It’s high time that freelancers look at their work as a business. And one of the most effective marketing strategies today is content marketing. Here are simple ways to integrate it into your marketing.
Content marketing meaning has taken a whole new definition these days, with most brands and freelancers adopting different content strategies to grow their business. One of the most significant benefits of using content marketing for your business is improving brand reputation and building your audience’s trust.
Great content can also help you to influence conversions. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of customers in America decided to make purchases after reading recommendations on blogs. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays an integral role in improving brand visibility. Hence, optimized content can enhance your SEO efforts. It’s also an affordable way of bringing in new leads for your business. This holds true for small, medium, and large companies, as well as for freelancers who must learn to treat their work as a business.
As a freelancer, your business needs to have quality content marketing strategies for maximum reach. Here are a few tips on how freelancers can use content marketing to help generate business.
Tips for Freelancers to Use Content Marketing
1. Select a target audience
With content marketing, you first need to know your audience. Who is your ideal client? These define your buyer personas. For instance, if you’re looking to create content in the SaaS B2B space, who are the decision-makers that should know about you? Probably Chief Marketing Officers and senior marketing leaders in SaaS companies who manage marketing teams. Proper market research and accurate data will help you identify your target audience. People have different tastes, and your content may not be suitable for everyone. Hence, to drive in the right audience, you first need to get your target audience right.
2. Have a strategy
Before you begin, it’s essential to have a content marketing plan to know exactly where you need to invest your time and resources. Without a plan, you’ll find it hard to cover all the areas of marketing. Make sure to devote time to learning the primary content marketing meaning, new things about content marketing, and understanding what type of content suits your business needs. When determining a strategy, ask yourself these questions:
- Which platform should I post content on? Owned and earned?
- What kind of content buckets should I create?
- How frequently should I create content?
- What are the content formats I must experiment with?
- How much time and money can I devote to this effort?
3. Creating a presence online
Having an online presence for your brand is an excellent way of getting noticed. To help your freelance business succeed, you need to get out there. When your company has an online presence, it allows people to find your business and interact with you. Produce content such as articles and blog posts that require audience interaction. When you begin on this journey, you will need to determine the primary platform for your business. Is it LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, or a bit of all? Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. To know which platform suits your needs, you must be aware of your target audience’s choice of platform. Avoid spreading yourself too thin, and build on one or two platforms only.
4. Market your content
Many believe that producing a great blog or content is the only way of getting a large number of viewers or users. However, this is not true at all. The key to success is how you promote that content. According to a famous blogger and marketer Sujan Patel, emerging bloggers must use the 20:80 ratio. So, spend 20% of your time writing your content and 80% on marketing it. The internet is where people connect and interact, so make sure you put out the best content. Collaborations are a great way to expand your content’s reach, so explore guest blogging and appearing on podcasts as a way to grow your audience.
When it comes to the technical aspect of content marketing, learning about search engine optimization is essential. SEO plays a significant role in how people find your business on Google. It will help if you master the art of optimizing your content by using the right keywords and creating mobile-friendly websites that are easy to navigate.
Bonus Tips for Freelancers to Rule the Roost
1. Onboarding a client
Always have a plan in place for onboarding a client. This is when you can show your client what you are capable of. Keep a checklist to onboard a client and follow it to the tee. This is your trump card to sustain a client and the relationship you will build over time.
What does a client onboarding checklist look like to a beginner? Here are some content tips for freelancers:
- Welcome email: A welcome email is greatly appreciated. It shows the client that they matter.
- Let’s talk business: An invoice must be sent with the first half of the payment details. It portrays professionalism.
- Make sure to share progress: A management tool that can be shared with the client to show them your progress is vital.
Layout a client onboarding process for yourself and use a checklist that can help give the client a clear idea of the path you are on. The list will also help you self-check and help you stay on track. Do not expect your client to follow your lead if they do not have a clear picture of where they are headed.
It is good to keep in mind some client objections that you may encounter while discussing a project, especially for a beginner freelancer:
- Cost: Focus on the benefits you will give your client. Don’t stress about the price. Does it solve your client’s pain point?
- Diplomacy: When a client tells you that you do not get what he’s trying to convey to you, respond with diplomacy. Pretend to be curious. Don’t get defensive. First agree, and then explain your point too. Let them know that you are interested in understanding their business.
- Resources: If a client tells you that he is not in a position to discuss the strategy right now and that he does not have the resources, ask him what resources he already has so that you can build on them. That way, you show your interest and reassure him that you are on his side. It will also help you consider how to help him while he gets his act together in terms of resources.
