28 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Your Marketing Message Across

marketing-messageMarketing–it brings us new clients and helps to keep our freelancing business afloat. Yet, many freelancers are uncomfortable about marketing their business.

There are actually many easy and painless steps that you can take to get your marketing message across. The best marketing tactics are often those that you don’t have to remember to apply.

In this post, we’ll summarize some of these easy marketing tactics. You should be able to use this post as a checklist to compare with the way that you market your own freelance business.

Here are 28 simple, yet creative, tactics in four separate categories that will help to get your marketing message across to existing and potential clients:

Using a Slogan

Learn to use a slogan effectively–create a simple, but memorable, one sentence slogan that describes the most unique thing about your freelance business. Here seven places where you can use that slogan:

  1. In the automatic signature line of your emails
  2. On the tag line of your blog
  3. On your profile on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, YouTube (or any social media site where you maintain a profile)
  4. On your business card
  5. On your stationery
  6. In your advertisements
  7. On branded products such as coffee mugs and tee shirts (see CafePress) that you give as gifts to clients

To see some great examples of slogans, look at the comments on this open thread.

Encourage Referrals

Build your business by encouraging referrals. Use one, or more, of the following suggestions to maximize the number of potential clients referred to you:

  1. Do your utmost to make doing business with you a pleasant experience so that your clients will feel good about recommending you to someone else.
  2. Get in the habit of saying “do you know anyone else who could use my services?” at the close of each project.
  3. Offer a one-time referral incentive discount to existing clients. For example, you might offer an existing client a 5% discount on a future project for each referral they send your way that becomes a new client.
  4. Offer a one-time nominal finder’s fee to friends and family who refer new clients to you. (It could be $50 for each referral that generates at least $1000 of new business.)
  5. Offer a free gift to new clients, but let your current clients know about it so that they can share it with their colleagues.
  6. Be generous with your business cards. Never give out just one–always include an extra to be passed along to someone else who could use your services.
  7. Say thank-you to clients who refer business to you. Make it a personal thank-you note–not a form letter.

You can learn more about asking for referrals.

Get Organized

Find more business by keeping track of your current clients.

  1. Create a master client list of every client that you’ve ever done work for. Make it a point to check in with each client several times a year.
  2. For your best clients, offer a complimentary copy of information products that might be of interest such as newsletters, special reports, or eBooks.
  3. Stay in touch with old colleagues (LinkedIn is great for this). You never know which old colleague might have moved to a company that can use your services.
  4. Set aside some marketing time each day just the same way that you would schedule a project.
  5. Do track where your client leads come from. If you got a client from a particular source (such as a trade show) in the past, it’s possible that you may get future clients from the same source.
  6. Get a portfolio–a site or a page on a site that features your best work. Often new clients are drawn to a strong portfolio.
  7. Manage your online reputation. Periodically check to see what others are saying about you.

Here is a post that can help you to get more organized.

Be Social

Believe it or not, you can generate business by getting out and meeting people. Consider doing one, or more, of the following to help bolster your business:

  1. Take a class in your field, which will help you meet others in your specialty who may need your services.
  2. Join a professional society. Not only does this provide networking opportunities, but many professional societies have job banks for members.
  3. Go to a trade show in your field. Even if you are not an exhibitor, you are likely to meet possible clients at a trade show who could use your services.
  4. Don’t be shy–explain that you own a business when you meet someone new and they ask about your job.
  5. Don’t forget to talk to professionals that you employ. You never know, the plumber you just hired may need a web designer for his business site.
  6. Join in on social media. It’s not enough to simply have a profile–participate and get your name out there.
  7. Leave relevant comments on blogs and on forums. You never know who might be following a thread and click through to see your portfolio or blog.

This post on overcoming loneliness has many ideas that will help you network with potential clients.

What About You?

We’ve shared 28 relatively simple, yet creative, tactics to help you get your marketing message across. Many of these methods can be applied as a regular part of carrying out your business.

What simple marketing tactics would you add to the list?

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