Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How to Promote Yourself as a Freelancer—Free of Charge

by Kristen Fischer

If you're a self-employed person or a freelancer, you know that marketing yourself isn't a one-time thing. You have to constantly put yourself out there to ensure that your next client is always lined up around the corner. That's why self-promotion tips are so vital. So I thought I'd bring you some things you can do that will cost little--if anything--to implement.

Get listed. You don't have to pay to get listed in every directory--so hit up the freebies. You can always upgrade a listing, but should certainly cover all cost-free bases first. This includes phone directories and Web directories. And there are plenty of them out there!

Optimize referrals. Offer your clients an incentive for passing on referrals. This could include a discount on future projects, a gift certificate or a gift. It won't take you much to advertise this--you can note it to clients in emails or on the phone, and put a note up on your website.

Speak up. Positioning yourself as an industry expert looks great for your business, and it can get you some bacon. You can start locally by contacting schools and associations. Ask them if they have the need for any speakers at meetings or lectures. All you'll have to do is prepare a message, practice your public speaking tips and wear a nice suit.

Give up your time. If you don't offer free consultations and you're just starting out, why not? Take inquiries from clients over the phone or offer to meet in person. Most of the time for me, if I can get my foot in the door in front of a client, I land the deal.

Be a guest star. Even if you already have a blog, it's a great idea to approach other blogs with your content. Make sure what you write is related to the business you're in, and you approach blogs that are too. Include a tiny footnote with up to three lines of information about you, and a link back to your website.

Get online. You do have a website, right? I can't stress this enough for any business--small, large, freelance--whatever! Getting on the Web is easy and vital if you want to approach more potential customers.

I post career-related articles every month at http://www.ehow.com. To see more of my articles, click here.

link | posted by Kristen at 9:00 AM |

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