As a freelance writer, I know that one of the biggest challenges in building your work-from-home business is self-promotion. It doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Personally, I’m not a big fan of telling the world how good I am, but, in the case of self-promotion – you are your only cheerleader, and self-promotion can most definitely make the difference between winning and losing the game.
So let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can set yourself apart to assure maximum exposure and some great jobs and clients coming your way.
1. A Clear Profile Picture
Self-promotion really is about the ‘self’. Having a profile picture of some puppies or your children might not showcase you as someone who is focused on providing excellent services.
If you don’t have any professional images of yourself, ask a friend to come over and play photographer. This doesn’t need to be over the top or too ‘posy’ it should just look like you are approachable and ready for business.
As a freelancer, you are your own brand and this brand needs to be marketed.
2. Feature Relevant Keywords
Having a professional profile picture is ideal, but not explaining what your profession is about might cause you to lose some prospective clients and followers. In order for you to promote yourself online, you have to make use of industry-specific keywords in your profiles.
Not only will this give your audience a clear indication of who you are and what you are good at, but it will allow you to rank higher on the search engines as well. Understanding basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can really boost your online visibility.
Have a look at what some of the other freelancers are promoting themselves as. This way you can get an idea of what is working and which words will allow you to really maximize your self-promotion.
3. Show Your Personality
Even though we’ve entered a phase where online communication seems to be the order of the day, people still want to connect with people. Don’t sound too robotic on your blog or social media channels. This is your chance to reveal your personality, quirks and all. People would rather do business with a human than a robot.
Showing your personality will also add to your online credibility. No-one is perfect and don’t we all know it. So don’t pretend to be. If I’m struggling to find some work or I don’t feel confident in a new skill – I share these factors on my profile. Just beware not to sound too ‘needy’ or desperate. It’s just about sharing your struggles and your successes and not shying away from society.
4. Lend a Helping Hand
One of the most important factors in establishing your online presence; is educating those around you. People want to see your personality, but in business, it’s also about what you can ‘give’ them. Share content, news, and articles that are relevant to your business. As a freelancer, I would share my latest published articles and hopefully create some discussion on the topic. Not only are you then promoting yourself, but the platform on which your work is published as well.
You don’t always have to post content to show that you are the ‘real deal’. The best way to share your expertise is in answering other people’s questions. This works particularly well on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Being open to giving and not only receiving will set you apart from the greedy online vultures out there.
5. Link to an About Me Page
Once you’ve attracted some attention online, your audience would like easy-access to your professional details. If you are in the creative industry they would most likely want to see your latest work. Your online portfolio is crucial in obtaining work from home clients. Make sure that these pages are up to date and features only your best work. If you could add some client testimonials to this page, even better. The link to your ‘About Me’ page should be easy to find on all of your social media pages. If you don’t have a website or blog, you could use your LinkedIn page link to show your experience, expertise, and credibility.
6. Have a Great Designer Onboard
If you really want to set your online profile apart from your freelance competitors, make sure that you have great design features. This could relate to your freelance business logo, your website design, business cards or just the general look and feel of your online presence. Great design is something that inevitably attracts people, even if they’re not aware of exactly why. The first step in self-promotion is attracting the client (great design is the bait) and through your portfolio and professional representation, you might just get that hook.
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Anneke Steenkamp is a Freelance Writer at The Joy of Unemployment. When she’s not typing away at client content she’s perfecting her Facebook stalking skills and spending time with her pet dog, Zoey.