Marketing tools

As a marketer you already know what you would advise for your clients when setting up a new business, but it is unlikely that you will have the budget to do everything that you’d like – even with industry contacts to help you!

The most vital thing is that you look like a professional. Many freelancers do run successful businesses using Hotmail email addresses and the like, but as a marketing freelancer, you really will create a better impression if you invest in a proper domain name. These are not expensive and can be bought through sites like www.lowcostnames.co.uk and www.simply.com. Both of these also offer email hosting packages (which you will need) and web hosting packages.

Once you have an email address it is worth investing in a single web page at the very least. Being able to point people at your web page for further information and contact details really helps when marketing your services and also makes you look more professional. Companies like Mr Site http://www.mrsite.com/) who produce cost-effective packages with templates which you can set up yourself are ideal (see http://www.freelancecopywriting.biz/ for an example of a site created using this package) - or if you know a good web designer you may get one done for free! Either way, it creates a far more professional image.

Something else that will definitely be useful is business cards, for giving to friends, suppliers and industry contacts - and for handing out when visiting industry events. Make sure you include a supporting sentence on the card which explains what you do and what your specialist industry is, if any. You don’t need a logo (unless you can get one for nothing!) and other stationery items are not vital either in the Internet age, as all correspondence and invoicing can be done via email.

Any other marketing tools, like a brochure or hard copy sales materials, are a nice-to-have but really are not essential. If someone asks for a brochure simply refer them to your web page instead. Further down the line if you really want a brochure then you can choose to have one, but in the short term, there are better things to spend your limited budget on!

Your other vital marketing tool will be samples of work, but these take time to build up. Make sure that you always ask for some samples to be sent to you when any job is completed and get a copy of any materials in PDF format as well to go on your website as you develop it. Even if you sub-contracted the creative concept, the design, the artwork, the copywriting and the print, it’s still your campaign, that you organised for a client - and it shows a prospect that you can do the same for them.

Gill Taylor, Contract Marketing – freelance marketing support for all industries, with specialist IT-sector skills.

www.contractmarketing.biz


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