5 Ways to Advertise Your Freelance Business — Without Spending a Dime

Freelancing is the new 9–5 for creatives and non-creatives alike. Tons of businesses are shifting from hiring a full staff of salaried employees to seeking out freelancers for individual projects, and there’s a good chance your profession will allow you to hop on the trend as well.

Freelancing means working from home, setting your own hours, and choosing your rates, but it also means you’ll have to constantly be on the lookout for new business opportunities —which is easier said than done.

Whether you choose to set up a website for your freelancing, post gigs on Fiverr, or stick to just plain email, here are five ways to advertise your freelance work for free.

1. Think Outside the Box on Social Media

Setting up a brand new Instagram account and dedicating time every day to posting content is not only a daunting task, it’s inefficient. When it comes to social media, you need to work smarter, not harder. Forums like Reddit are great places to find people in need of freelancers or even post about what you offer to see if anyone’s interested. Certain types of freelancing even have their own “job board” style subreddits.

2. Optimize Your Content for Search Engines

If you have a portfolio website that lists your services, make sure the content is SEO optimized. That way, employers searching Google for freelancers will have a better chance of seeing your name in the results. If you’re not familiar with SEO, there are plenty of free resources all across the internet.

3. Find Local Companies and Make Connections

If you’re just starting, you’re probably not going to want to email Mark Zuckerburg and ask if he needs any help balancing his books or writing marketing content. It’s best to look for opportunities on a small scale, like local businesses in your area that might not have the budget to take on full-time employees for their needs. Plus, you’ll have the added edge of connecting over your shared location.

4. Take a Leap and Reach Out — But Don’t Be a Robot

Cold emailing is intimidating, but in many cases, it’s also alienating. If you’re sending out emails to business executives, odds are anything that looks blatantly like an advertisement is going straight to junk mail. In your emails, focus on weak points you see in their company from a customer perspective and how your services can patch them up.

5. Maintain Good Relationships and Encourage Referrals

Once you’ve started to build a healthy customer base, make sure you nurture those connections to open opportunities for future projects. If your work really impressed a specific company, encourage them to refer their friends or partners to use your services, too!

For more advice on freelancing and entrepreneurship, follow my Medium profile.

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