By adamsky1987, Sep 29 2017 07:27AM
The life of a freelancer is at times extremely liberating, you dictate your own working hours and you work for yourself, you are your own boss and it's an amazing feeling... until it isn't because you haven't got any work lined up for next week. It can be a constant fear about where your next job, your next paycheck is coming from. So here's my three top tips for improving your visibility to prospective clients and customers, all do-able from your laptop or smart phone (ish)!
Do you have a website for your work? And no I don't mean a free template website from one of the generic creators. Does your website have a custom domain name that reflects either your personal brand or the name of your business? I've seen all kinds of wonderfully put together websites over the years that just aren't creating traffic for their creators because, they're obscure. It's no use naming your website after your favourite jam or, in one case, coolvideodude.com, make it relevant to you!
Your website should be clean, slick and, like any business, showcase your USP (unique selling point) as well as your talent, of which I am sure you have plenty. There are many amazing website builders now, ranging from Kajabi (if you're an e-commerce business) down to the simple but effective Moonfruit (for those of us less web literate folk) so there is literally zero excuse to have no professional web presence.
Costs vary on these but when you're starting a business, even as a freelancer, you must not expect to invest nothing in order to gain everything.
2. Social Media
Nobody is saying that you should sell your soul to Instagram here. Quite the opposite, but what is important is to have a presence (you can even link these to your website which I am told improves SEO) even if it is just to share screen grabs of your latest portfolio work or things that interest you.
This is called engaging your audience and even if your audience numbers only 38 randoms and your Mother, keeping them engaged in your work and your brand is no less important. When you're freelancing, you live and die by your recommendations and chances are, your first clients come from your closer circles.
Why avoid social media channels when almost the entire world seems to be on one?! My advice though is to engage with it on your terms, and always in a thoughtful, brand focussed manner.
Now this isn't strictly do-able entirely from your smart phone or laptop but you can use the two previous channels to link back to networking done in the room. You must attend networking events related to your industry, you should attend conferences and trade shows armed with a decent business card and your passion for your work laid bare on your face.
And once you've swapped those business cards, you can retreat back to the world wide web and the security of your laptop to follow those up with emails (not too aggressive or over the top mind) to the individuals you linked up with. There's nothing worse (both in and out of the room) than somebody who is transparently only talking to you to get work from you (actors take note please), network because you enjoy talking to people. As a smart man I know once told a friend, if I can't have a drink and chill with somebody, why would I want to work with them...
So there you have it, my three top tips for improving your visibility as a freelancer in this brilliant but terrifying world we live in.