A key component of getting clients for your freelancing business is to get your name out there. You can be the very best freelancer in your chosen profession, but if no one has ever heard of you or your freelancing business, you won’t get very many clients.
It can be difficult to build a professional reputation for a new freelancing business. In this post, I’ll provide ten techniques that you can use to help establish yourself in your chosen field. I’ll also discuss some other methods you can use for finding work.
Why You Should Get Your Name Out There
Let’s face it, freelancing is competitive. There are likely hundred, if not thousands, of freelancers who offer services in your chosen field. You need some way to distinguish yourself from all of those other freelancers who are you are competing with.
Getting your name out there makes your freelancing business a known brand. This gives you a competitive advantage. All other things being equal, when choosing between a freelance who they’ve heard of and another freelancer who offers similar services, but is not known to them, most clients will choose the familiar freelancer.
10 Techniques to Get Your Name Out There
Fortunately, today’s Internet tools make it easy for freelancers to build an online brand for their freelancing business. Here are ten techniques that you can start to use today to get your name out there and bolster your freelancing reputation:
- Create a Blog. I’ve sung the praises of blogs for freelancers before, and I’ll do it again. Sure, you can run a freelance business without a blog, but blogs are relatively inexpensive so why would you want to? Build a blog, update it regularly, and drive some traffic to it.
- Guest Post. Whether or not you create your own blog, you can benefit from the blogs of others by submitting guest posts to popular blogs that are related to your freelancing field. Be sure to send your best content, since what you write will wind up representing your business.
- Give a Presentation. If you get the chance to speak before a business group about your profession, take it. Giving a good presentation is a great way to establish your expertise in your field. Be sure to include handouts with your contact information.
- Participate in Social Media. Having a social media circle is the hot new way for business people to network. The good news is that everyone can take part in social media. It costs nothing to set up a profile on most social media sites. Just remember to keep your participation professional.
- Be Interviewed. If you get a chance to take part in an interview for a blog or with a journalist, accept it. It is usually to your advantage to share your knowledge publicly and the interviewer may have larger audience that you would normally reach. If some of your contacts conduct regular interviews, you may be able to volunteer to be interviewed.
- Do a Webinar or Create a Podcast. Webinars and podcasts are two great techniques provide two more great opportunities for you to showcase your expertise. Just as in any other type of presentation, be professional and include your contact information.
- Join a Group. Luckily, the world is full of professional groups that you can join (both online and offline). Joining and becoming active in a group of like-minded professionals will not only help you to network, it may also allow you to access educational and job bank opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you.
- Take a Class. A classroom setting can often provide networking opportunities. This is especially true for offline classes where you meet face-to-face in a classroom setting. Plus, you can enhance your skills while getting to know others. Check your local colleges for evening classes.
- Write a Book. The Internet has made it easier than ever for professionals to get published. It’s relatively simple to create an eBook that highlights your experience and expertise. And once you have created an eBook, it can continue to generate leads for your business for months (maybe even years) to come.
- Leave Some Comments. A simple, but often overlooked means of getting your name out there, is to leave well thought out comments on popular blogs in your area. While this technique is similar to guest posting, you typically won’t have the hurdle of getting your comment accepted by the site owner. As long as you are respectful and professional, most blogs will publish your comment.
Other Ways to Find Freelancing Work
Sadly, if you don’t have a strong online brand yet, you may need to rely on others to do your marketing for you. There are basically three types of freelancing gigs that allow you to do this:
- Projects with agencies
- Subcontracts under other freelancers
- Projects listed on bidding sites
In almost all of these cases, since you are going through an intermediary and not directly to the client, your income from a project will be lower than it would normally be. Whether you go through an agency, another freelancer, or use a bidding site–remember that the other entity will need to get a portion of what is earned. That portion pays for the intermediary’s marketing costs.
Of course, if you get your name out there you won’t need to go through someone else to find work.
Where Do You Get Your Work?
Where do you find your freelancing projects?
Share your answers in the comments.