Tools for freelancers – What you need to stand out from your competition
If you’re a freelancer, it can be easy to assume that you don’t need the traditional marketing tools to get word out. Freelancers rely heavily on recommendation and word of mouth, and although this can work, it lacks the glossy professionalism that marketing can provide. It also takes a lot longer to reach your client.
At first, you might be tempted to shrug off the idea of branding and online marketing, but it can really give your reputation the boost it needs to take your services further, no matter what industry you’re in.
It isn’t enough to just have all of these things, but it is how you use them that will set you apart from the rest.
A website (but stay away from DIY)
Ding ding ding, we know this seems pretty obvious, but plenty of people forget that freelancers need a website too. Many freelancers have blogs, but not as many have a fully designed, fit for purpose website.
A full website lets you incorporate a blog or portfolio, news and latest work, as well as give your clients a feel of who exactly you are. The right web design will be a thoughtful hybrid of the user experience along with your own personal brand and expertise. Just don’t be led down the misleading road of a DIY website, as you’ll end up paying more in the long run to hire a designer to fix the problems. Head straight to a designer, and start as you mean to go on.
Again, this may seem quite obvious but it is something that takes quite a bit of time to set up. If you’re looking for a more bespoke blog, or something more fit for purpose than a standard template, it might be worth getting this designed (especially if you don’t have a website). Ultimately, this will be your outlet to showcase your latest work or give your insight on latest trends or industry news, so it’s important to invest time into it. This will be a big driver in traffic, so you want it to make the right impression.
While online tools will complement your strategy, don’t forget the basics. The business card is a LinkedIn request in person, and people often refer back to business cards when an opportunity comes up. People do Google, and they do look online, but they’ll look closer to home first. A well designed business card can stand the test of time, and show your contacts that you take yourself seriously.
Brochure or portfolio
Although online marketing will be a big player in boosting your reputation as a freelancer, you’ll need some sort of print evidence of work. When you go into potential client meetings or even a speculative coffee with someone, you want to be able to put your money where your mouth is. A glossy brochure or portfolio is one of those things every freelancer dreads putting together, but knows they need to have at their disposal.
If you need advice on creating the right promotional materials for your brand, get in touch!