How To Advertise Your Freelance Career

Welcome back to freelancing month here on Amanda Cross Blog. I am so excited to share today's post. Check out this month's road map:

  1. 10 Lessons I Have Learned Freelancing On Upwork
  2. Should You Take Hourly or Fixed Price Jobs When Freelancing
  3. How To Advertise Your Freelance Career (this post)
  4. 10+ Freelancers Share Their Best Secrets To Getting The Job

This week we are going to chat about things that you can do to advertise your freelance career. We are going to break this down into: pre-work (before you get any clients), things you can do to advertise your freelance career, and then post-work (for once you have your first couple of clients.)

How To Advertise Your Freelance Career | Are you a new freelancer who is wondering how you will get clients? Read this post! In this post I share some great tips on how to advertise your freelance career and get your first clients fast!

Pre-Work

There are a couple of things that you should set up before you truly start freelancing. If you are in a crunch for time though, you can do this while you are doing the steps I share later to advertise your freelance career. It really depends on what works best for you and your business, and what helps you start making money the fastest.

Find Your Focus

You simply cannot freelance for everyone. You may have a few different services you offer, but you need to narrow it down as much as possible. It's great to branch out every blue moon, but at the end of the day focus is necessary to moving on in your freelance business.

Check out this post on Writing Revolt about how to pick a highly profitable freelance niche.

Create A Website

Creating a website or portfolio for your business is crucial. It doesn't have to be anything price-y at all, it just has to make sense for your freelance career.

Some people opt to create a one-pager on a site like Adobe Spark Page (check out my one-page Adobe Spark freelance website here.) Alternatively, you could create a blog on a site like Squarespace, Wordpress, or Blogger and create a freelance or hire me page that delves deeper into your freelance career.

Ultimately, I believe that freelancers (especially writers) need to have a site with blogging capabilities because you can create a huge treasure trove of samples that will help you land the job.

Gather & Create Samples For that Site

Whether you are a freelance writer, graphic designer. or anything in between you need a few samples up your sleeves. These samples don't have to be for actual clients, you could create them for your blog or just for fake people. Some people offer their services to people for free or cheap to build their portfolio, but in many cases that doesn't lead to future work and it devalues the work that you do.

Look back to what you have done in the past. Do you have some projects you worked on in college or in high school? Dust off some of those old projects, see if you can tweak or update them, and then use those for your portfolio as well.

Create your Initial Rate Card

How much will you charge right away?

You can always update your initial rate soon after you start freelancing and when you start understanding the scope of being a freelancer.

Before you get to that, though, you want to focus on what you will initially charge. Will you go for hourly or fixed price job? How much is your hourly time worth? Will you have a system for pricing fixed priced jobs? Think about that as you create your initial rate card.

Your rate card doesn't have to be a card that you literally make (although you could create a nice PDF with all your rate information.) But you should write it down and be prepared to justify why you are worth that amount of money.

Many clients want to be frugal (even if that is annoying sometimes) but most are willing to be flexible if you can prove your worth. More than anything, don't be too flexible with this because you just want to get a job. Stick to your intuitions and the right client will come along eventually.

Create business cards

Last, but certainly not least, create some business cards. I recently created these super simple business cards using Vistaprint, but there are SO many ways to create a business card. You can DIY them and print them yourself, or you can use a site like Vistaprint, MOO, or Minted to create your cards.

Either way, you want to create some nice cards that you can pass out to anyone you meet at a conference or at an event. These are simple, and I like them because the back is empty and not coated. That way I can share a simple message on the back of any cards that I give out and give people a refresher on who I am or when they are filing away my business card they can write on the back.

Business Cards

15 Frequently Asked Questions About Freelancing

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7 Things You can Do To Advertise Your Freelance Career

Now that you have all your pre-marketing work done, let's get into some simple things that you can do to advertise the fact that you are freelancing.

Tell Your Friends, Family & Colleagues About Your Freelance Career

If you were just starting a blog, you probably wouldn't want to depend on friends and family too much, but since you are starting a freelance career you want to do this. Pass some of your cards to any friends, family, or colleagues you know that might have some connections for you. Maybe they know someone at their office or maybe they might just be in the right place at the right time to let people know about your awesomeness. It doesn't hurt to give them a few cards to keep in their wallets in case a freelance opportunity comes about.

When you do this, you need to make sure that they are clear about what you do. In order to do that, though, you need to be crystal clear about what you do. There is no way to get great referrals from family and friends if you aren't clear about the type of jobs that you want. Be clear about the type of freelancer that you are. Do you design logos? Do you create content? What type of clients do you want to serve? Businesses, Writers, Photographers? Get clear, and let them know that.

Join Any Freelance Sites You Can To Do Some quick Jobs

As you know, I really love Upwork for quick freelance writing jobs. If you take it seriously, it's so easy to jump in and start gathering a pretty awesome portfolio of content. Look for any quick jobs that you can--don't go for the hourly jobs right away. Build up your profile, do amazing work, and you can start getting paid right way while creating a name for yourself on that platform and building your portfolio.