2. Writing that sells
It is not quantity but the quality that matters. Usually, good quality and consistent content is the writing that sells. The content has to be focussed and not content for its sake.
3. Carve your niche
A new freelancer may not be aware of their niche. Try to carve one as soon as you can. Is it sports, or is it a lifestyle? Is it healthcare, or does your interest lie in pets? Find an industry that intrigues you and do your research. Carve your niche since you cannot be an all-rounder, not at least when you are a beginner. This way, you can get paid higher, and you will be seen as an expert in that particular subject rather than a jack of all trades.
How can you market yourself as a niche writer?
Some time ago, cold emails and networking events established you as a writer. However, things have changed now. Here are some tips for freelancers who want to develop themselves as niche writers:
- There are a good many platforms for a writer to be active on. Create a blog or write on LinkedIn. Stay active. Get hired.
- You will need an exciting content platform. And the platform must be yours. Learn SEO (search engine optimization). Write to promote yourself. Get found.
- Social media is your stage. You must take center stage. Make friends with influencers. Twitter hashtags, Google tools, and alerts have to be your weapons to hook prospective clients. Connect and build your relationships.
- Give content that is fresh, helpful, and free. Don’t fret for free content, as this will surely land you some great paying gigs. Just spread your tentacles on all platforms for a good beginning.
4. Opportunities for freelance writers
Freelancers have the best opportunities to grow now more than ever. It is their golden era. Think of yourself as your own little company. The better profile you create for yourself, the more revenue you will generate.
Boost your online presence by highlighting your niche, update your blog, build your relationship by adapting to great freelance content marketing strategies. Read up and act on them. It is never too late to start marketing yourself.
Common mistakes to avoid as a content marketing beginner
As a beginner in the content marketing world, you can avoid these common mistakes when planning your content marketing strategies.
- Avoid duplicate content: Duplicate content is one of the biggest marketing mistakes beginners tend to make. If you want your content to be ranked on Google, then duplicate content is a big no.
- Misusing keywords: SEO and keywords will help your page get noticed. Two common mistakes are stuffing your content with them and using irrelevant keywords.
- Unsure about who your audience is: This is another common mistake that beginners make. They do not know their audience, or they only write for a particular type of audience. It is vital to know your audience and readers so that you get the maximum reach. If your content isn’t for everyone, you’ll be quickly losing readers. Hence, make sure to do proper audience research before you begin.
- Your website isn’t easy to navigate: Navigation is a critical part of website designing and SEO. One common mistake
- Not using meta tags properly: Meta tags will help you improve your ranking. Most beginners, starting with content marketing, tend to ignore this fact and not use meta tags.
- Not checking Google Analytics: Analytics play a vital role in content marketing. It shows you which kind of content works and converts audiences into leads. Hence, measure your analytics by using Google Analytics which can help you see where you rank.
- Using social media incorrectly: Many new businesses set themselves up in the best way possible using proper SEO guidelines and great content. However, many of them fail to put out their content on social media to draw customers. It is vital to use social media as a platform for networking and bringing in leads.
Refine your website and your processes
There is always a demand for fresh content. Revisit your old content and identify the flaws; update. A fact-driven approach is always welcome. They provide credibility. Identify your needs and revise your social media content. Focus on the right platforms that will give your profile a push.
Content is undoubtedly one of the most effective tools in your marketing arsenal – irrespective of the size of your business or team. 90% of companies use content in their marketing strategy. And it costs 62% less than traditional marketing while generating three times as many leads, according to DemandMetric. This is true not just for large companies but can be true for freelancers as well, provided they carefully go about creating high-quality, relevant content with a documented strategy.
· Great content can also help you conversion
· Freelancing is emerging as one of the fastest-growing businesses today
· There are four essential pages you must have on your website
· One of the best content marketing strategies is the fastest-growing-old, to establish your presence online.
· With content marketing, you first need to know your audience
· Without a plan, you’ll find it hard to cover all the areas of marketing.
· The key to success is how you promote that content.
· SEO plays a significant role in how people find your business on Google.
Content marketing is when a company avoids age-old advertising mediums and uses content to promote its businesses. Their content writers create compelling, relevant, and exciting content to attract consumers regularly.
Generating a business for a freelancer is not so simple. Many factors must be included and worked on before he can develop a consistent flow of writing jobs. Some factors to consider are selecting a target audience, having a good strategy, creating a presence online, marketing your content, and learning the ropes of SEO.
An online presence is mainly introduced by creating an effective webpage.
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It is essentially what you do to get search engines to land on your web page, like, for example, keywords strategy. It is a calculated plan used by businesses on their web pages which gradually translates into conversions, increasing revenue.