Sometimes, marketing sucks!
And the bad thing is that if you really want to make any headway in your business, you’ve got to be a damn good marketer.
You’ve got to know your business more than anyone else; you’ve got to know your market- what they want, how they think, what they would pay money for, what they would die for.
You’ve got to know how to track your sales, how to create content that converts, how to increase your conversion rates, how to speak the mind of your reader…
You’ve got to know your competitors, the major players in your field, how to infiltrate their massive networks, how to “steal” their traffic, readers and clients and how to get them to promote you.
The bottom line is…
Growing your business involves a whole lot of marketing crap…
And unfortunately, you’ve got to know this crap…. I mean all of it or else, you’d not be making any headway.
Marketing is a very important ingredient in any business and except you’re ready to pay someone else to do your marketing for you, you’ve got to learn all the ropes.
There are loads of marketing information online that learning all of it compulsorily leads to information overload. You’ve got to be selective and streamline your education.
That’s why I’ve streamlined quality marketing education from around the web into three simple principles that are important in growing your freelance business. Concentrating on these three simple principles will not only guide your marketing focus, but it’ll also grow your freelance business.
There are only three things you need to focus on….
The 3 Simple Principles behind Growing Your Freelance Writing Business
1. Get More Clients
It’s impossible to be in business without clients. Truth be told, it is impossible to have a steady source of revenue from your business without a steady inflow of client projects. If your clients are just one time clients- those that don’t continuously use your services, then you’ll need to secure your income by getting an overload of more clients.
You may think client overload is bad for business. Well, the amount of time you can sacrifice on your business entirely determines just how many projects you can work on at any given time. After all, even Oni advices to get more clients than you can handle. Why not give it a shot.
So, the question is…
If you’ve never believed in starting a blog to get your clients, then this post on Daily Blog Tips should change your mind. It’s a guest post by Onibalusi and in it; he shares 4 ways to get more clients from your blog. As a matter of fact, he shares how he gets clients from his blog (the blog you’re reading right now).
Perhaps you don’t want to use the “blog your way to more clients” approach probably because blogging is too “advanced” for you (I wonder what isn’t). If this is your case, then digging those clients out the offline way would do the trick. In this article on Freelance Folder, you’ll discover 7 real ways to get clients using offline methods. As an extra bonus, you’ll learn other ways to get those clients, via other online means – apart from blogging.
Most of us freelancers always run out of ideas on how to get more clients, especially when we’re just starting out. Well, that shouldn’t be the case because there are always lots of awesome ways to get those clients ringing your door bell (or email inbox). Here’s a huge list of 101 ways to generate new client leads, courtesy of Freelance Switch. Some of the tips can be implemented in as little as 10 seconds, so I suggest you check it out.
2. Get Clients to Spend More For Your Freelance Services
The good thing about freelance writing is that there is no fixed price on any service. You can write a guest post for a client at $10 while someone else can write the same guest post at $100. It all depends on your approach and the level of value you have to offer. Even experience with respect to number of years doesn’t count.
When trying to raise your rates, knowing how to price your work is very important. You need to know the right prices to set, so that you neither appear outrageous nor cheap. There are various ways to find out if you are not overcharging your clients and this article on The Next Web shares 6 ways to accurately price your services so you don’t cause your clients to run after other cheaper freelance writers.
Once you think you’ve gotten the right prices, then it’s time to give your clients the shock of their lives. But as you know, everything has a process. Coming all out and telling them point blank that you’re dumping them because they pay you crap just doesn’t make sense. You need to learn some cool negotiation skills that can make even the poorest of your clients pay you big bucks. These easy to implement negotiation tactics on Copyblogger will definitely put you on the right road. They are 37 in number and are so easy to understand.
So when you become a negotiation pro, what next? Well, nothing other than going all out and ensuring that you’re getting paid your worth. How? In this post, Carol Tice of Make A Living Writing shares 113 ways of constantly growing your freelance writing income, guaranteed! A lot of work also has to be done on your self-image and Carol definitely shows you how to deal with that.
Regardless of how much you eventually charge for your services, it is important to remember that value always comes first. You can’t provide crap and expect your client to pay you handsomely. You’ll only get kicked in the butt and shoved aside. Once you can successfully get clients to pay more for what you have to offer, the next sure step to growing your business is to….
3. Get Clients to Buy Your Freelance Services More Often
Your next focus should be to turn your first time clients into loyal dogs (not literarily, though) that’ll always fetch what you throw. Repeat business from clients who pay you what you’re worth is definitely good business.
It’s always easier to get repeat business from existing clients than to get new clients. Unlike new clients who have no idea of how you do business, your existing clients are already sure of your quality. This post on Freelance Fact File shows a simple strategy of getting existing clients to order more of your services. The same strategy can also be used to make new clients aware of what you do and how you do it.
First impression always counts and it determines just how often you get repeat business. Treating first time clients like crap definitely guarantees no loyal clients. Two things are very important when trying to make a good first impression- credibility and relationship. This post on Baltimore Drew shows you how to get more freelance work by concentrating on these aspects.
While trying to grow your freelance writing business, you’ll encounter lots of guru advice that’ll always make you feel that you’re not yet good enough. This will make you learn more and more until taking the right actions on your business becomes impossible. You’ll suddenly have so much marketing knowledge that applying them becomes hard.
The key point here is not to continuously implement all strategies just because the gurus say so. All you have to do is implement, track your results and repeat those strategies that gave you results.
Once you can rinse and repeat the processes within these 3 principles, you’ll suddenly start to feel more fulfilled, knowing that you’re making constant progress. Growing your freelance business suddenly seems simple and marketing your services becomes piece of cake. The whole picture gets clearer, you make more money and your clients become happier. What more could you want?
Lanre Solarin is a WritersinCharge team member and a freelance writer who helps service professionals generate leads online using content marketing. Download your free copy of his Proven 20-step blueprint to start generating your first few leads online.