Promoting yourself is one of the toughest aspects of working for yourself.
Even (or sometimes especially) if you specialise in design, marketing or branding! Some of us do several things – a portfolio career, and that makes it even harder.
But it’s a competitive world out there and it really important that we show ourselves in the best possible light. Here at KindredHQ we’ve learnt the hard way that no future client is going to find you if you haven’t created a great profile for yourself, and let the world know what a star you are.
Here’s our guide to some of our favourite techniques and resources. (If you’re part of our Membership programme, then you’ll be able to get some lovely discounts on some of these too).
One of our favourite resources here at KHQ. We use Meetup.com to organise our famous pop-up co-working events and gatherings. It works two ways for you as an independent. Firstly, it’s a great way to get out there and meet others, whether they are future collaborators or future clients. There are Meetup groups across the world for just about every niche subject.
And, for a small fee, you can also make yourself an organiser very easily on Meetup, becoming the leader of your own tribe! This puts you in the centre of your specialist subject – the ‘go to’ person in your field potentially. It’s fun too, so give it a whirl.
One of Britain’s success stories, Moo.com is now available in a number of countries. They became famous for producing unusual long business cards with different designs, on good quality card for a reasonable price. These days, Moo have extended their range to include a load of other useful marketing ‘equipment’ including stickers, cards,
It’s more and more important now that you establish your reputation in your field. As an independent, you can’t afford to be one of many. You’ve got to demonstrate that you’re unique in your own way.
On the 6th of October 2012, the team behind the remarkably successful ʻKey Person of Influenceʼ incubator are running a Brand Accelerator that is setting a new standard for whatʼs possible in small business.
This one day event features 5 of the UKʼs top entrepreneurs and it covers a 5 step formula to becoming one of the most highly valued and highly paid people in your industry.
Whatever you think about social media, you really must get yourself a Linkedin profile. It has become the standard way for future clients to find you and check you out. In discussion the other day at one of our events, all the freelance people said that clients now just ask for a link to you on Linkedin rather than asking for a full CV. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay.
You can use Linkedin to find future clients too. There’s a great search facility that will help you pinpoint the right people for your industry.
Make sure that you ask your clients to give you a nice write up after you’ve finished a job too. That all helps your visibility on Linkedin.
5. Invest in good brand identity
To be honest, we think this is one of the most important things that you can do, and it really doesn’t have to cost the earth. There are plaees like 99Designs where you can get a logo and brand identity designed for you for relatively little outlay. But why not work with other freelancers and swop skills. But we’d thoroughly recommend that you put some time and energy into this. It’s the manifestation of you, so it’s a great way to think through what you do, who you want to sell too and how you’ll do it differently.
6. Get yourself a web domain (or several!)
GoDaddy.com is our favourie web domain supplier. It’s easy to search and buy domains, and they also offer web hosting and all the usual stuff. We can’t stress enough how important it is to create a serious web domain identity for yourself, even if you are a one man band. We’ll offer you further advice about mapping your domain to your blog in The IT Department.
7. Start blogging
It’s never been easier to create some space on the web for you and your business. In fact, it can be almost free. We are huge fans of WordPress (KindredHQ is a WordPress blog). You can start with an easy to use theme at WordPress.com, or if you want to do some more fancy stuff, then get yourself along to WordPress.org where you can find groovy plugins that allow you to do all sorts of things with the site. This is known as the ‘self hosted’ version, so you’ll need to a) know what you are doing and b) get yourself some separate hosting. WordPress is also very search engine friendly, which all helps you get further up the rankings.
Tumblr is also hugely popular, and there are more coming on stream all the time.
The most important thing is that you just start writing. Harder than you might think, because there will be some days when you just don’t feel like it! But it’s a brilliant way to get across your unique style and your viewpoint. If you are in a niche area, then all the better and you might even become an expert in your field.
8. Get your pitch right
We know. It’s really difficult to get your uniqueness down to a sentence or two, but it will get better over time, so don’t stress about it too much. Coaching can help, and we’ve built in a session to help you deliver a first class pitch to describe what you do succinctly and with confidence. You can join the KindredHQ coaching programme here.