Freelancing covers a lot of ground when it comes to the products and services of the business. You can be a freelancer and sell items online, but more frequently you’re probably selling services. You could be a writer, computer programmer, IT expert, software engineer, marketer, sales professional, office management person, virtual assistant, etc. The common thread here is that you want to work at home or where you want, the hours you want, and you want to set your own rates for your work.
Now that you’ve defined your basic business model, effective marketing to grow your business applies to all of them when you’re marketing online. Here are the most effective free marketing strategies and venues that over time will grow your business. These are independent of signing up to the freelancing websites. The faster you can move from these sites to serving your clients directly, the sooner you can increase your income by avoiding their commissions and fees.
Your Own Website
With more than 100 million websites from tiny to mega-sized built with free WordPress software, this is the way you want to go for your own personal website. It’s easy to set up at WordPress.com for free, with free hosting. You can get plenty of help and support from forums and even Dummy books. Soon you can have a website that explains what you do, touts your expertise and quality, and features your products or services. The key is to write one article/post about each of the important topics related to what you do, features a product or service, or headlines your expertise.
Once you have your content working for you, offer something extra in the way of an offer of information, free sample, or free time if you’re a consultant. This way you can get the site visitor’s name and email address to move them from unknown suspect status to a known prospect you can market to.
This group includes Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. Which you use will depend on your business. If you’re a consultant, writer, or programmer dealing mostly with businesses, then LinkedIn is a necessity as the major business-to-business site. If you mostly work with or sell to consumers, then it’s Facebook. If you have products that are visual in nature, then Instagram and Pinterest are where you want to place images that direct them to your website. In all of these strategies, you’re directing people to your website for the selling action.
Twitter should become your “headline” machine. Write short headline type statements that catch people’s attention and these direct them to your website and other social sites. Google+ is not used enough by businesses, especially those that are locally oriented. Google+ Communities offer a great opportunity to start a community discussion area that people join and participate in a discussion. They can also work for common areas of interest, such as a community for businesses with a common product or service but aren’t direct competitors.
Using these totally free resources, you can start and grow an online freelancing business. It’s not going to happen overnight, and it will take time and effort. There’s nothing better than growing a freelancing business with free online marketing.