The reason most freelancers struggle to market themselves is because they aren’t thinking about themselves as a brand.
“But I’m not an LLC,” you might be saying. “I’m a one-man team.” I don’t really care about the specifics and logistics. I don’t care if you’re doing all your work in your underwear. You have to start thinking about yourself as a business. An entrepreneur. Because you really are.
Take a well-deserved moment to pat yourself on the back.
You’re a business. What’s something that every business has to do to generate more leads? Market. And if your ideal clients are other businesses, you have to shift into a business-to-business (B2B) marketing mindset.
Let’s be honest: Most people who are going to pay you are business owners. Or at least, these are typically the highest-paying clients. If you’re just starting out, this is what I recommend. I don’t recommend targeting other content creators who need proofreaders, students who need help with applications, freelancers, or anything like that. Narrow in on content marketing for businesses if you want to earn higher-paying clients faster.
Know your audience
Of course, if you’re a freelancer selling a course, then target other freelancers. But otherwise, you want to focus on your audience when it comes to marketing your service. And who is your audience? Other brands.
Focus on creating content for your ideal audience. You’ll see other freelancers writing posts for other freelancers… Don’t do that. Focus on your audience. Those other freelancers might get more engagement, you’ll get more conversions.
The fundamentals of B2B marketing
If you specialize in marketing to consumers (for example, if you’re a fitness writer, this is you), stepping into the B2B space to market your freelance brand may seem overwhelming…but it doesn’t have to be. I’m a B2B nerd, so let me walk you through the fundamentals of B2B marketing.
B2B is about building trust
Individual consumers are more likely to buy quickly. You see a pair of shoes? You buy them. But in B2B, purchasing decisions are more thought-out, and they take longer. On average, 41% of B2B buyers consume 3 – 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
My point is: Don’t jump into sales talk and copywriting to convert clients quickly.
When you’re marketing to brands, just focus on creating valuable content that addresses their problems or provides insights. Focus on establishing yourself as a thought leader…not selling. (That will come later).
Here’s the type of content B2B consumers prefer:
Professionalism is key
When marketing to consumers, you don’t have to be so on-point with your delivery of content. But with B2B marketing, you need to make sure your content looks great and is free of any errors. I know this is a basic tip, but seriously make sure to polish and edit your work before posting it on LinkedIn or your blog.
Also, you want to make yourself “look” and feel like a brand. This involves:
- Your logo, colors, appearance, and font
- What platforms you’ll consistently show up to
- Your brand tone and voice
You need to appear like a business to attract other businesses. It’ll show them you really know what you’re doing.
Top tips for B2B marketing
Meet clients where they’re at. Not to call out LinkedIn but… LinkedIn. First, focus on creating content for business owners on LinkedIn regularly. For example, if you’re an email marketer, you could share top tips for creating an email funnel.
Don’t constantly create content about yourself. A post about how to come up with email topics is way more effective than posting, “Hey, I’m an email marketer. I can create content for you.” Generally, you should be posting 3 pieces of helpful content with no sales call-to-action for every 1 “sales-y” piece you create.
Get specific. Sharing super specific tips is helpful. For example, I recently shared SEO tips, which landed me an interview (for a full-time position, but that’s beside the point). The point is: A business owner saw my content, found it helpful, and wanted to work with me because of it (there was no call-to-action to hire me).
Not every piece of content needs a call-to-action. I’ve been saying this in my last few points, but I’m serious. Not every post needs an “Email me to work with me!” Just post the content to be genuinely helpful. Your clients will come to you.
Put your audience first. What questions do they need answering? How can you make their life easier with a quick piece of content? How can you bring value to their lives?
Content ideas for your first post
Tackle what you can. LinkedIn, blog post, whatever. Just focus on consistency. If you know you won’t consistently write blogs, focus on what you WILL do (perhaps posts on LinkedIn).
Here are content ideas:
- How a newsletter can help you generate more leads
- The importance of nurturing your leads
- Content ideas for your social media marketing
- What social media is best for your business?
- How to grow your email list
- Importance of blogging for businesses
- Ideas for blog content
- Difference between copywriter and content writer
- Ideas for blog calls-to-action
- Essentials of newsletter marketing
- Easy SEO tips
- How to market webinars
- Tips for writing effective calls-to-action
The key is to be specific. If you’re a healthcare writer, hone in on that.
A lot of likes doesn’t equal conversions
Freelancers targeting businesses, but posting for other freelancers may get a lot of likes… but that doesn’t mean they’re pulling in any clients. If you truly want to land clients from your marketing, how many likes you get isn’t the focus.
So don’t worry if no one is liking your posts. If you’re creating content for your ideal clients, it’s going to pay off in the end…whether or not you’re getting a lot of likes.
Ignore the need for clout!
If you have any questions, leave a comment below! My cat just might take a moment out of her very busy day to walk across the keyboard and answer you.
And if you want more content like this. ⬇️