How to promote yourself online: 6 steps to help freelancers

Freelancers, how to promote yourself online?

Surely, as a freelancer, you have found yourself searching the web with this phrase to discover the famous “magic formula” to stand out in an increasingly competitive market that seeks highly qualified experts.

Being a freelancer today is not an easy task. It is a life choice based on one’s predisposition and requires ambition, determination, and consistency.

It also involves having basic technical skills and abilities such as relational, communicative, organizational, as well as economic and commercial skills.

Before embarking on freelancing, you need to understand the skills you already possess and those you lack and initiate a personal branding project that allows you to promote yourself on the web effectively.

In this article, dedicated to freelancers and how to promote themselves on the internet, I hope you will find the answers you are looking for.

Specifically, you will read about:

  • The advantages of promoting yourself online as a freelancer.
  • How to advertise on the web in 6 steps?
  • Tips to start becoming visible on the internet and mistakes to avoid.

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Why should freelancers promote themselves online?

The evolution of traditional marketing into web marketing has revolutionized traditional communication systems.

This has shaken the solid mechanisms of offline marketing that underlie many types of businesses, including those of freelancers.

Today, the freelancer eager to establish themselves as a freelancer asks, how to become known online? Surely, the first step is to differentiate your offer from the competition, and in this, digital communication can be a valuable ally.

how to promote yourself online examples

The web is a tool accessible to everyone, making it the best channel to promote your business.

If you think about it, the internet is active 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Incredible, isn’t it? For a freelancer promoting themselves online, this means entering a new type of market – the internet market.

To be visible here, all you need is an excellent communication strategy executed at the right times and a budget proportional to the goals you want to achieve.

Compared to offline marketing, the web allows access to a vast user base, which can lead to new professional opportunities and the acquisition of more valuable leads that can be tailored to the target audience.

This leads to customer loyalty through various processes, such as personalized ad campaigns or specific digital strategies like email marketing. All of this at much lower costs!

So, why promote yourself online as a freelancer?

  • Everyone is online, so the audience is vast.
  • Advertising on the web has lower costs proportional to your objectives.
  • On the web, you can expand your reach by implementing various digital techniques to acquire more prospects and clients.

 

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How to promote yourself online in 6 steps

Freelancers to successfully promote themselves online must start by building personal branding. But what does that mean? Surely, it’s not just self-promotion or what you communicate about yourself.

Building personal branding means making others talk about you when you’re not present, and managing your reputation through a process that allows you to become the first person someone thinks of when in need.

The American marketing guru Tom Peters, who coined the term personal branding, said:

My reputation and credibility depend on how effectively I can communicate my expertise and differentiate myself from others, thereby determining the quality of my future work.

To build your reputation, approach personal branding consciously, starting with yourself and your identity. To stand out from the crowd, identify and structure what makes you an important reference point, and people will begin to trust you, regardless of specific technical skills.

When faced with the question “How can freelancers advertise themselves on the internet?“, I say: “Engage in personal branding!”

This is the only way to effectively identify, cultivate, and communicate why a client, employer, or partner should choose you.

To build your online reputation and promote yourself on the internet as a freelancer, it’s essential to complement traditional communication methods with an effective digital marketing strategy that contributes to the growth of your business.

But how do you build a successful strategy? Where do you start? Get comfortable and grab a pen and paper, in 6 simple steps, I’ll tell you how to do it!

Create a professional website

To reach potential clients and lay the foundation for your business, having a well-optimized website from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and mobile-responsive perspective is crucial.

The website provides you with the opportunity to access a continuous flow of traffic convertible into buyers, becoming your showcase and digital business card.

Make it representative of your activity to bring out your style and differentiate yourself from the crowd.

How? Highlight your strengths and the unique offering you can provide to your target audience. When building it, emphasize your experience, results, and contact tools.

The website should be the point of contact between you and your prospects, and how you present yourself will facilitate engagement and the acquisition of new clients.

creating professional website

Let me give you a piece of advice, to promote yourself on the internet as a freelancer and make your website effective, put yourself in the shoes of your potential client, and try to understand what type of content they would like to find.

You’ll see that prospects will learn to trust you through the articles and pages you publish. Visibility is aided by free platforms like Google My Business and Yellow Pages.

Now, let me concisely explain what they are.

  • Google My Business: a service offered by Google and is essential for building and growing your brand identity. It allows you to create a profile for your business by entering key information to attract potential buyers. Remember to verify your business since verified profiles are more likely to be considered authentic by users.
  • Yellow Pages: is a national directory of businesses that, like My Business, allows you to create a profile for your business that is automatically distributed across the online network, major search engines, voice assistants, browsers, and social media.

