they should automatically think of you and your business, regardless of what you are selling at the moment. To elaborate, if you are a web development business, your customers expect you to develop custom websites for them. If you are an e-commerce company, then you should have a clear identity established in the marketplace so that when a consumer is searching for a product, your website comes up as a result.
The best way to build a brand is through a company website. Your customers will be able to find all the necessary information about your company including your contact details, pricing, and a physical address. Having a physical address is especially important if you provide services and products remotely. If a consumer has a problem and they want to contact you to solve the issue, then they can find your address easily enough.
Alongside a website, you should also have a social media account for your brand. Having a presence on social media is important because it enables you to connect with potential customers, existing customers, and other businesses. On social media, you can engage with your audience and showcase your products or services. Additionally, you can use social media to connect with other businesses that may be interested in doing business with you.
2. Generate Leads
Once you have established your brand, you can use it to generate leads. Lead generation is the act of generating potential customers or leads for your business. Ideally, you are looking to generate as many leads as possible so that you can eventually turn them into paying customers. The leads that you generate should be potential buyers who have an interest in your product or service, which you can then convert into paying customers.
The best way to generate leads is with a marketing campaign. To elaborate on the above, if you are a web development business, then your marketing campaign should entail creating attractive and easy-to-understand web pages that solve a problem or offer an useful service. If you are an e-commerce business, then your marketing campaign should include various methods of attracting potential customers to your website including;
- Creating engaging content (articles, videos, etc.)
- Attracting potential customers through paid advertising (display ads, sponsored posts, etc.)
- Increasing exposure through social media and other platforms (blogs, forums, etc.)
- The list should go on
If you have a limited budget, then focus on generating quality leads who can be converted into paying customers rather than just throwing money at a keyword or buying a massive list of contacts. Additionally, you should only buy leads that are already pre-screened and tested to ensure that you are not wasting your time and money on worthless leads. These leads will then form a pool of potential customers who can be reached via phone call, email, or in-person interaction at a later date.
3. Measure The Results Of Your Marketing Campaign
Once you have conducted a marketing campaign, you must then measure the results. Without proper measurement, it is impossible to know whether or not your campaign was effective. The best way to measure the results of your marketing campaign is through analytics. Analytics enable you to track the activity of your website and social media accounts so that you can pinpoint growth and determine future marketing strategy. With analytics, you can determine the following;
- The quality and volume of your leads
- The value of your marketing dollars
- The impact of your social media on website traffic
- The activities that attract your audience (e.g., blogging, social media posting)
You can use analytics to determine the effectiveness of various platforms and content types, as well as analyze the behavior of your website visitors. Additionally, you can use analytics to tailor your future marketing strategy, based on the results of your previous campaign(s). For instance, you might decide that blogging is a useful tool and will incorporate more content into your website, blog, and social media channels.
4. Create And Maintain A Reputation
Even if you are a small business, you will inevitably come across customers who have an adverse experience with another business or individual. When this happens, it is important to maintain a reputation. A business or brand’s reputation is the combination of;
- The quality and consistency of the products or services that you provide
- The integrity of your business practices
- The responsiveness of your staff
- How well you solve customer problems
When a customer has an experience with your business, you should be willing to make things right. The best way to maintain a good reputation is to;
- Listen to and address any complaints promptly
- Solve any problems that customers may have
- Actively promote and encourage customer feedback
- The list goes on
Your reputation is your business’ marketing currency, so make sure that you are spending it wisely. When a customer has a bad experience with your business, they may not be inclined to do business with you again, unless you are able to make things right. If you are unable to solve the problem, then the customer may contact an attorney or organization that can assist them with taking legal action against you.
Maintaining a good reputation can be difficult. To do so, you have to actively work at it. This means that you should ensure that all your employees, including your sales team, understand and promote your company’s reputation, as well as that of the products and services that you provide. The best reputation management strategy is to have a consistent approach, across all platforms, with engaging content that is both informative and entertaining.
5. Evaluate The Effect Of All Your Marketing Efforts (Continued)
Evaluating the effect of all your marketing efforts is a mammoth task and requires a considerable amount of time. Luckily, you can use analytics to track the results of your various marketing campaigns, enabling you to easily determine the effectiveness of each campaign. Additionally, you can use this data to determine which methods of marketing are most effective and build upon these methods, for the next campaign.
The ideal situation is to conduct A/B testing, in which you test two or more versions of a campaign or product to determine which one is most effective. For example, you may test two webpages – one with a call-to-action (CTA) and the other without a CTA – to see which one gets the most clicks. This way, you can determine the most effective method of engaging with your audience and profitably use this for future marketing campaigns.
The point of all this is to suggest that marketers have multiple tools at their disposal to gain valuable information about their products and marketing campaigns. With these tools, it is possible to track the performance of marketing strategies and determine which ones work best.