To be a successful freelancer, you also need to be a strong marketer. Like it or not, marketing and selling are essential components of building a thriving freelancing business. You can hire people to create content and carry out marketing strategies, or, you can do it yourself. If you go the DIY route, then it’s important to become proficient in the principles of content marketing.
For freelancers and solopreneurs, this means learning how to write the content your potential clients will read and, hopefully, act upon. The goal of all great content is to build relationships and inspire people to take a particular action. In your case, the primary goal will be to get readers to enquire about your freelancing services.
Great content doesn’t exist in isolation. As marketing pros and professional copywriters know, there’s an entire marketing process and sales funnel to build in order to attract and convert more of your ideal clients. Get one part wrong, and it can negatively impact the whole process, resulting in fewer quality enquires.
Types of marketing content
So what are the different types of content you need in order to attract more freelance clients? And how do they all fit together?
Here are 7 types of marketing content. Let’s look at each one individually.
- Website copy
Website copy is usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of marketing content. For good reason too. Your website is your professional home on the web and it’s incredibly important the content reads well and builds confidence.
Web copy includes the primary pages on your site including all-important Homepage as well as the About and Services pages. The website content’s overall job is to move the prospect towards making contact, either immediately or in the future. In the latter case, via an email newsletter or sequence (see point #3 below).
- Blog posts
Another common type of marketing content many freelancers are familiar with is the blog post. These vary in length and complexity, ranging from short 500-word thought leadership pieces to long 2000+ word in-depth articles, and more besides.
A regularly updated blog provides a number of great benefits for a freelancer’s website. It keeps the website fresh with new and updated content, which is like sweet nectar to the search engines. It also provides more doorways into your website, with optimized content attracting visitors via Google.
Plus, your blog is like a window into your knowledge and personality, which is vital when trying to attract particular clients you’d love to work with.
- Email newsletters
Email, like blogging, is a great way to stay in touch with prospects and previous happy clients. As mentioned above, cultivating an email list from your website is an excellent strategy for just about any type of freelancer. By sharing interesting, informative, and even personal content with your list, once a week or month, you quickly develop a rapport with your subscribers.
Many people are not ready to hire your services immediately. For example, they may not have the funds yet or they need to confer with their team. By getting these people to willingly opt-in to your email list, and receive your great content, you keep yourself top of mind when it finally comes time to take decisive action.
- LinkedIn profiles
LinkedIn is the professionals’ social media platform. If you’re a freelancer targeting the B2B (business-to-business) realm, then it’s particularly important to have an optimized and engaging LinkedIn profile. This is the platform where business people connect with other business people.
A good LinkedIn profile supports your entire content marketing efforts and is a place prospects will visit if they want to look more into your work history and experience. It should be optimized for internal searches as well as being a fluent read for human eyes. As with all great marketing content, you’re writing primarily to fellow human beings, not search algorithms.
- Case studies
A case study is a short analysis of a previous client project. It introduces the initial reality the client faced and proceeds to cover the identified solutions, the implemented actions, and the results thus achieved.
Case studies are hugely popular in the business world and they can also work very well for you as a freelancer. Many web designers use case studies to great effect, as do other creative professionals. When structured well, a case study can be a hugely influential content marketing piece to accompany your portfolio.
You’d be forgiven for thinking whitepapers are just what big companies use. However, freelancers and solopreneurs can also achieve great results with a well-written whitepaper. They instantly portray you as an authority in your particular freelancing niche and can be used in a variety of ways, including as an email opt-in incentive and as a printed booklet to hand out at meetings and conferences.
A whitepaper is essentially an authoritative document that defines a problem and presents a solution, sometimes based on the company’s or freelancer’s unique methodology. Whitepapers are not salesly but instead focus on facts and evidence to gently guide the reader to a particular conclusion.
As a solo freelancer, you only really need to write one for it to have a positive impact on your brand.
- A samples booklet
Freelancers live or die by the quality of their portfolio. Regardless of your freelancing specialism and the services you offer, a good portfolio of previous work or samples influences prospects like little else. That’s why a good portfolio page on your website is essential.
As is, a samples booklet. This booklet is an online or printed book of the work you have completed for previous happy clients together with a couple of case studies, a short bio, and a few positive testimonials. The booklet acts in a very similar manner to a brochure, showcasing your best work and highlighting your expertise. You are in the starring role.
Such a booklet can be handed out at meetings, at exhibitions, at coffee meetups, and as part of online outbound sales strategies.
Putting them all together
These are just 7 types of marketing content freelancers can use to attract and convert their ideal clients. There are many more. An arsenal of good quality content can work wonders in attracting the best clients. As you can see, they all work well together and support different stages in the marketing and selling process.
It’s important throughout all your marketing materials to have a unified brand voice in your content. This avoids a conflict in the minds of your clients, when they go from one piece to the next.
Writing your own marketing content is ideal if you’re a decent writer and familiar with marketing and copywriting strategies. However, if not, and you’re also overly busy, then reinvesting your earnings and outsourcing to a good writer is a sensible alternative.