Advertising, radio or television commercials? These formats are not really suitable for advertising the complex services of a freelancer. Such marketing instruments are expensive and, on balance, bring few customers. When is marketing useful for freelancers? Which marketing instruments really make sense?
Professional networks & recommendation marketing
In my opinion, the most important marketing instrument of a freelancer is probably the development of the professional network and a sophisticated recommendation marketing. Almost 90% of my new customers came through the recommendations of my regular customers / acquaintances. From my point of view there is hardly a more efficient tool for freelancers to acquire customers.
What can you do as a freelancer to expand your professional network / recommendation marketing?
- Attend networking events
- Introduce attractive recommendation commissions for successfully placed orders
- Asking customers for a review after completion of an order and publishing it
- Finding cooperation partners and using the network of cooperation partners
These were only four exemplary possibilities how you can expand your network and recommendation marketing as a freelancer. But good marketing for freelancers also includes the retention of existing customers. The following marketing tool helps you to do this:
Newsletter / Mailing campaigns
Frequent advertising letters or e-mails can quickly annoy customers. This is of course not the aim of newsletters. In order to make this marketing instrument efficient, it must not be sent too frequently. For my taste, an e-mail newsletter should never appear more often than 14 days.
The content of the newsletter also plays a central role. It must contain a clearly recognizable added value for the recipient. This applies in principle to all news that you publish to your customers. You often read that your own website has been “relaunched”, but nobody is really interested. Instead, good newsletters contain information or tips and tricks that contribute to the success of your customer.
As a graphic designer you could, for example, write a newsletter entitled: “The 10 characteristics of a professional company logo”.
The added value of this newsletter: The customer can use your expertise as a designer to carry out a quality check with his own logo. If he is not satisfied with his logo, he immediately has a competent professional who can create a logo for him that has these characteristics.
Visibility on the Internet
As a freelancer you should of course be visible on the Internet. There are countless ways to do this. Here are a few possibilities:
- Own website
- Search engine optimization
- Guest contributions on blogs
- Paid search enrties on Google
- Social media
- Your own blog
Personally, I think it’s better to focus on a few points instead of being a bit active on every front. Increasing your own visibility as a freelancer on the Internet can be a very time-consuming and costly task. It is a long way until the effort pays off. But it can still be worth it.
I find the guest contributions on other blogs most efficient. You get to know other people, expand your network and can place a link to your own website. This in turn has a positive influence on the visibility of your website in search engines. Guest contributions must also provide a clear added value for the reader. A pure self-portrayal of your freelance activity will hardly be shared by anyone.
Conclusion – Marketing for freelancers
There is a wide range of marketing tools at our disposal. Some are very efficient, others are of little use. I am writing this article because I see in my environment some freelancers who put a lot of money into less efficient advertising tools. In my opinion, advertisements are not the appropriate means to market services. For my freelance work, the tools listed in this article have proven to be the most efficient. What experiences have you made?