There is a lot of literature on the subject of “marketing”. A large part of the books describes advertising measures that are more relevant to larger companies. For example, topics such as “Survey methods in primary research in market research” are not entirely uninteresting for us freelancers, but they divert the focus away from advertising measures that are really important for us. In this article, I have compiled a small list of 20 really effective advertising measures for you as a freelancer.
20 advertising measures
1. Working out a unique profile
Get a strong identity. Find your outstanding personality traits and discover your passion. What makes you stand out? What makes you unique? Only if you know your personality well, you can authentically communicate your strengths. A false image harms you and your business.
2. Create a business card with added value
Even in the digital age, business cards still have their right to exist. Make sure that not only your name and contact details are on them. Find an idea that clearly and creatively communicates the benefits of your activity.
3. Appreciate invoices
Invoices are not just business forms but excellent opportunities to communicate with your customers. Show more of your services (cross-selling, upselling), show your advantages or ask your customers to recommend you.
4. Draw up a business plan
The business plan is like a map. Check your business plan regularly to make sure you’re on track. Regularly compare the ACTUAL and TARGET states.
5. Strengthen after-sales service
Marketing is not finished once the order is completed. »After-sales service« is essential for a loyal regular customer base. Think about what else you can do for your customer after the order.
6. Focus on customer care
Ask your customers how they rate you and your services. Make sure that disgruntled customers become satisfied with regular customers.
7. Conduct public relations work
Get yourself and your work out in the open. Active participation in associations or communities of interest is a good possibility.
8. Compiling references
Go for it! References are free and can be very impressive for new prospects. Use them on your website and in career portals (preferably with testimonials). They work!
9. Perfect behaviour and communication
Give your customers the feeling of being special. You can best do that with an honest smile. The way you greet and say goodbye to your customers is also important. Speak to customers by name! Ask about the personal condition of your customer before it becomes business.
10. Offer financing possibilities
The customer needs your service, but unfortunately, his financial means are currently insufficient. Offer your customer a fair possibility for financing. This way, you can save a supposedly lost order in such cases.
11. Control word of mouth
One of the most important marketing instruments for freelancers is word of mouth. You can steer them by always focusing on excellent service and turning dissatisfied customers into loyal returning customers. Strengthen your word of mouth by asking customers for a short testimonial after completing a job. The customer then consciously reflects on your performance. Also, you will receive a new testimonial for your references.
12. Use patterns
Last month you designed beautiful business papers for your client? The whole thing was even refined with an exclusive stamping? Then make sure you get samples of it. Use the samples specifically in discussions with new customers.
13. Optimise advice
Make sure that your customers always feel that they are well-advised. Deliver ideas that help your customer solve their problem as efficiently as possible.
14. Hold seminars and lectures
These marketing activities not only enable you to establish yourself as an authority but also serve as a first-class opportunity to make yourself and your services known.
15. Preparing publications
Write an article about your field of expertise for a trade journal or blog. Instead of asking for money, you should ask for the mentioning of your name and contact details (link). Publishing books or essays can greatly enhance your credibility and expert status.
16. Participating in competitions
An excellent way to draw more attention to yourself and your services is to participate in competitions. Besides the additional attention, competitions also have a positive impact on your network.
17. Insert a newsletter
Newsletters are a regular postal instrument. If they are used skillfully, they are an extremely effective marketing instrument. Make sure that there is a real added value for your customer in the newsletter!
18. Optimising speed
Time is becoming more and more precious. The Internet enables short communication channels. People have become accustomed to short reaction times. You too should shine with speed in processing orders.
19. Strengthening credibility
Only if you are credible as a person will your customers believe in the quality promise you are communicating. Do everything to achieve that!
20. Create satisfied customers
The best salespeople are customers who appreciate the quality of your work. Satisfied customers will drive your word of mouth campaign all by themselves.
How should you implement the advertising measures?
You can implement many of the advertising measures mentioned above without a single dime in your pocket. So lack of financial possibilities is no excuse :). Rather than money, you need time, perseverance and discipline in the implementation. You should see it as a constant process of optimisation.