Marketing

How To Land Your First Freelance Client

How To Land Your First Freelance Client

Over the years a lot of people have asked me "how do I start freelancing?" and honestly it's been a struggle for me to answer that. When I started freelancing in 2015 it was by chance. I created a blog about Harlem and I would constantly create cool graphics for it as well as promote it via social media and a monthly newsletter. Naturally, I added it to my LinkedIn profile and was then contacted by a recruiter who was looking for a few freelancers to do entry-level marketing/research work for a small marketing firm. I ended up landing the gig and before I knew it I was a freelancer! I soon started taking on more responsibilities within the marketing firm and started leveraging the work I did there to gain additional clients.

While it was a bit of "luck" involved in landing my first freelance gig, putting my work out there was really the first step to me gaining a client. So for everybody wondering "How do I start freelancing?", here are son helpful tips on how to land your first freelance client!

Portfolio

No one will know what you’re capable of unless you show them. If you don’t want to create a public online portfolio (though I highly suggest it) at minimum create a PDF or some type of presentation/package you can send to prospective clients.

Side Bar: When I started freelancing I didn't have a portfolio but I did have an informational blog where I included info about myself along with articles which served as an example of what my interests were as well as what I could do. If you're feeling overwhelmed by creating a portfolio or you feel you don't have enough work to put into a portfolio, starting with a blog may be a great option for you.

Create/Update Your LinkedIn

As I said, LinkedIn was where I got my first freelance opportunity. While having an online portfolio is a great way to direct potential clients to see your previous work, LinkedIn search options allow clients to come to you based on your profile and skill sets. It's like job searching while you sleep!

Attend Local Networking Events

Nothing beats good ol’ fashion face to face networking. You never know what opportunities are in the room. Approach it as looking to learn and build relationships rather than looking at it as a surefire way to get clients.

Networking is a process that should be implemented throughout your long term freelancing strategy. I recommend attending at least 2 networking events a month (even more if you can swing it ). Also, it's great to go to events targeting professionals in the field you will be freelancing in but also attend events that target your clients as well. For example, my freelance work is within marketing and content development so I often attend events geared towards entrepreneurs/small businesses looking for more marketing skills.

Remember: You just need one!

Don’t think that you need 5 or more clients out the gate because you probably don't have the systems in place to properly meet that volume of work. Take it slow. Slow and steady wins the race!

If you have any questions or suggestions on how to gain your first client feel free to hit me on social media or comment below!

What Is Influencer Marketing?

When I tell people I work in marketing and my specialty is influencer marketing, it’s usually followed by one question… What is influencer marketing? It’s honestly a fair question since it sounds much more complicated than it really is. Influencer marketing targets key influencers to help brands drive their message to larger audiences. So instead of directly telling potential customers they should buy a product or support their brand, they pay (or create some sort of incentive) for influencers to get the word out for them. Think about it: Would you be more inclined to try a new skin care product if...

a) you see an ad for it plastered across a bus on your way to work or,

b) your favorite beauty blogger created a post showing how their dry skin has improved since using the product?

Most will go with B.

So now that you know what influencer marketing is, how do you know if it’s right for your business or brand? Generally speaking I believe most brands, no matter the industry, can benefit from influencer marketing. I’ve worked on influencers campaigns for beauty brands, gaming apps, restaurants and other businesses. And here’s why:

  1. Cost Effectiveness: While major brands like NBC (who used influencer marketing to draw millennials to the Rio Olympics Gameshave the luxury of sparing no expenses when it comes to creating marketing campaigns, influencer campaigns also works with smaller brands who have much smaller budgets. For example, a clothing brand can incentivize fashion bloggers and influencers to write or post about the brand simply by providing them with product if they haven’t gotten to the point where they can afford to pay influencers.
  2. Innovation: Collaboration often brings forth the best ideas. Working with influencers can cause you to think about marketing your brand or product in ways traditional advertising wouldn't.  Also consumers are tired of traditional advertising. Honestly, how fast can you click the “Skip Ad” button that pops up on a site or a Youtube video? I’m at about .3 seconds.

  3. It’s SocialThe best influencers have great social followings. I use the term  “great” instead of “large” because a large following isn’t the only determinate for being a  great influencer. Engagement and the ability to make stellar content are also factors that contribute to being a great influencer. Although some companies provide influencers with pre-made content, a lot more opt for the influencers to create the content (photo, blog posts, etc.). This allows you to get the attention of their audiences as well as repurpose the content and share with your audience.

So if you’re building a social strategy and you haven’t included influencer marketing, you could be missing an opportunity to scale your brand socially and at a great price. And if you feel like you want  to start implementing influencer marketing in your strategy but have no idea on where to start no need to panic, that’s what I’m here for! I’ve worked with small and national brands to find influencers and implement influencer marketing strategies. So if you’re looking to get started contact me for a FREE consultation where I’ll guide you on where to get started with your influencer marketing efforts.