More people than ever are quitting their jobs and straying into the murky world of freelancing and for good reason too. Freelancing gives you a huge amount of freedom; freedom that you could only dream of in a regular salaried position. Freelancers have the ability to work their own hours, spend more time with their families, choose their own clients and of course, cut out the annoying commute to work (often in the rain).
The problem is that as more and more people enter the world of freelancing, the market is getting more and more competitive. There are more freelancers now than any other time in history and this means that for a lot of people, it’s a struggle.
If you don’t know how to market yourself effectively, you’re going to have a tough time obtaining and maintaining clients; especially the type of clients that you need to actually make a success of your freelancing career, rather than the ones who take advantage.
A lot of freelancers are turning to online marketing these days, and while that’s good, I think it’s important to point out that offline printed marketing still has its place, even for freelancers. Most freelancers don’t really think about printed marketing tactics these days, which is why I wanted to write this article to highlight some of the best printed marketing methods out there.
#1 – Business Cards
Some of you might already have your own business cards but strangely, a lot of freelancers don’t. Because most freelancers obtain they’re work via word of mouth or via one of the many freelancing websites, business cards aren’t really something that they tend to invest in. If you currently don’t have business cards at all, you seriously need to consider investing in some.
A good business card can go a long way, especially if you’re actively promoting yourself offline as well as online (which you should be). Your business card is likely the first thing that any offline potential client will see in regards to your business, so it’s important that you get it right.
Your business card should be well-designed and branded to reflect your business. One thing to make sure of is that your business card states that you’re a freelancer. You should never be ashamed of being a freelancer or try to make yourself look bigger than you actually are. A lot of companies actually prefer to deal with freelancers these days, as they know they can get great work at affordable prices.
#2 – Banners
When I mention banners, a lot of you are probably thinking of those pesky online banners that appear alongside the content on just about any website you visit. Of course, online banner advertising is a great way to market your business but we have to remember, banner advertising actually started out in the offline world. What’s more, offline printed banner advertising is still a great way to get your business noticed.
The trick with banners is to make sure that you don’t just opt for a run-of-the-mill design. Instead, you need to get creative and create something that will actually grab your customers attention. Make sure it’s bright and not too cluttered. If you can make people laugh with your banner, that’s great too.
Take a look at the banner above for example. This was created by a UK-based banner printing company and as you can see, it’s simple, amusing and highly effective. You can probably get something like this done for your freelancing business too; you just need to get your thinking cap on.
#3 – Promotional Pens
I’m sure that most of you will be familiar with promotional pens. In fact, you’ve all probably received them in the mail or been given them at a networking event. If so, it’s likely that the pen you were given stuck around in your office for quite a while; it might even still be there.
This is what makes promotional pens (and other stationary) so powerful. By creating a promotional/branded pen for your freelancing business, you’ll have the ability to give potential clients something for free. Not only is this great in itself, but it’s likely that they’ll use that item every single day. This means that they’ll be seeing your company name and logo every single day too.
If you can pull this off, you can be sure that you’ll be their first port of call whenever they need your services.
#4 – Stickers
Stickers are often overlooked as a marketing method in all businesses, not just in the freelancing world. However, I think people are missing a trick here. Stickers can be an extremely powerful way of getting your business/brand out there and gaining publicity. What’s more, they extremely cheap when compared with just about any other form of branding/marketing exercise.
The other great thing about stickers is that your competitors (and believe me, you have competitors, even in the freelancing world) are almost guaranteed not to be utilising them. This presents an opportunity. Let your competitors fork out on expensive online marketing and brand building exercises while you reap all the same benefits, but for the price of a few stickers.
If you do this, you can pass the savings onto your customers and provide great work at even lower prices for your clients.
#5 – Vehicle Stickers
Now, you might work from home most of the time but chances are that in the modern world, you still own a car. If you don’t own a car, you should think about it as owning a car is also useful for business, even if it’s only the occasional face-to-face meeting with a client. Plus, it gives you a great free marketing opportunity in the form of vehicle stickers.
You’ve probably seen vehicle stickers before. Most plumbers, electricians and a number of other industries use them to attract attention for their business. But the strange thing is, hardly any modern freelancers make use of them.
Think about it, if you have a car/van or any other form of vehicle, you’re driving around in one of the best free advertising boards you could have. Plaster your logo and services on the side of your car for just a few dollars by purchasing a well-designed vehicle sticker.
You’ll be amazed at how much extra attention it will get you. Plus, if you design it well, it might even enhance your vehicle too.
The point I want to make in this article is simple; don’t forget about offline printed marketing methods.
Online advertising/marketing is fantastic, but there’s still a place for the offline stuff and I believe that all freelancers should be making use of both.
By combining offline and online marketing, you’ll be able to reach out to more potential customers and in theory, attract more work for your freelancing business. It should also be noted that more often than not, the clients that you pick up offline (i.e. in the real world) are the ones that will be happy to pay for quality work.