How much do you know about marketing? While it might not be an essential skill for all, if you're a freelancer of any stripe, you should, at the least, have the ability to market yourself and your services. Being able to "put yourself out there," so to speak, is essential to getting noticed and scoring clients, so with that in mind, here are 25 tricks you can employ to enhance your personal marketing efforts.
Laying The Groundwork
The first step to launching any personal brand marketing plan is putting it down on paper. These are five main areas to concentrate on first:
1) Analyze The Situation — List your core strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to serve as a baseline for assessing future progress.
2) Determine Target Audience — Every freelancer has a demographic. Listing factors like industry, age, gender, etc. will help you determine that demographic.
3) Determine Goals — What tangible benefits should your marketing efforts achieve? Having goals will aid in assessing your success.
4) Set Strategies & Tactics — Develop a timetable for employing your marketing tactics for maximum efficacy and benefit.
5) Set A Budget — Calculate how much you can spend to achieve marketing goals; budget accordingly.
Developing A Personal Brand
Setting yourself apart from the pack is critical in gaining attention and building a following. This is where the idea of building a personal brand comes into play:
6) Establish Your Platforms — A platform is the online outlet that represents your brand. This could take the form of a personal website but might also incorporate multiple social media accounts as well.
7) Define A Space/Message — Building upon your personal strengths and weaknesses, you should determine your areas of expertise, expand upon your knowledge in these areas and use it to establish yourself as an authority through your messaging.
8) Share Knowledge — Through writing articles, posting videos and the like, you can build an audience that’s in tune with your personal message.
9) Engage — Respond to comments and questions left on your main platform and through social media. Engagement helps build a community and encourages followers to come back for more.
10) Build Trust — Through engagement and providing valuable, accurate content, you can build the level of trust that further cements your presence as an authority in your areas of expertise.
11) Be Unique — Personal branding efforts should take care not to follow the mold to the letter. Venturing to untread territory is key to gaining a dedicated audience.
12) Create A Persona — This goes in hand with becoming unique. A personal brand persona may be humorous, serious or anything in between. It will also help in targeting the core demographic.
13) Use Social Media To Broadcast Your Persona — Social media channels shouldn’t be all marketing efforts. Adding a touch of your own persona — the individual behind the content — lends authenticity to your message.
14) Be Seen — An online presence is important, but making connections in person is also necessary to give the personal brand persona weight.
15) Be Accessible — Once you've established your position of authority, individuals will reach out to you for advice and guidance. Here, you can shine by providing actionable advice or accurate information to whoever is asking.
16) Employ Two-Way Networking — When making connections, concentrate on making the relationship mutually beneficial to improve your chances of securing more opportunities in the future.
17) Keep Track Of Your Contacts — Through being seen and networking, you can build a list of individuals you've come in contact with. Make that list detailed, showing who these relationships are and how they might help with furthering your personal brand.
18) Be Charitable — Using your personal brand to give back to charitable causes helps to increase its profile and highlight the brand’s values.
19) Assess Performance & Adjust — Have your personal branding efforts hit key goals and stayed within budget? If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
20) Persevere — Personal brand building takes time, but you can only achieve through sustained effort. Continuing to work at it every day is critical to success.
Technology can help speed marketing efforts by automating certain processes and improving the quality of marketing materials:
21) Enhance Photographs — Sharing photographs is a must for freelancers trying to enhance their personal brand. Make sure your images are professional, personable, and interesting enough to keep your audience engaged.
22) Automate Where Possible — Automation helps save time on repetitive processes. Tools like Buffer will allow you to schedule posts for optimum reach.
23) Refine SEO Efforts — SEO remains one of the best ways to gain a following through search engines. There’s a long list of tools and strategies designed to improve SEO for various platforms.
24) Get Into Analytics — Analytics provide an idea of who social media efforts are reaching and how effective they might be. Analytical tools offer a way to glean insights from the raw numbers.
25) Test The Waters For A Personal App — Perhaps the greatest personal branding step, distilling the essence of the brand into a new app can help further reach and enhance messaging efforts.