Last but not least is SEO. A project aimed at personal branding and strengthening your brand identity online should be based on keyword research aligned with your business, focusing on facilitating discoverability.

If you publish online content optimized for search engines and geographical areas (Local SEO) while implementing a respectable digital strategy, results will not be far behind.

Use Social Networks

While your website lays the foundation for building your business, did you know you can leverage social media as an amplifier?

The type of engagement from these platforms constitutes what is known as “vanity metrics”, metrics that contribute to the growth of your online reputation.

Integrating social media into a digital marketing strategy focused on acquiring prospects doesn’t necessarily mean a massive presence on all platforms.

Just identify which channels align best with your business and start working to find potential buyers. Once you’ve opened a profile and identified your target audience, remember to be consistently present.

You can do this in various ways:

  • Creating opportunities for interaction with your audience.
  • Participating in conversations and debates by responding or commenting.
  • Sharing articles or pages from the website to drive traffic to published content.

Through the feed, you can offer prospects a glimpse of your professionalism, showcasing your business, how you operate, and its key features, using powerful techniques like inbound marketing to attract customers.

On social networks, as well as on the website, integral to a successful digital marketing strategy are the contents.

But what are the most suitable for freelancers looking to promote themselves online? Keep reading the article to find out!

Create effective content marketing

Freelancers looking to promote themselves online must create targeted content to sell their services to potential clients, leveraging the so-called latent demand (demand from people who are not yet ready to purchase a product or service but might do so in the future).

Remember that a significant portion of the demand is latent, and almost no one invests in intercepting it!

The mistake you could make is to focus only on conscious demand, limiting yourself to a simple Call To Action like “Looking for an architect? Contact me now!” which, yes, could bring in a client but at a cost higher than the budget invested to find them.

do good content marketing

Below, I want to briefly outline the content that is most suitable for meeting latent demand and that will allow you to carry out content marketing suitable for those who want to promote themselves online as freelancers.

  • Blog Articles: functional for enriching a static showcase website. The blog helps attract new clients in search of solutions. So, create articles and pages that can answer various needs, converting your casual and non-readers into prospects, and establishing new relationships without going through the intermediary of social channels.
  • Landing Pages: literally “landing pages”. They are targeted content that allows the reader to identify with a specific situation/need and express the desire to solve it with your professional help. It is crucial for increasing conversions as, depending on the goal, you can create specific landing pages for each type of reader/user.
  • Videos: the quintessential content if you want to promote yourself online as a freelancer. YouTube is a search engine and, as such, can be used to promote yourself through videos where you talk about your business and present what you offer as the right solution. Additionally, videos are very versatile as they can be shared on platforms and used to extract and create texts or voice tracks.
  • Podcasts: channels where you upload audio programs in episodes or series to create a kind of “personal radio”. They can be useful for tutorials and generally discussing aspects of your business, especially if you are a consultant. You can use them to enrich your blog and website as they can generate a high conversion rate. It is scientifically proven that those who start listening to an audio track are inevitably inclined to listen to it until the end.

Not to be underestimated is email marketing to increase the volume of potential and new buyers.

There are web platforms, such as Mailchimp, to design newsletters and email sequences to engage the interest of your prospects and lead them into a high-conversion-rate funnel.

These systems allow you to create a broad and targeted mailing list and carry out customized email campaigns with landing pages and Call To Action.

Remember that regularly being present in the emails of acquired and potential customers will certainly promote the growth of your online presence.

Take advantage of Google Ads and Social Advertising

Certainly, the activities mentioned so far to drive traffic to your site and promote yourself online may take some time before yielding concrete results.

That’s why I recommend also conducting paid content promotions to expedite the process.

There are two ways to run advertising campaigns:

  • Via Google Ads.
  • Via sponsorship on social channels.

Google Ads is one of the most well-known tools for PPC marketing campaigns.

Just by placing an ad in Google’s advertising platform based on specific pre-set keywords, it will appear among the top results in SERP, ensuring significant visibility and engagement possibilities.

To use it effectively, it’s essential to implement a keyword strategy on Google Ads, although the platform is very intuitive in its usage.

Certainly, mastering auction systems and learning to manage the right budget will allow you to promote your freelance online business much more quickly. Similarly, you can create ad campaigns on social channels.

Thanks to high target profiling, the return on investment will be high, as exposing yourself more on social platforms can generate a constant flow of new leads and potential conversions.

But how do you find work as a freelancer and start getting clients? Keep reading to find out.

Be present on platforms to find clients

As I mentioned, to promote yourself online and acquire buyers, you can also leverage platforms dedicated to freelancers where the connection between freelancers and prospects is facilitated.

