Friday, February 26, 2010

A Marketing Nudge If You Need It

Because I sure could use one right now. I’ve been so busy this month that my marketing efforts kind of fell to the wayside. I promised myself this year that as soon as I saw that happening I would immediately acknowledge it and execute a plan to correct it.

Marketing is the cornerstone of any successful business and freelancing is no exception. Without it you will experience dry spells in business more often. Making marketing a priority means you increase your chances of having a steady flow of clients throughout the year.

Take a good look at your business and your marketing efforts, and ask yourself a few important questions:

Do you have a marketing plan?

I’ll be honest and let you know that I didn’t for my first year as a freelancer. I was busy, busy, busy from August 2007 through April 2008. Then came the lull. I was not expecting the number of projects I’d been receiving to slow down like that. Had I done my research I would have known that the summer months and holidays are typically slower times for freelancers. I could have planned for it by ramping up my marketing efforts during specific times.

Some freelancers get by okay without writing things down. I say go with what you know if it works. I work well by creating lists and writing things down. I write out a marketing plan to help me reach my short-term and long-term goals. I review it often to stay on track.

Mix it up

I used to rely on one or two marketing methods to get the word out about my services. My marketing plan this year includes a couple of new ideas. The main thing is to make sure that the method you choose will be interesting and assessable to your target audience. You can try blogging, article marketing, guest posting on popular blogs, posting at forums, social media, brochures, post cards, public speaking, etc.

The thing I love about working virtually is that you can market your services on a shoestring budget and still get incredible results.

Track your results

This is important. You need to figure out a way to track the results of each method to determine what works and which ones are a complete waste of time. Time is money when you’re a freelance writer.

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