Promoting your freelance business is an essential piece of succeeding as a freelancer. But just because it’s necessary doesn’t always mean it’s easy or fun to promote your freelance business. Not all freelancers enjoy promoting and marketing their business—preferring to do the creative or task-oriented work their clients hire them for. So today, we’ll share 10 profitable ways you can promote your freelance business. From this list, you can choose your top three to five marketing activities to promote your freelance business and get more clients.
1. Create attractive offers on Fiverr
Facilitating millions of transactions every year between freelancers and clients, Fiverr is one of the best places you can list yourself for hire as a freelancer. Start by creating attractive offers potential clients will be drawn to. To further improve your odds of getting hired on Fiverr, see the guide on winning clients over with your profile and promoting yourself on Fiverr.
2. Scale your cold outreach
Cold outreach (emailing, messaging on social channels, texting, or calling) is still one of the most common marketing methods. Why? Because it works. But cold outreach only works at scale—meaning you have to send many emails or make a lot of calls to close one client. In order to scale, try using scalable outreach software like Reply to send lots of emails without losing a personal touch. Before you start sending too many cold emails, take a moment to review some email marketing tips.
3. Ramp up your referral process
Recent studies suggest word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most common ways for freelancers to get new clients. So you stand to benefit greatly by ramping up your referral process.
Start by asking any current or past clients if they know anyone who might require your services. Take it to the next level by partnering with businesses that offer complementary services to yours. You might also choose to offer “finder’s fees” to anyone who helps you promote your freelance business by sending you new clients.
4. Develop a client-converting portfolio
It can be tempting to create a portfolio that is beautiful and shows off your best work. And while that may be important, the more critical task your portfolio should tackle is converting site visitors into paying clients. That starts by developing a minimum-viable portfolio focused heavily on client pain points, client ROI, and conversion.
5. Spend time where your clients are (online and off)
Your potential clients are spending their time somewhere (both online and offline) every day. The question is: Where are they?
Once you figure that out, do your best to spend time there. If you’re a freelance transcriber, hang out at the courthouse and find frazzled lawyers who need an extra hand. If you’re an SEO specialist, find Facebook groups where bloggers learn how to get more traffic. From there, add value where you can, and you’ll start to stand out to potential clients, which becomes an extremely natural way to promote your freelance business.
6. Leverage the power of Linkedin
With 774+ million members, the chance your clients are on Linkedin is pretty high. And Linkedin can be better for getting new clients than other social platforms, particularly because it’s focused almost entirely on business relationships.
Start by updating your profile to highlight and promote your freelance business and then dive deeper by looking into Linkedin’s Profinder network.
7. Give audits/reviews/samples to potential clients
One way to convert your cold outreach (see above) into paying clients is to offer something for free. An audit, review, or consultation can often do the trick.
For example, freelance web developers might offer a 10-point site audit with free suggestions for improvement. Freelance translators might offer a free translation of up to 1,000 words.
8. 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.
9. Partner with other freelancers
The truth is, if you’re having trouble knowing how to best promote your freelance business, other freelancers in your network may be struggling with the same issue. So partner with them. Find freelancers that offer similar services but to a different target audience. Then, when you have a client that’s not quite the right fit for you, recommend your freelancing friend instead. They’ll do the same.
10. 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.
How will you promote your freelance business?
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 them, and repeat.
Over time, you’ll find lots of new clients and build a strong book of business.