In this instance of my Freelance Writing Guide For New Freelancers I will talk about how you can promote yourself free of charge. When I say free, it means free of cost, but you will spend considerable time to make up for the lack of monetary investment. Some say that time is money and I have to agree that they are correct. In the end, we can promote our business without spending money for advertising even as a freelance writer.
While you can market yourself spending money on various advertising platforms, my personal choice has been to take the free, albeit more time consuming route. These are my personal reasons and you are free to do whatever is best for your own freelance writing business.
It all starts with your brand
I believe that branding is one of the most important things you can do as a freelancer. One thing is for sure. You need to start branding early in business as this can save you a lot of time later on. Whether you brand your business name, or your personal name doesn’t matter. What matters however is that your brand is painting a full picture. This can include:
- a name
- an image
- a logo
- a voice
- a service
- a product
Think of the picture you want to paint for your potential client. Is it a predominantly professional one or do you prefer to mix your professionalism with a pinch of your personality which I personally find very important and I tell you why.
Since we are in the business of writing, I believe that adding our own unique voice to our brand is important because we need to show that we can evoke emotions and feeling with our readers. How else will a potential client see that he/she can trust us to bring their message across?
If you are a new freelance writer you probably wonder how you can promote yourself effectively. I think the key is to be ever present in your industry. When you form networks and relationships with other bloggers within your niche, it can become the groundwork for your freelance business.
It was for me. The following promotions are the very same that helped me to build my freelance writing business from zero to full time in seven months.Commenting on other blogs:
When I first started out back in May/June last year, I spent hours every day commenting on other blogs. I did that for many months until the practice was no longer feasible time wise. By then however I had managed to build a good solid base of recognition and branding within the niche and this formed the basis of my business as it stands today.
The bulk of my clients are repeat clients and they all know me from this very blog. As you can see, starting my own blog right from the beginning and taking it serious was a smart move and that is why I’m so strong in advocating that freelance writers use a blog as their branding voice.
Another thing I did to promote myself and my business was forum marketing. I can safely say that I probably spent around 6 months in forums every single day. I was a member in about three forums in which I was active pretty much daily and maybe in another three I stopped by infrequently.
Forum marketing never brought me any direct clients, but it went a long way to build my brand.
I have a love/hate relationship with social networks. One one side they are great to meet other like minded people and on the other they are often a waste of time.
Seriously, unless you narrow your active membership to a couple of them you will only waste your time and believe me, I have done enough of that myself. The secret with these is in the measured control in which you apply yourself to them.
Since it is so easy to waste a lot of time with social networks it can quickly become over powering.
Is there more?
Hell yes there is. I know pretty much all of the promotions known to man. No kidding. When I was in MLM I spent $1,500/month for the length of my business. Promoting offline as well as online. I know how to work all those platforms but I swore never to spend a penny on advertising my business again. (All that money built me a list of over 5,000 and when I quit the business I lost them all. Talk about dumb.)
So why do I refuse to spend a dime to advertise my business now? Because it works without. It takes more time, but in the end is way cheaper than spending yourself out of business. I also wanted to show you that you don’t need to part with your money to promote your freelancing business. Except perhaps some cool business cards for when you are on the road.
Again, this is my choice. I got burned and made choices learning from that experience. Also, this is related directly to freelance writing and not any other business. I know that some writers will disagree with me here and that is fine. I always based this freelance writing guide on what worked for me and that is what I base this information on.
If you want to part with money to promote your brand, then feel free to do so. There are dozens of ways you can advertise your business by spending money, but I won’t discuss them here because I never needed to for my freelance writing business.