Money - Business
By: - at April 16, 2013

Best Ways to Advertise Your Freelance Writing Business

Advertising FreelancerAdvertising can mean direct marketing which consists of sending out sales letters, brochures, flyers, or post cards to prospective clients. Placing advertisements for your business in business magazines, websites, newspapers can be very effective. Passive advertising is another method including setting up a website or blog and letting customers find you.

Advertising works best if you speak the language of your target market and contact them regularly. Once you have a reputation and get to know what companies need your services, business becomes easier to conduct.

Direct mail is an option to find your customers. You can print up a nice brochure and mail it out to every company that you think might be interested in your services. But then the question is "who do you send it to?" If your mailings aren't addressed to a specific person, you're taking a gamble as far as if it reaches the right person. Most of the time direct mail is unsuccessful. Considering the cost of designing, printing, addressing, and mailing a brochure, it's a costly way to do business. Even if your brochure ends up in the right hands, there's generally about a one to two percent chance that it will be acted upon.

Marketing collateral is the term used to describe a collection of materials that you use to advertise your business. Marketing collateral might include brochures, postcards, newsletters, white papers, and more. Let's look at some advertising activities in more depth:

Placing an Advertisement
Some writers advertise in their local business magazines and get good results, but this can be expensive especially when you're first starting out. In addition, people generally believe news stories more than they do ads. This means that it's far better to put in the effort to have stories written about business than to advertise it.

Marketing Freelance BusinessBrochures can be powerful marketing tools but as mentioned above, they can be expensive to mail. A great brochure will educate customers about the benefits of doing business with you, establish your credibility, and be a lasting reminder of your business.

You definitely should have a brochure describing your business. In fact, you should have at least a couple of brochures, each describing your business from a slightly different slant. In addition, you should have follow-up letters that you send your potential clients that focus upon individual services that you offer. Why so many? Because you generally have to put your name in front of your potential clients at least five or six times before they feel comfortable enough to call you.

When you're writing your brochure copy, remember that customers won't be buying your services. They'll be buying the benefits that your services offer them. Those benefits might be a fresh approach, help during crunch times, specialized expertise, or flexibility. Focus on offering solutions to your customers’ needs in your brochure. Think about placing a statement or question that sums up the benefits you can provide for your customers on your front cover.

Postcards are great for marketing. They're small, easy to design, and cheap to mail. In addition, people often read postcards while they may not take the time to open an envelope and read a letter.

Additionally, postcards are a great way to remind your clients and serves as a quiet method of contacting them an additional time. One postcard campaign might be sending clients useful tips, one tip per postcard, one postcard a week for several weeks. You can send your clients a writing tip a week or tips about using a software application they typically use every day. Let your imagination run wild when thinking of tips that you can send your clients. Make it clear that they'll be receiving a postcard a week and how many weeks they will receive these tips. Make your postcards fun and relevant. Be sure to include your logo and contact information. Don't be surprised when your clients tell you they look forward to receiving the tips and even save them for future reference.

Sending clients a monthly, quarterly or semi-quarterly newsletter is another good way to market your business and your expertise. Newsletters give you the opportunity to put your name in front of your clients and potential clients, while at the same time building your reputation as a professional.

Blogs (web logs) have quickly become effective tools for new and established businesses. More and more my students are telling me that they're finding jobs as a result of starting their blogs. Even when they weren't even looking for work!

Even if you have a website consider starting a blog. A blog offers an easy way to let your potential and existing customers respond to posts, share comments, ask questions, and even promote themselves. All of these interactions increase the chances that visitors will return to your site.

Blogs are easier to set up than websites and can be very inexpensive. You can set up a blog for free on the Internet, and use it to drive traffic to your business website.

Social Media
Twitter LogoFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites offer yet more ways to become known on the Internet. You can open accounts for free and work to gain a following. You can even get into advertising and pay for ads that will appear on other people’s pages.

You can use these types of sites in several ways, depending on your goals. If you're trying to make business contacts, consider joining social media communities that are focused on building business contacts such as LinkedIn. If you are planning to offer services to individuals such as training courses or seminars, Facebook might be a good choice.

Whatever communities you choose to join, always be aware that whatever you say on your pages may be viewed by people other than the group you intended. More than one person has been burned by indiscreet posts on their social media pages. Don't divulge information about your clients or say anything that might be interpreted as disrespectful about anyone. Even If you don't "name names," it usually doesn't take much of a stretch for people to figure out who you're talking about.


Collecting EmailsAs you collect email addresses of customers and potential customers, you might consider sending emails to them to tell them about your products and services. You might even be tempted to use emails instead of postcards to stay in touch with your customers.

While email marketing can be very effective, I recommend that you tread lightly here. People are very sensitive about receiving spam emails. In all of your marketing efforts, strive to set yourself apart. Present a consistent, professional image that your clients can easily recognize. Coordinate the look of everything associated with your business. Use the same colors and images on your business cards, website, brochures, and all other forms of corporate communication. If you do this consistently for a period of time, pretty soon people will think of you whenever they see your logo and hopefully remember that they'd been meaning to call you about starting a new project!

Don't Let Them Forget You
Remember how I said that you often have to contact people several times before they do business with you? Well even after you've done a job for them, even if they were thrilled with your work, you may have to remind them of who you are in a few months' time if they haven't been providing you with a steady stream of work.

So how do you do that? Well, you don't want to call them and whine about how they haven't been giving you any work. But you can remind them of you by telling them about some aspect of your business that you want to feature.

Try to find a way to do this at least every other month. Postcards work well for this. When you're designing these postcards, be creative and come up with a good design that you will want to stick to. Use this as your template periodically changing the message, or perhaps moving some of the design elements slightly. This is a form of branding. You want the design to be eye-catching enough that the client picks it out of his or her mail the first time it comes around. From then on, you want them to pick it out because they remember that it came from you.





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