By creating a profile and uploading your portfolio, you can enhance your presentation by adding work experiences and attributes that contribute to personal branding.

The advantage of these platforms lies in the ability to receive and display feedback through the integrated rating system (which will also enhance positioning) and promote your business for free.

Highly rated freelancers will automatically attract more clients and, consequently, more work.

platforms for freelancers

I would like to highlight some of the well-known platforms:

  • Fiverr: its peculiarity is that freelancers do not present a job offer but only list their skills and services. Both the freelancer and the potential client can also know the budget available before the work begins.
  • Upwork: also very popular, but unlike its competitors, the platform retains 20% of your budget. This multi-level pricing system may not be very advantageous, but if you are just starting, want to improve your reputation, and learn to negotiate, it is certainly suitable for you.
  • PeoplePerHour: a middle ground between the previous two, offering freelancers a range of options. Among these, the freelancer has a maximum limit of free proposals for a job, after which they must purchase credits on the platform to submit more. The advantage is the ability to independently define the budget and delivery terms for the project.
  • Freelancer.com: famous for low commission costs and a wide choice of jobs offered by freelancers. The payment system can be hourly, through contests and auction systems, or starting from a fixed budget. Its operation is similar to other platforms.

Allow me to give you some advice before you sign up for any of these platforms:

  • Identify the one most relevant to your business. There are also specialized websites specifically for finding specific jobs, such as Write Access for writers.
  • Consider the pricing structure.
  • Evaluate the average budget offered for each job.

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Do networking and create partnerships

If you’re still wondering, “How do freelancers promote themselves on the internet?” know that the answer lies mainly in this last point, networking.

It allows you to find job opportunities, build professional relationships, and establish future collaborations.

For successful professional networking, keep in mind:

  • The goals: based on them, seek people who could contribute to achieving them. Once identified, connect and create the right opportunity to meet them. For example, it might be useful to frequent a coworking space to connect with diverse professionals.
  • Common ground: to build valuable relationships, look for events or social opportunities related to your interests to identify the right people.
  • People who have a good opinion of you: if you already know people who trust you professionally, it will be easy to gain support for your proposals as they are aware that helping you is worthwhile.
  • Doing good: contributes to building your online reputation. Through “do ut des”, you create a positive atmosphere around your professional image, and collaboration opportunities will not be lacking.
  • The network: it’s good to expand your contacts to create new professional opportunities favorable to your business, but consider that initial help and contribution can come from people already close to you.

The tools for building valuable relationships are undoubtedly social channel groups and communities, from a professional perspective, the ultimate Social Media is LinkedIn.

Among profiles, you can easily identify specialized figures whose professionalism can contribute to your business and vice versa.

Gain visibility and clients by maximizing the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile

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Tips to start promoting yourself online and mistakes to avoid

“How freelancers promote themselves on the internet”. Now, I hope that when you type this keyword into the Google search bar and read this article, you will have a clearer idea of how to start your freelance business.

With the evolution of the digital world, freelancers can promote their business more quickly by finding a valuable ally on the web to do personal branding and build their reputation.

By leveraging the potential that the online world offers and sponsorship techniques, it is possible to increase the volume of your business and find new buyers.

This is why you should avoid making mistakes, such as thinking that being present on all social channels and posting random content will automatically lead to acquiring prospects.

Additionally, avoid the misconception that personal branding simply involves showcasing how good you are at your business.

In this article, I have shown you the various tools and instruments that allow you to develop a successful digital marketing strategy.

I want to conclude by giving you some advice to start your freelance business and promote yourself online effectively:

  • Be honest with yourself by defining realistic and achievable goals.
  • Be open to discussion and dialogue with potential and existing clients.
  • Ensure that you are easily recognizable and reachable in terms of professionalism and budget.
  • Be the primary resource for problem-solving through the publication of valuable content.
  • Network to create a more structured and lucrative business economically.

 

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Conclusion

Embarking on a freelance career offers a unique chance to shape your professional path with enhanced flexibility, independence, and income potential. This exciting journey is teeming with limitless possibilities.

Utilizing these impactful marketing tactics customized for freelancers empowers you to take your freelance career to new heights.

Embrace challenges, celebrate milestones, and consistently recognize your skills, passion, and perseverance to leave a notable mark in the freelance domain.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to recognize that developing a digital portfolio is just the beginning for freelancers entering the industry.

To stand out, one must be open to learning the intricacies of online marketing and branding, essential for establishing a credible presence that resonates with high-value clients.

Promoting yourself on the internet as a freelancer is not easy if you don’t have the right skills. Request strategic coaching to start on the right foot!

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