Setting out on our own is scary.
We’ve all been there. Our members often ask us to help them with securing their first clients during their first year of business a a social media freelancer.
In this blog we reveal some of the tips we’ve shared with our members. All of these tactics work, trust us. We’ve used them to grow our own businesses.
A gentle word of warning, they all require us to take action. But if we can do this then so can you!
Believe in yourself
Having a positive mindset as a freelancer is a must.
Let’s be honest, who is going to invest in us and trust us to deliver great social media results if we don’t come across as though we’re confident in our own abilities.
Yes, when we get started it can all feel scary and overwhelming especially when it comes to securing our first clients but our business survival depends on our ability to look and sounds confident – even when we’re not feeling it.
Cliche? Probably but it’s true: if you don’t sound like you believe in yourself, no one else will.
How can you feel inspired to feel more like you can do this? Ask yourself why you went into business? What was your why? Can this be your driver now to be more courageous? Do you want it badly enough?
Can you remember something that has given you the courage and determination in the past to overcome obstacles and set out on your own? How can you apply the same tactics?
Let’s make a commitment right now not to let imposter syndrome get the better of us, we all feel it sometimes.
Instead, let’s decide not to listen to our negative inner voices but to nurture a positive mindset. We can do this!
Believe that you’ve a lot to offer – you’re probably super well trained and if you’re a working parent like we all are then boy you do have heaps of transferable skills!
Humour us, try out these techniques:
- Tell yourself in the mirror every day for 10 days to be kind to yourself and ignore that negative inner voice.
- Write yourself affirming post-it notes and stick them in your home or office.
- When you need a pep talk – post in our free Facebook group or paid for membership group. And we’ll give you a pep talk – we’ve got your back!
As Seth Godin says, marketing is a contest for people’s attention. And for social media and digital marketing freelancers it’s a highly competitive landscape out there – the barrier to entry is relatively low. Just Google the words social media freelancer London, and you’ll be presented with nearly 9m search results. The competition is fierce!
So how do you stand out?
Creating personal brand values and a marketing plan for ourselves are essential for our business survival. We often hear that freelancers struggle to find time to look after their own marketing. If you need to learn how to carve out more time, read this blog.
We’ve learnt that in the beginning when you’ve no clients, you need to be strategic with your time management. Manage the expectations of everyone and be selfish with your time.
Just because you have no client work, doesn’t mean you can be available at the drop of a hat to socialise or to spend the time cleaning the house. We need to work on our business not just in it and marketing is the key to unlocking your business potential and achieving your dream. Wouldn’t you tell a client the same?
How should you market yourself as a social media freelancer?
Make yourself look good!
If you’re a social media or digital marketing freelancer, consider where your audience hangs out on social. You need to make sure that your platforms on those channels are a great example of your work. After all, would you go to a hairdresser’s whose hair is in a state? Probably not.
These platforms are your online showhome – so make them all singing and dancing. It’s not good enough if the bios are not optimised or if the content is really out of date. Marketing yourself is all about enticing people to work with you, so you need to put your best foot forward.
We know sometimes it’s hard to evaluate our own platforms. If you get stuck, don’t be. Post in our Facebook group and we’ll help together with our community.
Make the most of networking opportunities
We know that you might not have the budget to go to big events yet. But could you research local events and networking groups? Often you can go along to a free trial event or join local Facebook groups.
To make the most of these opportunities, work out your elevator pitch. Who do you help most and how do you do this. We created resources for our members to help them with this.
Could you offer to speak at local events or create a guest blog for your local groups? These are all cost-effective methods to tap into your local network.
When you find relevant Facebook groups or Twitter chats for your audience or niche, become known in your area for offering helpful tips.
How do you avoid giving everything away for free? Make your tips about why social media works and what questions businesses need to ask themselves in order to get better results with their social media rather than getting into the nitty gritty. Tell them what they need to do but not necessarily how to do it.
Spread the word about your new business at every opportunity
We know it’s not easy talking about ourselves. But we recommend you tell everyone what you do – and you’ll probably be surprised where new leads can come from.
Instead of offering free ‘coffee meetings’ set up discovery calls
It’s tempting in the beginning to give your expertise away for free – but this doesn’t pay your bills. We recommend offering free discovery calls via ZOOM instead, they’re more time effective and we have some top tips here for how to handle them.
Think about your niche and what makes you different
In the beginning we can’t always afford to be choosy about who we work with. We get it, we’ve all been there and those bills need paying but the sooner you start specialising the better. It’s impossible to market to everybody and to appeal to everybody. Here are a few questions to consider:
- What services do I most enjoy delivering?
- What kind of company do I like to work with?
- How/who can I help the most?
- What problems am I usually asked to help people with?
- Can I niche by sector, location, service delivery?
Sell your services with confidence
If you’re already ‘feeling your niche’, reach out to 5 companies, offer them a free social media channels review. And when you get an introduction or a lead through social, book them in for that discovery call and remember Cathy’s tips above!
There is no hiding from selling when you run your own business as Victoria Fleming recommends.
Here are Gemma’s top tips for winning new clients:
- We need to make time for finding new clients and our own marketing. If we don’t take action it won’t happen so treat this as you’d treat a client project. Schedule time in your diary to make it happen.
- Reach out to your old network. It might not appear relevant at first for your new business, but every established contact might know someone else who could have an opportunity for you.
- Sometimes working in a local coffee shop or co-working space can open opportunities. Be prepared to talk about your business at any time
- Share your actions with us in our free Facebook group for accountability. We want to help you!
We hope these ideas have inspired you to take action.
Why not join our growing Go With The Pro membership community to let us help you develop your niche, find your clients, build your personal brand and structure your pricing. You’ll need to be ready to take action and we will hold you accountable but we’ll also be your own personal cheerleading team and we offer buckets of support and advice. Just ask our current members! You can read some of their comments here.
You can also read about how to boost your personal brand with Twitter in another recent blog.
Enjoyed our tips? Sign up for our updates, we’ll be publishing more blogs to help you grow your business, including:
- How to build an audience from scratch with content marketing
- How to get started with creating your visual brand identity on a shoestring
- When should you do voluntary work to build up experience?
- What to look out for when working for friends as a social media freelancer