Gather All Your Testimonials

One great thing about Upwork is that you can start getting testimonials easily from that site. Once your job is finished, your person can give you a rating and actual text feedback which is nice.

Also, don't be afraid to gather feedback from other places. For example, if you have a blog and you have a particularly meaty blog post that helped people immensely, gather that feedback too. You want to showcase anything on your freelance site that showcases how amazing your writing, graphic design, voice overs, etc. are.

Reach Out To Potential Clients

You cannot expect that potential clients will always come to you, that's just not likely. There are SO many freelancers and some businesses don't even know that they need freelance services. So, you have to learn to pitch your services if you want to get bigger and better jobs. Upwork can be a great place to test your pitch that is sort of an in-between (since businesses list their jobs and you apply), but your ultimate goal should be to break free from sites like this and get bigger and better jobs as time goes on.

Learn more about how to write a pitch letter by reading this blog from Successful Freelance Mom. Also, read this post on Forbes titled 5 Steps To Cold Pitch Prospective Clients As A Freelancer.

Guest post On Other Sites

This tip is geared toward all my freelance writers out there. Guest posting on other sites is great for a couple of reasons:

  1. It showcases all your awesome writing skills and sets you up as an authority on issues related to your niche.
  2. It exposes your work to an entirely new audience that could potentially be of value or need your services.
  3. It increases your SEO by providing a backlink to your website and therfore overtime providing a ton of great views to your site through that. For more about SEO check out my archive of posts about that topic.

Now, obviously, guest posting is a lot of hard work. It takes time and energy, and it can often take you away from your actual freelance clients for a bit, but I would strive to do one good guest post every month so you can get in front of new audiences and network with new people.

Use Social Media To your Advantage

If you are not using social media to your advantage as a freelancer, you should definitely be doing that. There are SO many opportunities to network online, here are a couple of ways to take advantage of those:

Social media Bios

If you are a freelancer, you should include that in your biography, in your name, and in other searchable places on your social media profile (such as your actual social media updates.) People want to know who you are at a glance, so they often check out your profile's bio. Make sure that you include that you are a freelancer in that bio as well as give your new followers a way to contact you if they want to inquire about your services.

Showcase Your Work

Obviously, social media can be a great way to showcase the work that you do. This is social media, so you don't want to be all sales all the time, but a good amount of your updates should be you showcasing all the amazing stuff that you are doing as a freelancer.

The power of Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are amazing. I have chatted about how to market your blog post in Facebook groups before, but you can also use Facebook groups to find jobs. I have gotten work from someone seeing my content in Facebook groups before, but people also post their jobs in Facebook groups. Don't be afraid to respond to virtual assistant or copywriter jobs that happen in Facebook groups, you can find some great work that way!

Use your Email Signature

Do you send a lot of emails? Add your freelancing website to your email signature. It takes just a few seconds, but you never know who you are sending mail to. That person's business may be looking for a freelance writer to create a blog post or a graphic designer to create a logo. One email signature could land you in a great contract!

15 Frequently Asked Questions About Freelancing

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Subscribe to get all of your frequently asked questions about freelancing answered like who hires freelancers, what you need to get started with freelancing, and taxes as a freelancer.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Post-Work

Okay, now that you have advertised and you have some great work up your sleeves, what should you do to continue to get access to past and future clients? Here are some tips:

Keep Up With your Freelance Clients

First, and foremost, keep up with your freelance clients. Add them on a professional network like LinkedIn and continue to chat with them and showcase your new work on LinkedIn. This is great because it will keep you top of mind for new opportunities as they will be able to follow your path as a freelance writer.

Make sure that you are taking the time to follow-up and get more work. Ultimately, a long-term client that offers consistent work will be much better for you because you won't have to pitch as many clients over time.

Check out this article from Careful Cents called 9 Steps for Securing Consistent Freelance Jobs at Home.

Continue To Share Freelance Projects With Family & Friends

I know that we talked about family and friends earlier, but you should still be talking with them now. Especially as you are coming into your own as a freelancer, they should be knowledgeable about all the things that you are accomplishing. Let them know about the awesome new client you just landed, the great feedback you got on an assignment, or the repeat client you are working with. The more they know about your freelance business, the more confident they will feel sharing it with their network. So, don't be afraid to keep talking about your freelance career with the people in your circle.

Continue to update Your Website Or portfolio

Your website is not a one-then-done project. It is a project that should change and morph as you grow. Take some time every couple of weeks to update your portfolio with fresh, new articles that you have written. This will breathe new life into your portfolio, and give potential clients more examples of your work.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it, y'all! Today on the blog we chatted about how to advertise your new freelance career. I hope that you found today's tips very useful. Have you started your freelance business yet? What will you do today to advertise your business?