Marketing checklist for freelancers

Costs

  • Set budgets for each marketing activity you plan and track its success by analysing what each sale has cost you in advertising terms.

Commitment

  • Do your research - from an initial call find out the name of the decision maker (and always double check the spelling!) Mail something first, a reason to call, preferably a mail piece/well written letter that stands out and provides a talking point. Your first call to that person should attempt to find out what their current marketing objectives are, budget renewal/relevant decision making dates, incumbent suppliers - and the decision maker’s views on any of the above.
  • Marketing has to be a continual investment, conveying a clear, consistent message. When advertising or promoting your services, drive home the benefits of choosing you over a competitor; why should someone use you? Use that message as the base for every execution in your awareness campaign, whatever the media - deviate or dilute that single minded message and you risk losing impact. For your marketing efforts to get results, you must also build rapport and establish a relationship with your prospects. The only way to do this is to build awareness and then create interest and desire through promoting the same core message about your service. You can expect to contact a prospect several times before an actual sale is made - do not take rejection personally.
  • Marketing creates impact gradually not immediately. Expect low interest levels the first time you market your services, but don't quit due to poor results. The results of your marketing efforts will reap their rewards over time, not overnight.
  • Marketing does not focus on the product or service but focuses on the benefits of the product or service - in essence, how the service can benefit the prospect.
  • Marketing focuses on soliciting a response from the prospect, not just the work. If all you do is ask for work, most likely you will not get it the first time around no matter how qualified you are. Have the prospect contact you to receive your free business newsletter, or a free consultation, or to review a piece of his material for free. When you solicit a response, it brings you closer to securing work from the prospect. Building your contact base in this way is the lifeblood of your new business efforts.
  • Marketing is a moving target – one of your strengths will be your flexibility to adapt and grow to market changes.
  • Dedicate a reasonable amount of time each week to cultivating new business even when you’re busy.
  • Executing campaigns to a small, well defined list of prospects enables you to create, produce and follow up an in depth 'mini' campaign that can be well managed. More importantly, it enables you to track and measure the effectiveness. Results can then be adapted and refined for the next campaign.

Building on your success

  • Ask recipients what they thought of your marketing campaign, what worked and what didn’t.
  • Always solicit feedback at project completion – can you improve anywhere?
  • Conduct regular MOTs of your business; include the direction of your marketing as part of that process.


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