I thought this might help the other freelancers out there. Over the past year and a bit, I have been experimenting with all sorts of methods of marketing my services. Here are my results so far:
1) The website has paid for itself more than a hundred times over. It has had a huge effect in generating income for me. It costs about $100 AUD per year to both host the files and rent the domain name and it brings me income that vastly out does that. People find me via Google and it pays off massively.
2) You need to market your different services separately. I market my writing services to a different audience than the one I market my editing services to, though there is sometimes some overlap between the two. But I also always make clients in both audiences aware of what else I do because you never know what fall into your lap next and where it will come from.
3) Networking has paid off as well. The people I meet often do pass my name on or pass work my way. I have been recommended for both paying and non-paying gigs by people I know.
4) Volunteering has helped a lot. I get experience and skills and contacts and this helps me get work that pays.
5) Tying everything together helps as well. Whatever I write or work on, voluntarily or paid, gets posted on here, which in turn gives me a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and in Google and directs more people to my site. I get work via people who find my blog posts on LinkedIn and pass them on. I get work via helping authors and writers out on Twitter. Then there is a large network of friends on Facebook who occasionally throw something my way or help by reading what I write and passing it around.
What hasn’t worked (or at least not with as much success yet as the other options above):
1) Applying for work via Seek, Career One and other job hunting boards. I have been interviewed and been the second choice a few times but the thing is that this is the most obvious way to get work and so you are up against almost everyone looking for work. Everyone will try this option but not everyone will get on LinkedIn, join the union, join professional societies or volunteer. So the more you do a little bit of everything, the sooner the people in the industry get to know you and will want to hire you and the greater the edge you have over people who do nothing but twiddle their thumbs till the jobs pop up on Seek. Most of the work going is not advertised and is farmed out to someone an employee at the company already knows and can vouch for so the people who focus only on job boards and sites are going to be waiting a long time before getting any kind of paycheck.
2) Mail outs. These can work but only if you are offering to do create websites. It’s the strangest thing. People will toss notices about proofreading and editing services into the bin but will jump at an offer to create websites. I have toyed with the idea of switching my business to creating websites for small businesses on a budget but have decided against this. If you do have a small business or project that requires a website that is beyond your knowledge level but not too high, I am happy to help you out so do contact me (I built this site). It’s just not a service that I advertise since I don’t want to be a web designer just an editor and writer.
3) Business cards. Truth be told, maybe I am just not using these properly. I don’t know. I have dumped them in boxes and bowls everywhere I can think of. I have handed them out to people. I am now thinking of mailing them out to practically anyone I can think of because I need to get rid of them before I can redesign them and get a new batch. It’s hard to get data on this one. My contact details are everywhere I can think of, so it might not be a card that prompts someone to call me up.
4) Cold calling. I hate this so I don’t do it. I’d have to research each person I was going to call. I don’t bother. I prefer meeting people and having meaningful relationships with them. If they like me, they can hire or recommend me. I don’t push it. I just tell them what I do and leave it at that.
5) Google Adwords. Doesn’t work because I get set up with the account and then the dashed thing tells me that my account is too old or something. So I have to create a new one which I don’t see much point in doing. This however might be useful so I will be experimenting with it in the future.
- Cents & Sensibility: Networking
- Freelancing Friday: Software starter kit for freelance journalists
- Taking the day off … to write
- Five reasons to charge a decent rate
- Freelancing Friday: Five common grammar mistakes
- Freelancing Friday: How to set your freelancing rates (Australia)
- Freelancing Friday: Globe-trotting as a freelancer, part 1
- Freelance Friday: The marketing methods that are working
- Freelance Friday: 8 marketing tips for freelancers
- On passion and identity
- MEAA now able to negotiate on behalf of freelancers
- Freelancing Friday: A day in the life
- How to cover a conference as a journalist
- How to network at an editors’ conference