My own marketing strategy
A strategy is deciding what you will and won’t do to achieve a result. My marketing strategy is based on decisions I’ve made based on research into my customers, my own experience and my core values.
My marketing strategy for my freelance business is heavily influenced by my personal experience. When I was an in-house marketing manager for very desirable brands like Eurostar and KENZO, I received a ton of cold calls and pushy pitches from agencies and consultants. Almost all of them made me squirm, and almost all of them were about making a sale — on their terms — as fast as possible.
Right at the beginning of my business, I decided that approach sucked because no one likes to be sold to, and I would do things my way instead.
So my strategy is to build a relationship first, and trust that the sale naturally follows.
Creating clients rather than “getting” clients
There are two ways to approach freelancing: “getting clients” and “creating clients”. Most people, at least at the beginning, go for the “getting clients” approach.
Getting clients is achieved by responding to existing briefs on Freelancer sites like Upwork and Fiverr, fixed-term contract job boards, or via social media or professional groups.
Here are some of the cons to “getting clients”:
- You will compete with others selling the same services who may be cheaper than you.
- The client thinks they know what they want (eg. a website re-design), and you have less chance of understanding and shaping the project to achieve their true aim (eg. have a more consistent stream of leads).
- You end up selling your services (the how), rather than the result or the true value you offer (the why).
Getting clients is reactive. Creating clients, on the other hand, is proactive.
To create a client, you have to anticipate what they really want before they know they want it.
And to do that, you have to get to know them first.