I just got laid off and want to start freelance consulting. Where do I start my marketing?
- Create a real marketing site for your services. Your question didn’t say what you do, so you’re possibly not doing a good job telling people what you do and why they should hire you. The site does not have to look perfect, but it must quickly capture the client’s attention and convey what you do and why you’re different/better.
- Once the web site is at least functional as a marketing site for a professional services firm, spend between $200 and $300 on Google Pay-Per-Click ads targeting your local market (because those are cheaper ads and will be quicker to see results). By “targeting your local market”, I mean to include your city name along (or the name of any other large city near you) in the search terms you buy. E.g., “Paris web design” if that’s what you do, etc.
- Put yourself in any online directory that doesn’t cost a lot (i.e., under $50/year) and at least tries to target your local market. FreelanceLocalTech would be one of those. Freelancedesigners might be another.
- Contact every one of your contacts by phone and let them know you’re looking for projects and get names from them of people they personally know who might be of help. Then call those people and drop your contact’s name in opening the conversation and see if you can help that person and if not, who they thought you should call. Do at least 10 of these calls a day until your other marketing kicks in. Better to do something you dread than to dumpster-dive for food.
- Look around for business organizations in your community where you might be the ONLY one of your profession (being in a room where everyone is the same is rarely helpful to separating yourself from the crowd). Let people in the room know who you are and what you do and why you’re different from other people who do the same thing. Work on your elevator pitch before doing that.
- Call agencies that might subcontract out work to you. Having an online portfolio will be required for these calls.
- Call recruiting firms that might rent you out for a short time (90-180 days) while you work on your freelance marketing and building up your relationships with your community.
As you tune your marketing message, you should find that business will start to pick up within about 6 months.
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