How do you attract paying clients to your online services?
It’s so important that we look at the best way to grow a freelance business. If you want to fill your client-cabinet with real paying persons, you’ve to do something different, and upgrade your marketing concept.
Most of us have used cold-calling to promote our services, but very few people reaped the rewards. This type of marketing whereby you chase clients, and beg them if you can, is called outbound marketing.
You can’t go far in your freelance career if you continue chasing after the next paying client. What you need is something cute – inbound marketing.
What Inbound Marketing Isn’t
Contrary to what we think, inbound marketing isn’t about starting a new blog and updating daily or three times per week. This could enhance the overall efforts you put into attracting clients, but it doesn’t work by itself.
Inbound marketing primarily deals with persuasive contents, which attracts clients via targeted sources (search engines, social media networks, news portal, offline prints et al).
So, instead of chasing after clients, and using all manner of tricks, and marketing gimmicks to convert them, you use rich, valuable and excellent content to ‘soak their interest’ and persuade them. That’s when clients could pick up their phone and give you a call.
A lot of freelance writers, web designers & developers and consultants are not paid what they’re worth. They’re still in the service-providers-fold, but, the reward for creativity is denied. Do you know why clients don’t appreciate your work as they ought to?
You came to them with your services – and so, did other freelancers. So, what’s the difference? Change your marketing style!
All right, now, let’s look at the two effective ways to attract high paying clients without biting your fingers.
Geo-Specific Keyword Targeting
If you truly want to grow a freelance system that can sustain you for years, getting good spots on Google homepage is necessary. But traditional keyword research and targeting would render your efforts homeless – there is a better way to start ranking for your primary terms without getting drowned.
Is it possible to rank #1 on Google in your city?
Potential clients are very creative in their search for quality service providers. They’re very specific on what they want. You could target “web developer in Los Angeles” if that’s your city. Interestingly, you don’t have to live in Los Angeles or be a citizen of United States before you can target related key terms.
Research geo-specific key phrases; those terms which has city, district, county or country name as the qualifier, then write a detailed, well optimized article and publish on your blog.
Get few relevant backlinks from web 2.0 sites and relevant blogs, relax, and enjoy the free-flow of clients. A well optimized web page could rank within 30 days – strengthen the base and make ranking possible with quality external links.
Email Marketing Strategy
Inbound marketing can be effective if you’ve the right marketing buttons to press. And when you build a list, you can ‘push’ a button, and have hundreds of potential clients running to you.
Getting potential clients to subscribe to your email list may take some time, but the efforts you put into building a response list is worth it.
Once your geo-specific key phrases are gaining momentum on Google homepage, you could easily harness the traffic, and convert them.
When you send organic traffic to your valuable posts, have an opt-in form with catchy bait, either, as a pop-up or beneath the post.
Do everything possible to convert a strange prospect and build relationship with her.
We’ve heard so much about email marketing, but very few freelancers are using it.
If you want to quickly explode your email list of qualified prospects, start guest posting on A-list blogs. 95% of these top blogs allow two links on the author bio – link to your landing page first, to capture prospect’s email address, before linking to a helpful post on your blog.
Inbound Marketing Results
Day-after-day, the freelance industry is getting overcrowded.
Everybody is trying to make a living out of it, and it seems the juicy freelance opportunities are scarce. Truth is: there are freelancers who reject new projects, because their desk is filled, while other freelancers struggle to attract and retain a client.
The difference lies in the marketing style used. Those who have recorded tremendous success advocated for inbound marketing, while the beggarly ones are constantly chasing after the “nest” traffic generation technique (outbound marketing).
Set your marketing priorities aright, challenge yourself to produce helpful, valuable and keyword-rich contents consistently; you would experience a surge of desperate clients rushing to you with their hard-earned money. See you at the top!