Most people who begin to develop their freelance business on the Internet soon discover that getting new clients is probably the number one concern and challenge. Although there are many perks working on the Internet, getting the word out and generating a steady supply of target traffic and potential new clients to your Internet door is not the easiest process unless you have the budget to outsource some of the actual marketing to an agency.
Here are some tips that you can use and apply right away to help jump start your freelancing client list.
1. Word of mouth.
This almost sounds too “old school” but it’s true. If you are that freelance expert and offer up something that is invaluable to others, word of mouth is going to be your best friend in these early start-up days with your business. You might consider offering to ‘intern’ for a more high profile company or client in the beginning of your career. Its not the money you’re after here…it’s the experience, exposure and the relationships you build that will be priceless to you in the long run.
If you are going to be freelancing online, you will need a website to call home. If you can afford to, shop around and get quotes from a few professional site builders. The better companies will have been in business for a few years and have a lot of testimonials at their disposal. Larger companies will have creative staffs and offer different priced packages that almost anyone can afford. A WordPress blog makes a fantastic choice for your online ‘home base’. Its free, its simple and will help you get traffic and potential clients to your site much faster then a standard
website ever could.
3. Advertise your service.
Again, this should go without saying. Marketing your service is to get the word out. There are many different ways of marketing to gain exposure over the Internet. Depending on your particular service, your marketing methods can make or break your business. Take the time to understand the different methods and marketing models that exist online and choose wisely.
4. PPC, Pay Per Click Marketing
Google’s AdWords is the largest PPC marketing concern on the Internet today. PPC, or Pay per click marketing might be the fastest way for anyone to begin generating traffic. You could open an AdWords account right now and begin getting clients within a few hours. But PPC advertising is not as easy as it sounds.
When you open an AdWords account, you create a small ad that Google places on search engine pages and other sites that are relevant to your business. When someone sees your ad and clicks on it, they are then redirected to your website. You only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad.
To learn more about AdWords and how this can help your business, simply type “AdWords” into Google. When it comes to PPC advertising, AdWords really is the program to consider.
5. Article Marketing
Article marketing, like a lot of Internet marketing, is indirect. One thing leads to another. In this case, writing Internet articles that are relevant to your business and submitting them to article directories for publication over the Internet can generate a steady stream of clients to your website. The key to article marketing is leaving a back link to your site at the bottom of every article that you create. Use articles to brand and establish yourself as an authority or expert in your niche industry. Build your credibility by reaching out and offering real value.
6. Social Sites
Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Becoming an active member of a social site to gain clients will have you busier than you could have ever imagined. Follow the rules of engagement and make contacts! The larger social sites have groups within groups that you can join and make solid contacts. Many individuals have realized great success as freelancers using only Social Networking to get the word out.
7. Forum Marketing
There are forums online for everyone that encompass almost everything. Joining forums that are relevant to your service will certainly land you clients. All forums have rules to follow. It’s safe to say that no spamming or flaming will be tolerated.
It’s safe to say, the list for different techniques to gain new clients on the Internet is endless. If you were to keyword “marketing techniques” into any major search engine, you would get a few million returns. Keep it simple, stay on track and the clients will soon follow.