Every freelancer is busy. Whether it's client work or finding client work or the stuff of life that had you choosing freelance in the first place. There never seems to be enough time to also run a marketing operation on the side, even if marketing is your thing.
During our recent workshop with Satta Hightower, she shared her marketing techniques, honed over the course of 14 years of her freelancing career and perfected in the last several months as Q1 was slower than she felt comfortable with. Make these 4 simple tasks a part of your work every week to keep your pipeline sustainably filled.
Frankly, for me LinkedIn feels like the table where all the soccer players sat at lunch and I didn't have the right things to say or the right skills to even look at them. As a student, they were gods and goddesses towering over me, fast, strong, and effortlessly cool. As an adult, I can (mostly) look back and see them for what they were - other students learning the same stuff who happened to be covered in ice packs at any given point in the day.
The hardest part of posting is the first post. And the second hardest is actually hitting post. Just posting once per week about an article you enjoyed, an interaction that made you pause, or just what you're working on is a great start. You can do it. Tag us and we promise to read it and like it.
You know how you're just posting on LinkedIn, unsure if what you have to say is gaining any traction? So is everyone else. Behind each account is another real human person like you. Add your voice, say hello, and generally treat them like human beings that you see in the world. Be your real self and another person with their real self may come find your profile and see your work.
Satta points out that this is especially useful when you have nailed down your specific niche. Someone that's searching for a graphic designer that can create inclusive illustrations? No harm in letting them know you exist in the world. Someone who works for your exact target industry? Offer your thoughts on the article they just posted about that industry. You are an expert after all.
This is not transactional. Satta was quick to say this and everyone in chat resonated with quick comments and fire emojis. These are your people. No one gets this freelance life like other people who have opted in to private communities. Satta said this:
Share advice, show support, and give encouragement.
Satta shared how this helped her land her dream client because she found someone who had previously worked for them that was willing to give her an introduction. They had created a relationship so it was a natural next progression.
LOI - Letter of intent - clearly spells out what you bring to the table and your intentions to work with this client. Make it highly targeted to this client and the work you can do for them specifically. Create a framework that you work off of and then target 2-3 each week to clients you want to work with. Yes, every week. Yes, even when you're busy.
The number of LOI's you send out every week may vary depending on how much work you're able to take on at the moment, but being in the habit will give you this same confidence that Satta has:
I have the capacity to find work.
That means you don't have to hang on to clients that aren't the right fit. That means freedom to turn down work if it isn't actually your thing. That means a pipeline that sustains your freelance business so you get to keep doing what you choose for as long as you choose it.