So, you’ve decided to go freelance. That’s a very admirable decision, welcome to the dark side.
You may find that the first challenge you face in your new and exciting profession is attaining work, or at least a steady and suitable stream of work, the nature of which aligns with your talents and, if possible- your interests too.
Though there’s an entire host of bid-for project sites out there to get you going, they tend to be places swarming with two great adversaries of the rookie freelancer. Namely, parsimonious job providers and your own fellow freelancers who are willing to entertain their absurd expectations, and thus contribute to the increasingly popular notion that we’re all entirely prepared to work for pennies as opposed to pounds!
These sites can be a very good place to start out and also to continue to grow your industry sensibilities. Though, you should know that they are far from being your only option.
The tiniest pinch of well-guided initiative can see demand for your skills grow to an uncontrollable size, supplementing your 'bid for' site fortunes to such an extent that you can eventually phase them out altogether.
Here are some of the most straightforward, though eternally useful strategies for keeping your lonesome little freelancing head above the rising tide of big business.
1. Develop a Social Network Presence
If you’re the kind of person who would even conceive of turning towards the internet in hope of fruitful occupation, chances are you are already active on one or two social networks.
The power of tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter should not be underestimated when you’re seeking to establish yourself as a legitimate freelance professional. By forming a solid social networking presence you are effectively able to connect with all kinds of agreeable individuals within your field, not to mention potential customers.
A concept that leaves an un-savory taste in the mouths of some, though one that is undeniably common practice for professionals of all ilk here in 2013- launching a blog is a prudent addition to the schedule of any freelancer.
OK, so the gig isn’t paid (at least not to begin with), it also takes ages to get things moving and feel as though you’re actually benefitting. But, the remuneration does exist.
Collectively, the world’s blogging communities are beyond huge. Marketing is essentially the act of communicating the value and worth of something to a particular group, so what better way of achieving this than becoming part of the group?
3. Guest Post
For all of those who lack the minerals to go through with, or are still in the process of launching their own blog or website- guest posting provides a potentially lucrative alternative.
Depending on your industry and the areas you would consider yourself capable of competently covering, the number of already-successful blogs willing to accommodate your work could be huge- so look into it.
4. Become the Master of your Very Own SEO Kingdom
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), this may sound like great fun. For everyone else- well, you guys already know how much it sucks.
The process of improving your domain visibility and ranking with the all-knowing/all-seeing search engine robots is a big thing in marketing these days, don't you know?
The job is never quite done with SEO, as such - be prepared to really have to work at it.
5. Start a Mailing List
Used for a considerable time now by all kinds of businesses, mailing lists are certainly worthy of consideration if you’re a freelancer who’s aiming to keep things rolling in the future.
Another slightly slow burner, compiling suitable (and wanting) recipients for your daily, weekly, monthly or annual updates is obviously going to take a little bit of time. One of the main bonuses of the mailing list, and perhaps the reason they’ve remained relevant for so long is their directness.
Whether you decide to take on all 5 of these marketing tactics to boost your newfound freelancer status, or you run with just one of them, you will gain far more than not attempting these marketing approaches at all.
I for one favour my e-mail over my actual mail (is that bad?). I can’t be the only one?