How and Why to Build an Online Presence

The seemingly infinite influence of the internet makes it possible for any freelancer to reach their audience more effectively. Size matters not when it comes to online marketing, but effort does, which means freelancers have just as much online marketing potential as do other companies.

When well thought out and carefully implemented, a strong online presence gives freelancers an opportunity to tap into a marketing avenue that can be specifically targeted to their potential clients. You might think online marketing should be reserved for the big dogs who have more resources to allocate to marketing campaigns, but that’s just a myth.

The following are the top three reasons why freelancers should take advantage of online marketing opportunities.


Reason 1. Online Marketing Is Cheap or Free

It’s no secret that freelancers usually don’t have a ton of money to allocate toward marketing expenditures. Fortunately, effective online marketing is less about the funds you have to put into it and more about the effort. You can increase your online presence by dedicating just two hours a week to spreading the word about your freelancing business online.

Keep in mind that developing an online marketing strategy doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to run your freelancing business online. Think of it as more of a boost to your existing business management program. You can set up profiles on social networking sites for free, and pay per click (or PPC) advertising can also be effective while only charging freelancers a negligible fee.

Reason 2. You Can Succeed with Limited Knowledge

While the value of professional online marketing shouldn’t be undermined, gaining a basic understanding of online marketing can be an easy enterprise for beginners to get involved in. Using some basic approaches to spread your name online is similar to traditional word-of-mouth advertising. By getting involved in the online marketing game, you’re guaranteeing a longer lifespan for your freelancing business.

Reason 3. Everyone’s Doing It

This might not seem like the most inspiring reason for your freelancing business to get involved with the online marketing trend, but think about it a bit.

Do you really want your competitors to have an advantage when it comes to attracting potential clients? Clients frequently conduct keyword searches when trying to find specific products or services. If your freelancing business doesn’t have an online presence, potential clients will simply find another freelancer who maintains a website with readily available information.

Build a Strong, Trustworthy Online Presence

When you’re ready to develop an online marketing strategy for the first time, make sure it’s effective. The following three steps will help freelancers build a strong online presence, even if they don’t have a degree in marketing or web development.

Step 1. Interact Regularly through Social Media

Constant interaction is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to make sure your freelancing business maintains a strong online presence. Social media platforms allow freelancers to engage with new and existing clients in a variety of ways.

Keep your clients in the loop by letting them know about new products or services your business provides, offer them exclusive deals, or share relevant news developments that are related to your industry. This approach shows your clients that you care about maintaining ongoing relationships while enticing them to follow your online activity regularly.

Step 2. Reach Out to Other Professionals

One of the best ways to validate your online presence is to befriend top professionals in your field. Associate yourself with national organizations such as the Better Business Bureau and any other groups that monitor activities related to your field.

Social media makes it especially easy to get in touch with others in your field. This approach works two ways. It shows potential clients that you keep up with new developments in the field, and it also gives you access to contacts who can teach you a little about the industry.

Step 3. Make Your Freelancing Website Easy to Use

The key behind creating an effective website is to always consider who your audience is.

Since you’re new to the online marketing realm, remember that less is more. While it’s okay to be ambitious, it’s important that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Otherwise, you could end up with an over-the-top, nonfunctional website.

When you reach this point in the process, you should seriously consider hiring a web developer or designer to help you set up a functional, easy-to-use and aesthetically pleasing website. This is one investment you don’t want to skimp on.

As a final tip, whoever is in charge of your company’s online presence needs to be up-to-date with online marketing trends that could be used to benefit the freelancing business. Building on this knowledge, improving a freelancer’s online presence is all about flexibility.

Your Turn

Are there any other tips you can offer to freelancers who are trying online marketing for the first time?

Image by jakeandlindsay

Comments

  1. says

    Hi,
    Very interesting post!
    These data make me become more ambitious!
    I have to do strides and for that I must be aware of trends in online marketing.
    It is true that a strong online presence allows you to find many customers in a very short time.But for that is need to know to be effective even for this limited knowledge is needed!
    Thanks!

  2. says

    I wouldn’t necessary limit yourself to a certain numbers of hours of online marketing per week. It’s best to go with the flow – sometimes you may make a contact and spend a long time in one week building relationships

  3. says

    I agree with all the points mentioned in the article.Building online presence is very essential and will only help get more clients.

    One essential point I would like to add is the effort to build online presence can sometimes be very tiring so one must be very patient and should keep on doing it.

    Thanks for sharing:)

  4. says

    Kristen,

    You offered some great tips for freelancers to build an online presence. I would like to add that freelancers should create a simple marketing plan that addresses what their goals are, their target market, how they will reach their target markets and ways to measure whether they are on track towards meeting their goals.

    Happy blogging,
    Jenn

  5. says

    I think point 2 is crucial “You Can Succeed with Limited Knowledge”.

    With most things in life, you don’t need prior knowledge you need a hunger for a discovery and hard work! Working freelance or setting up on your own and running a small agency, like I did, is all about putting the hours in and making it happen.

    …oh and avoid cold calling, we never do it, we’d much rather pop-in and see local businesses instead!

  6. says

    There is no doubt that many people are trying to make money online and with
    the vast moneymaking opportunities and information available, the process
    can become overwhelming and confusing. You may even get banned by some internet service providers and this can relentlessly affect your business in a non-constructive way.
    The list will give you information with respect to website,
    fax, phone and email list and these details
    can be opened in Microsoft Excel also.

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  2. [...] Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, but a few points tend to be consistent. Among them is a desire to see new content on a website. The logic behind this is that if a site is updated regularly then it’s an “active” website. A site that’s never updated could potentially be seen as old and irrelevant, which can adversely affect search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Updating a company blog frequently as an extension of the site allows business owners keep their websites current. [...]

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