Promoting Your Freelance Business


As freelancers, we are constantly honing our skills but also looking for opportunities for working projects. Some of us have specific skill sets and target businesses within a certain market, while others have a wider range. This second option can lead to difficulties when it comes to advertising and promoting.

So how do we adequately relay a wider skill set to attract business? There are a few options:

In-person networking – this can be as simple as mentioning your business at a social event or attending business networking events. These could be events hosted by your local Chamber of Commerce or other business groups. Remember to always carry your business cards with you and ask questions, without being pushy, about the kind of business and what ‘problems’ they have and if appropriate what they’re looking for in a writer. Focus on the client’s needs rather than your business and be helpful. Practice your elevator pitch! A one sentence explanation of your business can  make all the difference when you are asked, what you do.  For example: I’m a freelance writer, I help small businesses market themselves online through written content,” or, “I help small businesses increase sales by writing their marketing posts.”

Partner or reciprocal deals – Why not utilize the businesses you already know and see if you can help them with your services? You could even offer a barter deal of some kind, such as receiving a by-line on their website for your services, rather than payment?

Use a press release to promote your business – Many local papers have business columns that publish local business news. Take advantage of it either with local newspapers or your Chamber newsletter.

Demonstrate your results – in other words ‘show’ rather than tell your past successes. For example, I have ghost-wrote a hybrid business/fiction book, aided an accounting firm with their blog posts, and edit manuscripts for a local publishing  company. Use these successes to promote and advertise your skills.

Cold calling – I can feel the tremors as you read this! It is not for everyone but calling the communications or marketing manager of a local business or the editor of a publication can prove to be fortuitous. Firstly, introduce yourself and ask if they use freelance writers, if they confirm they do then be ready to pitch your services. A bit of research into what they do and what their website and social media posts contain will help you tailor make the pitch so you can point out specific weaknesses in their current marketing and describe how the materials you’d create would bring address their needs and bring in new business.

Direct mail – this is another option, which has pros and cons. There is the cost of the supplies to consider and the compiling of the list of businesses you will target. How do you pick which ones? However, if you can create a list utilizing a specific target market you should gain several new leads.

Promote your testimonials – praise from past projects is a great way to publicize your business. You will see I have a page on my website specially listing testimonials. It gives potential clients a reference guide to your work.