21 Freebies your business purse will love
Marketing your freelance business can be a challenge. Sure, you hear about the most effective strategies, but they all require a financial investment to start. You’re just trying to land clients, not market a 7-figure business. Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can find leads for your freelance business without spending a dime. You just have to invest your time, and get creative. Here are 20+ ideas you can start with now:
1. Get referrals Getting recommendations from others is one of the most powerful marketing tools on the internet, and it’s the best way to find high paying freelance clients. There are many ways to set up relationships where you and other businesses recommend each other’s services to your mutual benefit. Harness this strategy to find more free leads that are ready to make a purchase.
2. Use databases There are plenty of databases available on the web with company names and contact information. You can sift through these to find potential leads for your business. Check out Data.com to start. Today In: Under 30
3. Word-of-mouth You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands on expensive advertisements to get your business noticed on the web. A much more powerful option is leveraging word-of-mouth. Encourage other people (your friends, family, clients, business associates) to talk about your business online and recommend it to others. News will spread about your freelance services much more effectively.
4. Use Quora Quora is another great place to find leads for free. People regularly ask questions on the platform that your skills and expertise can help with. Set up a professional profile highlighting your business. Then start answering questions to get in touch with potential customers you can help. Become an authority on the site to get even more reach.
5. Cold calling Actively search for people and businesses who might benefit from your services. Check out their website, get a hold of their contact information, and start cold calling to generate leads. Few freelancers use this direct strategy anymore, and people will be surprised by your professionalism in choosing to cold call. This will help you stand out from the competition.
6. Public relations Getting you and your business featured in the media is a great way to attract new prospects. All you need to do is a little public relations to make it happen. Keep an eye out for opportunities where your business can be a part of an interesting, informative, or entertaining news piece. Publish press releases and pitch these ideas to local journalists and news organizations to see if they get picked up.
7. Email marketing Converting leads doesn’t have to be a one-shot deal. With email marketing, you can spend time nurturing relationships and convincing people of the value of your services at the same time. Build an email list and start sending out marketing materials to help them move down the sales funnel.
8. Influencer marketing You can only get so much reach on social media by sharing interesting posts and following new people. If you want to really get noticed, you’ll need the help of influencers. Influencers are popular profiles on social media who can share your content with their audience. Find powerful ones and encourage them to share your blog posts and other content to get more reach.
9. Special events Host a special event on social media and around the web to generate buzz and attract new clients. For example, you can do a sweepstakes or photo competition with your current audience. You can also offer special, limited-time discounts for your services.
10. Create a quiz or poll Host a quiz or poll on your site or on social media. This will help you engage more with your audience and get more buzz for your content. Twitter has the polling feature built in. You can also use free tools like SurveyMonkey to create your own.
11. Networking No matter if you work online or in the real world, networking can help your business succeed. It might not feel valuable to just keep making new contacts, but you never know how they might help you later down the road. Take the time to meet, greet and get to know people in-person and online. Make sure they understand what your business is all about. They might not become customers, but they can help connect you with free leads later on.
12. Publish news stories If you’re having trouble getting in the news organically, you might try writing news stories yourself! They don’t have to overtly promote your business, but can help you gain reach as the author. There are plenty of magazines and news sites that allow you to open-pitch news stories.
13. Newsletters Newsletters are another great way to market to your current clients and prospects who haven’t become a customer yet. Regularly send out newsletter updates to your list to keep your business in the forefront of people’s minds.
14. Trade shows Trade shows are a great opportunity to meet people in your industry and generate buzz about your business. Most trade shows have an entrance fee for booths, but you can also show up as a free agent to network and pass out leaflets as well.
15. Blogging Blogging can help you attract more traffic to your website in a lot of different ways. Create content that people actually want to read to make it work. Make sure you cover topics that your target audience is interested in. You can then promote these content pieces on social media and elsewhere. Having a blog will also give you more pages on your site that Google can index.
16. Use a lead capture form Most freelancers put calls-to-action on their sites asking prospects to set up a consultation. This is a great strategy, unless your prospects aren’t quite sure if they want to purchase your services yet. Add a lead capture form on your site where people can sign up to get more information. Then you get their contact information and can continue to market to them. You can create a lead capture form easily using free plugins for WordPress.
17. Free lead magnets Email list building can be a drag, unless you use lead magnets. These are free offers of valuable content that you give away in exchange for someone’s contact information. This can be free guide, PDF, template, coupon or free consultation, to name a few examples. Just make sure it’s something your target audience would really value and benefit from.
18. Article marketing Instead of just sticking with run-of-the-mill blog posts, write some in-depth articles. Make sure they are the most authoritative pieces on the topic (e.g. ultimate guides, top 100 lists). Promote your articles around the web to start getting links back to your pages. This will boost traffic and improve your SEO.
19. YouTube marketing People become famous on YouTube all the time and it’s a great place for businesses to get reach as well. You can create and publish informative how-to videos that your target audience would value. For example, say you’re a social media expert. You could create tutorials showing people how to use different social media tools to grow their lists. Then you can include a call-to-action asking them to hire you if they need help!
20. Leaflets or inserts It might seem like an old-fashioned marketing strategy, but that’s part of the reason it still works today. Not a lot of freelancers bother passing out leaflets or inserts advertising their business in the physical world. Using this strategy will help you stand out from the competition by using a novel marketing medium.
21. Website popups Website popups help your visitors understand exactly what you want them to do on a given page. Even if you have a call-to-action already, popups can help you drive the action home. Exit popups are also a great way to encourage conversions when people are navigating away. Search WordPress for popup plugins to start.