Thursday, April 10, 2014

Increase Your Chances of Success by Making Smarter Attempts (Part 5)

As I round up this six-part article series, I will suggest several feasible ways for you to eventually have a couple of specialties as you progress in your career as a freelancing professional, and how you can present yourself in the best possible way.

Consider the following:

The first thing you have to do is to check your records and carefully examine any recurring pattern, where you took in projects that are similar in nature. Narrow down your focus to two to three fields. You can assess their value in three ways:
  • Projects that require quick turn-over rates, like writing corporate resumes, editing sales and collection letters, proofreading documents, or ghostwriting. There is a huge demand for workers with these skills, and if you can work on an average of five to eight projects of such nature in a week, that would total to a very handsome amount of freelancer's fees after a month.
  • Projects that may stretch for several weeks or even months, where you choose to charge on an hourly rate. Hourly rates are considered "competitive" if they start at USD30 to USD35.
  • Collaborating with another freelancer and collecting a certain percentage as payment (e.g. taking photos and selling them to a writer who queries travel magazines, doing graphic design for a blogger, or keeping tab on the latest products or services for someone who writes reviews). 

Now, once you have these things down pat, here's how you should tweak your marketing strategy to get more projects within your chosen fields:

For your website

In your web pages, incorporate keywords or phrases that are highly likely to be found by search engines. For example, if you're a freelance copywriter, the words "print ad," "social media marketing," or "direct mail advertising" may come to mind. If you write copy for a particular group of clients, say, veterinarians, dentists, personal trainers, or fitness instructors, make sure that you have a firm grasp of the jargon used in these professions. 

The next thing you would have to do is engage your online visitors by including brief (between 250 to 400 words), informative articles that will serve as "teasers" to entice potential clients. You don't have to worry too much about baiting possible clients with sales pitches if they can already get a piece of the pie, so to speak, just by reading articles from your site. 

For your brochures, flyers, and business cards 

You can use built-in publishing software, like Microsoft Publisher, to save time and money, and to come up with personalized marketing materials that still have that professional touch.

Adopt a two- or three-font scheme that is no smaller than a size 12. Arial, Book Antiqua, or Times New Roman work best for these. Keep your template simple, and provide enough "white spaces."  

Your full name should be spelled out in a size that is slightly larger than the rest of your fonts (about 18 to 22 is ideal), and underneath, put your title, such as "Freelance Copywriter," "Multi-media Artist," or "Blogger Raising Consumer Awareness." 

Also, a good number of freelancers choose to market themselves by coining catchy phrases that cause potential clients to drum up an image in their minds about what the freelancer would be like, such as "Sally Fields, Book Doctor" (for an editor/proofreader of book-length manuscripts), "Jerry Redgrave: 'I Will Get Your Site (or Blog) on Top of Google -- Guaranteed!'" (for an SEO specialist),  or "You May Be All for Low-Cost Generic Brands, But Writing That Sounds Generic Will Hurt Your Sales" (for a pharmaceutical copywriter).

Lastly, giving away freebies or discounts have always proven to be one of the most effective ways to attract more clients. Allot a portion in your marketing materials where you place a glaring ad that's sure to get noticed, like "FREE: One-Hour Consultation," "Avail of Year-End Cut-off Rates," or "Get A 10-Percent Discount for An Article Set!" 

I will cite additional advice as an end-of-the-week treat for tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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