How To Get More Freelance Gigs Using Viral Marketing
Many startup freelancers ask us how to get more clients – it’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind. While marketing and spreading the word about your services yourself is a good way to go about this, nothing beats getting others to spread the word about your services. Yes, it’s true, other people can and will market your services naturally, you just have to hit the right keys – and here are the keys you need to hit.
First thing’s first…
There’s no point in the world trying to make an effort to grow awareness of your services in your locality without you offering damn good work so success in getting more clients at its core lies with your own abilities in whatever you’re freelancing in. If you’re a freelance designer, you need to be one of the best around, or you could choose to specialize in a certain field which also puts you at an advantage when a client comes looking for someone to work on a project within the scope of that field. That’s why I say, and I’ll keep on saying, practice, practice, practice!
When you’ve decided that your skills are now good enough for you to attractive some good exposure through viral “word-of-mouth” marketing, then you take the next step. Start telling your friends, family, work colleagues and acquaintances about what you do without making them feel akward. Go about it in a non-obtrusive way so that they don’t feel you’re just pitching to them; just bring it up in conversation somehow by linking it to a topic of discussion. This way it’ll be within the person’s mind that you offer such a service and therefore they will have the ability to passively tell other’s about it in everyday talk.
Do something unique
Once you have your surroundings (in terms of people) acknowledging what you do, it’s time to take a much bigger (and very important) step. This step involves doing some very unique and “attention-grabbing” (no, I don’t mean go into the middle of town dressed as a clown juggling pins). What I mean by do something “attention-grabbing” is do something that can potentially catch the eye of the local media. For example, I know a freelance artist who got permission from local authorities to do some art work using spray-paints on a wall of a building on a busy highstreet. Not only did he do one, he did many, and he garnered A LOT of attention for this and was swamped with people asking him to do art-work for them.
You could also try something like a charity event of some sort (but try to link it to what you do as a freelancer) – so you can show your support to those who are less fortunate than yourself. No one said you’re not allowed to do good on the way to freelancing success.
It may also be a good idea to subtly notify the local media on what you’re doing as nothing really happens without a little nudge sometimes.
Speak at events
The best way to get noticed and become an “industry expert” is to participate in local, related events in the forms of conferences, lectures, meet-ups etc. People have a keen sense of “association by face” so it’s always a good idea for you to be seen, especially at events linked to your work.
Establish a quality brand
As soon as those bundles of clients come gushing forth from your media idea, your next step is to “mould the minds” of the new clients you receive. It is of utmost importance that you and the clients you work with believe you are offering a valuable, quality service. Quality sells itself. If your clients know you offer a quality service, and have experienced that from you, there’s no doubt that recommendations will be made in your favour. Also remember though, that one bad move could quite literally crush a lot of your branding efforts, so watch out for bad clients, and always treat them well.
Continue the high client satisfaction
You’ve got that influx of initial clients, you’ve treated them well, they’ve referred excess business to you. Now, all you need to do is keep it up. Continue offering your quality service to whoever needs it – sooner or later you’re going to get to a point where you’re over-booked, and this is where you take certain economical steps such as raising prices or being more picky with what projects you wish to take on.
If your steam of clients start dying down, consider the second step again in order to garner more attention.
Live the dream
Freelancing takes a lot of effort, and with continued effort should come continued reward. Freelancers should typically be aiming for what I call “working freedom” where they choose whatever they wish to work on, when they want to, and get a rate which they choose – that is what freelancing is all about.
Don’t forget to sit back, relax, and enjoy your work freedom – you deserve it.
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