Freelancing is a great way to achieve the work life balance and expand your personal freedom. However, there are some drawbacks to freelancing, such as irregular work and a less reliable pay cheques. Likewise, if you’re used to corporate advertising budgets, your new budget is going to come as a shock.
So, how do you get your name in front of potential clients without spending a fortune?
The good news is advertising isn’t the only way to get noticed. According to a 2014 study by Neilsen public relations is almost 90 per cent more effective at impacting people’s decision-making process than advertising – and it’s often free.
Here are seven ways you can get great PR on a tight budget:
- Press Releases: If you’re working on gaining exposure for a client, a well written story helps you get the word out there. However when it comes to self-promotion, it’s hard to think of doing the same. If you can demonstrate your expertise in a unique way or release the results of a campaign you’ve been working on, it may enable you to get your own exposure. Also, think about taking the time out do something great for your community, such as a charity fundraiser or volunteering to organise a social meet up. It can do wonders for your profile and also shows potential clients what you stand for.
- Thought leadership: Show your expertise by sharing great advice. For example, if you’ve been involved in a successful campaign, or know a lot about a particular subject matter, you could write a blog about your experience and help others replicate this success. It also demonstrates you know your subject area and builds trust in your ability. As a result, people will feel confident in hiring you.
- Partnerships: Look for opportunities to build partnerships with related businesses. For example, if you’re a copywriter you could team up with a graphic designer to exchange referrals. Being referred by a past client or employer is a fantastic endorsement of your work.
- Great content: Think about the key services you offer and what people need to know when considering you for work. Use this information to craft useful articles that help solve a problem people have (naturally you are the answer to that problem!) For example, if you’re a bookkeeper, consider writing a blog post about how to know when you need a bookkeeper rather than an accountant.
- Networking: Nothing beats face-to-face interaction, but making sure people know how to get in touch with you is also important. Create well branded and memorable business cards to hand out at events. These are easy to create and often affordable. Snap offers low cost printing options and they provide a speedy turn around time- so there’s really no excuse for being, “that lovely person I met with the brown hair, I can’t remember the name…”
- Social media– LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to grow your network and connect with important people you might not otherwise have had a chance to meet in person. Treat your encounters as you would any real-life meeting and don’t forget your professional courtesy.
- Media: Platforms like Twitter give you a chance to connect directly with journalists. Follow conversations and comment intelligently to get noticed as a leader in your field. There a lots of media and influencer chats you can join in with on Twitter, and keep an eye on #journorequests as you may be able to add comment to a story or answer questions from a journalist. These are often quick wins for getting the exposure you deserve.
Whether you’re just starting your career as a freelancer or dipping your toes into the freelancer pond, use these tips to ensure you have an active profile so your career can be a successful one. It’s worth building an online profile on WordPress or Squarespace to showcase all of your impressive works. A blog is also something you can treat as a working diary, to get your thoughts down on paper and prove to potential employers you know your stuff.
Got any tips for increasing your professional profile? Feel free to share in the comments below.
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