Are you a broke-as-hell Freelancer?
Fill your gig gas-tank with these crazy-good tips
Hey, we’ve all been there. Every Freelancer Ever has stared at their bank account and had a near-death experience. The whiplash is real.
But how the heck do you get more leads into your pipeline?
My methods are weird, and in order to explain them to you, I’d need to write a book about it. Which I very well should, at this point, with how many articles I pump out each month.
But that’s the actual answer. Pumping out content.
Content marketing is how I get all my clients. 100% of them come from engaging my niche and making things that make them laugh, delight them, or challenge them. It costs me no money, just time. And I love every second of it.
Content marketing is also how businesses of any size — from startups to mega corporations — can get loyal followers and product champions. And therefore, converted customers.
Check out Buffer’s Blog to see how a company owns content marketing like a boss.
Freelancers: don’t know how to write?
You should probably start learning. However, posting your work where people see it can help on its own.
Where to Post your portfolio to get more Freelance clients:
- Freelancer for Freelance
- Applicable Reddit threads
- On your Linkedin profile
- You can also set up profiles and apply here: Freelancer, Upwork, Guru, and more
- Post your links on your Facebook page.
- On your Twitter page, and pin it to the top
- Craigslist still works, but results are shady sometimes
- If you have awesome website work, submit to the Awwwards
- Get on Behance. I hear good things, but I’m actually not on it
Who the heck do I target, though?
Woah freelance buddy, that’s a loaded question. I’ve spent the past year working on identifying my niche, and only kicked freelancing into full-time, full-gear, in the past 3 months.
Who to target is different for everyone. I rely on my authentic content to build trust. That works for me. It might not, however, work for you.
First, in order to figure out which clients you need to target, you need to know what you’re really good at:
- Identify what is most marketable about you. For me, it’s my persona. I’m a humor writer, and I’m brutally honest. My skill-set takes a backseat because skills without presence equals failure.
- Identify if what is most marketable about you is niche enough. Look at your competition, do some self-reflection, and really dig into what unique thing you can offer. If thousands of people are already doing it, you aren’t specializing enough.
- Research companies who may need your services. Have a background in interior design, and have skills in copywriting? Research companies that are the first thing, and see if they lack the second. If so, you’ve found a good market to target.
- Narrow down what you’re going to offer. Don’t be like me, pick 1 thing to be really, really good at.
- Offer just that service, for right now. Research market rates — Reddit is your friend, as is Google.
You should have a pretty good idea, at this point, what unique value proposition you can offer your clients.
You may be trying to help clients with their product or idea, but as a Freelancer you are also a product that you need to sell. Don’t forget that.
Second, refer to the Where To Post section above:
- Target your ‘copy’ and your own personal headlines — as if you were a product — to those niches.
- Find forums, subreddits, Facebook groups, Linkedin groups, etc, where these customers live.
- Interact with them.
- If you keep getting shot down, rethink your tactic. Maybe that niche isn’t so great. Or maybe your price is too high (or too low).
That’s not enough! I need to know How to get my target audience engaged! Aghhh!
Jeez. Okay. Slow your roll. Here are some of the tools I use in content marketing. Have I hit it home hard enough that you need to market, and make content? No?
Market and make content. Just because you’re a great UI designer doesn’t mean anyone is going to want to work with you. If they don’t know who you are, your skills don’t really matter.
I’m just being honest
Quick & Dirty Headline / Tweet Analysis
Type: Content creation help / copywriting / writing proofing.
Good For: Subject lines, Headlines, small blurbs of text, H1 or H2 fields.
The down and dirty: There are probably better tools but this instantly checks for a sense of urgency and docks you points for overused words / words that won’t help with readership.
How To Suck Less At Content Writing
Type: Content creation help / writing analysis.
Good For: Proofreading your own copy. Good at narrowing down AND explaining how to better focus your writing.
The down and dirty: I use this all the time. The web version is free and it’s incredibly invaluable.
Automate All The Things
Good For: Every task you don’t want to do by hand. This can save you hours of time.
The down and dirty: It can post to twitter, pull from Instagram, automate pretty much everything, pull emails into lists, move crap to slack, take crap from Slack, Dropbox things, you can even use webhooks and Mailchimp!
Find Influencers without Going Blind
Good For: Cutting down on low-level interactions and focusing on the big fish. You can pick the brains of experts and influencers, and drop links once you ‘courted’ them.
The down and dirty: It takes time to do and cannot be automated. But if you could spend 60% less time trying to find influencers and engage with them, wouldn’t you? It made my life so much easier.
Why Does My Bounce Rate Suck?
Type: Testing user experience
Good For: Analyze your portfolio page to figure out why you can’t get leads.
The down and dirty: It’s not free. To test out the software itself it is, but it limits the pages you can ‘record’ to generate the Weather Channel. It works for me but totally won’t work on a larger scale.
The tools above are invaluable for me, and help me and my business thrive and survive.
You need to start building your own repertoire of skills and finding your own tools for your tool box.
The tech industry is always changing.
So, too, must you adapt.
Kira Leigh is a snarky marketing nerd, writer, and artist.
Or join her on Discord like the giant nerd you are: windows95toasteroven#3745