Originally published on Helium
Online marketing is crucial in order to be both self-employed and able to pay bills. No one will come looking for a freelancer. The self-employed freelancer needs to go to the clients. There are several ways a freelancer can connect with future clients.
There are two types of social networking sites available to the self-employed. There are all-subject social websites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace and then there are business-related social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook’s BranchOut. Only join free websites. Fill out the profile page as completely as possible. Use a professional head-shot or at least a clear photo as an avatar.
Although business social networks may seem to be the most logical choice to concentrate efforts, they are a narrow avenue for connecting with new clients. BranchOut, for example, has a very limited search feature for their job listings. Connecting with other self-employed contemporaries on regular Facebook or Facebook groups opens up new client possibilities. Building relationships with others not only helps relieve the loneliness the self-employed experience, but also can give tips and tricks on what new markets are opening and if anyone is hiring.
There are many job-listing sites that serve as a third party between clients and contractors. For example, if an e-business needs a new logo, they put up a job listing and sift through the individual job bids and proposals in order to pick who they will work with. The bidding websites often provide help mediating any disputes between clients and contractors.
Some of these sites include Elance, Odesk or iFreelance. Get to learn which bidding sites feature which type of jobs. Unfortunately, many of these sites require a subscription fee. It is not necessary to subscribe to a job listing site. Take whatever free membership is offered and take advantage of any free trial memberships. Two to four weeks’ free membership is enough time to find a client.
Maintain Business Website
The self-employed ideally should purchase their own domain name in order to really make their online presence felt. Buying a domain name and building an easy-to-read and easy to navigate business website makes an incredible first impression on clients.
But not every self-employed worker can buy his or her own domain name. Freelance web content writers, for example, will struggle to afford a domain name. But even maintaining a free blog on Blogger can help create a positive impression on anyone who clicks onto the blog. Keep updating it at least once a week to reassure clients both old and new that no one has suddenly disappeared. Keep all views on religion or politics off this blog (unless you are me.)