Freelancing 101.2: How to Start Promoting Yourself as a Creative Contractor Today
Quick and important Lessons in Freelancer Marketing
Welcome to part two of our special freelancer series, where we’re giving you the scoop on how to best promote yourself as a creative contractor. If you read part one – “Freelancing 101: Tips to Become a Hirable and Profitable Creative Contractor,” then you already know what freelance work looks like in 2021, what obstacles you might face when joining the hustle, and tips on setting up an EIN – a crucial step in legitimizing your sole proprietorship business. Today, we’re going deeper.
As a relatively savvy freelancer and small business owner, I’m here to tell you that really getting out there in the freelance world is tough. Yet, it’s not impossible. There are steps you’ll want to take to promote yourself – steps that I’d suggest going “all in” on to increase your chances of getting hired by highly regarded companies that can give you a steady workflow. If you can fiercely follow the steps summarized below, then you’ll have what it takes to enjoy a fruitful freelancing career, allowing you the freedom of working on a flexible schedule from the comforts of home.
Take a Professional Headshot
Let’s start with the basics – taking a professional headshot, which you’ll use as your avatar for everything, such as your LinkedIn profile, digital portfolio, applicable social media accounts, email, and dashboards for the companies who hire you. Needless to say, having a crisp and clean headshot is vital to your personal “brand.” In the article linked below, you’ll learn how to diffuse natural light, create a very cheap “bounce” hack with white foam board, set a mock studio scene with backdrops found around your home, and easily edit your photo, too! Even as a hobbyist photographer I never thought of some of these hacks for a DIY headshot. Genius! This article is a quick read and if you follow it closely; We can pretty much guarantee you’ll achieve a beautifully soft-lit photo that almost looks like it was shot by a pro.
Use Social Media but Use it Thoughtfully
No matter whether you love it or you hate it, if you’re a small business owner (that includes you creative contractors!), then social media should be your friend. However, when you’re using social media as a tool to market your brand, it’s critical you avoid diving into it headfirst. Rather, you’ll want to develop a thoughtful strategy. As suggested in the article linked below, you’ll first want to pinpoint your target audience and research what platforms they’re using. From there, you’ll need to prioritize the platforms that are best suited for your business. For instance, if excellent customer service is your namesake, then Facebook and Twitter should be prioritized. If you’re a photographer; then Instagram should be your primary focus.
You’ll also want to work on your content strategy by looking at your competition, searching hashtags, and setting up Google alerts to see what your audience is saying about you. From there, it’s important to consider your branding in terms of colors and graphics. Finally, always remember that consistency is key when posting to any platform. Get on a posting schedule and stick with it but with a caveat – always deliver your audience quality content.
Clean Up and Curate Your Online Reputation
It’s time to take a walk down memory lane. Your online reputation can make or break your professional brand. As explained in the linked article below, you’ll want to begin cleaning up your online presence – or “digital footprint.” That means going through all of your photos on Facebook – yes, even from that one awesome music festival 8 years ago...and deleting images that don't exactly portray you in the best light. Facebook is only the beginning though. You’ll also want to scour every site where you’re mentioned or where you have a photo displayed and make sure everything is cookie-cutter clean. Truth be told, I hadn’t looked at my digital footprint until recently when I googled my name and found lots of fun college memories that wouldn’t exactly do my resume justice. Furthermore, getting active on LinkedIn and sharing your work as well as becoming involved in relevant online discussions can help enhance that footprint, too!
Network in Nashville
Your college career coach most likely talked to you about it and you’ve heard it from all your older and wiser peers. Network, network, network! It’s truly the key to success when you’re working for yourself. Fortunately for all of you residing in Nashville, MojoMediaPros has made it easy to find networking opportunities, as highlighted in the article below. An extremely active creative agency in our thriving town, Mojo sponsors and speaks at local networking events and maintains a thoughtfully curated event calendar too!
We hope you found these tips valuable. While these steps to market yourself as a freelancer are only just the beginning, we promise you, following them closely will absolutely give you a jump start with furthering your career.