One of my LinkedIn connections, Hassan Rostam, is the CEO of Marginwise.
Hassan asked me…
“Depending on the source or definition, there are 20 to 50 million freelancers in the US economy. You’re one of them yourself. How do they ‘market’ themselves? How is that marketing different from marketing by a business? I am wondering about your thoughts.”
One question at a time, and we’ll tackle the second one first.
In many ways, the freelancer’s marketing is no different than the large organization’s marketing. Quite a few of the same strategies and tactics apply.
- Develop the best possible understanding of the needs of your market.
- Once you think you grasp these needs, go deeper, learn more, and understand both the rational and emotional reasons why someone would decide to engage you.
- Differentiate yourself from your competitors and turn this difference into an advantage for your client.
What should freelancers do to market themselves?
- Consistently create relevant, high value content that helps prospects evaluate your point of view, competency, and character.
- Make it easy for existing clients to provide referrals.
- Treat marketing as an investment rather than an expense.
- Make offers.
- Create relationships instead of projects.
Hassan’s question brings to mind a comment my friend John Brejot made years ago.
“We don’t work for companies. We work for people.”
The same goes here. We don’t hire companies. Whether it’s a plumber or a programmer, we hire talent and invest in solutions.
We may start off by engaging a company based on how we perceive its reputation, but ultimately, the quality of the people and the work they do is what matters most.
No wonder freelancers who commit to good marketing do so well.