Do you want to be a successful freelancer? Sure, that is why you are here. One of the hardest things for the most freelancers (just like in any other business) is finding customers for their services. Sure, you are pretty good in what you are doing, but how many people know this?
Especially if you work thru the Net, there are thousands of other freelancers who compete with you for the customers. Many of them are good, others are not so good, but all of them want clients just like you do. How to outsmart them and attract the coolest and best paid projects? Simply, you just need to promote your skills.
Do you shudder at the word “promote”? Most web designers, programmers or other technical persons do. Well, the good news is that the promotion for freelancers is not so scary as it may sound. See these 9 promotional techniques which have proven to work:
1. Write your resume
It may look obvious and yet so many freelancers forget to do it. Put some effort into writing your resume and make it easyly accessible (usually by uploading it online). By doing this you are already ahead by most of the others. See how to write a resume
2. Create a portfolio
Creating a portfolio is essential for your success. Have you already worked on some projects? Either for previous clients or in a company you have worked, just summarize the work on them and put them in online portfolio. If you have not worked on any project so far, just create a project yourself or join an open source community. How do you expect to complete a task and be paid if you have never done it before? Having a good portfolio is the best promotion for freelancers.
3. Manage your testimonials
Already worked for someone? Ask them to give a testimonial! Don’t be shame, most people may miss doing it even if they are very satisfied with your job. Don’t afraid to ask them, explaining that you need this for your freelance promotion. Put a link to the client’s website or contact details – thus the potential customers will know that they can check and ensure the testimonial is real. Very few of them will do it, but still it builds a lot more confidence when they know that the previous clients can be contacted and the testimonial confirmed.
4. Build profile in freelance sites
The freelance sites are one of the easiest tools for freelance promotion. You don’t need to search for clients, because they are searching for you – by publishing their projects. Of course, it is not easy to win a project, because there is a lot of competition. Additionally, the jobs that can be find there are often lower paid than if you find your customer in some other way. But the freelance sites give you excellent way to start and allow you build profile and collect proven testimonials. In most of them, giving feedback at the end of project is highly recommended and the buyers are reminded to do it.
5. Create a website and do basic SEO
You can create a website where to put your resume, portfolio and testimonials in one place. You can write some more about you, your services, your plans and your ideas. Not only that you will impress the potential buyers more, but you can get clients from occasional visitors to the site. You need to do some basic search engine optimization (SEO) in order to get more traffic and better promotion
6. Meet people offline
Don’t underestimate the good old offline promotion – it works great for freelancers too. Meet people on various events, give them your visit card, speak about your job. Freelancing is just like any other business and meeting people offline you have a great chance to turn them into your happy customers.
7. Write articles
Promotion for freelancers by writing articles? Yes, it works perfect. Since you are a freelancer, you must be expert on something. Write an article about it! If you are a programmer, write some article about specific problem, if you a designer, write some Photoshop tutorial, if you are… well, you got the idea Write a good and useful article and submit it to article directories. You write it once and if it is good it keeps referring customers to you constantly. I often get requests for people who have read articles, published by me years ago.
8. Participate in discussion forums
Regardless what is the specific area of expertise you have, there is an online discussion forum for it. Just search Google for “your area of expertise”+ discussion forum and you are likely to find thousands of results. Choose the most popular ones (you can easy understand this by checking the number of posts and members and how active the discussions are) and start sharing your expertise for free. Give useful advices and don’t be frugal of giving away your knowledge. By doing this people will start knowing you as an expert and many of them may ask you for paid services. Additionally most forums allow creating a signature, where you can put a link to your website or resume and attract even more business.
9. Create freebies
Freebies has been one of the best promotional methods online since the Web first days. What freebies can you offer as a freelancer? If you are a programmer, you can create some free software. If you are designer, maybe a clipart or some models. A freelance writer may give some articles for free. The freebies attract a lot of web visitors – either to your complete website or just to your online resume. Many of them may be interesting in hiring your services especially if they have liked your freebie.
Filed under: Market Your Skills