For freelancers and contractors, a common challenge is not just getting a series of one-off jobs but building a real business that will generate a consistent revenue stream. Those of us who survived the recession know the agony of trying to find clients and stay busy during an economic downturn. Thankfully, these days, everyone is busy, but we all know that that another downturn is inevitable. If you’re not thinking about how to ameliorate the effects of the next sluggish economy, you should be.
Share your knowledge–for free
One way to increase your visibility and get more clients is to share your knowledge—for free. Take a tip from big brands that offer tons of free content that ranges from online courses, blogposts, webinars, videos or podcasts with no strings attached.
It always comes down to relationships
It’s always about relationships. In today’s world of information overload and short attention spans, it’s difficult to stand out when marketing your services. Think about it:
- Do you actually stop and click the gazillion online ads that you see on Facebook and Google? Rarely.
- Would you ever click on an ad for a product you’ve never heard of? Probably not.
- But, if you saw a blog post or video that spoke to an issue you’re facing right now, would you click on it? There’s a good chance that you would.
Creating content that addresses the pain
In marketing, we always talk about “the pain”—the problems and challenges that our clients are facing. Many people make the mistake of meeting with a potential new client and blabbing on at great length about the strengths of their products and services. The reality is that they’re not reaching their client at all. What they should be doing is listening to that potential client to understand the pain they can be addressing with their products and services.
When it comes to content marketing, you need to be creating content that speaks to the needs of your target audience and adds value. If you’re a personal trainer looking to attract new clients, dig deeper into your target demographic to identify how you can help them. Identify their fears, insecurities, motivations, personalities and pleasures. Based on these insights, how can you bring free value to their lives through content? Maybe you would write a blog post: Stop Dieting: 5 Ways to Drop 4 Dress Sizes”. Launch a podcast featuring a case study of a successful weight-loss story. Case studies are great ways to inspire others, providing real-life examples with which people can relate.
Choose a title that gets people’s attention
Another example? If you’re a life coach, think about a series of webinars focusing on creating a more harmonious life. Focus on things like career, balance, family and friends. It’s important that each webinar has an attention-getting title. One of my clients once asked me if the title was important. My answer? “It’s everything!” No one’s going to respond to your webinar invitation or open a blog or newsletter if the title doesn’t pique their imagination or promise to help them solve their problems. Don’t be afraid of being a little bit edgy or provocative. Keep it within 50 characters for the growing number of mobile users. Remember the pain—in this case, perhaps a life that’s totally out of balance—working too much with too little time for family and friends. This webinar might be titled “Reclaiming a Balanced Life with Time for Yourself”