Get Your First Long-Term Client Today

This week, we're talking about how you can adapt five corporate communication formats to your freelance business so you can look like a pro from Day One.

So far, we've covered your website, special report, and sales letter. Today, we change gears a little.

Let me explain.

The communication formats we've discussed so far are the ones that help you get clients. They're your outbound marketing strategies that start an immediate conversation with prospects.

The strategy I'll tell you about today is more about building credibility. Over time, it can attract potential clients. But when you're just starting out, the focus is more on creating name recognition and showcasing your work.

What type of communication is this? Content. It's a powerful marketing strategy, and because it's perfectly scalable to any size business, you can start now using nothing more than a blog.

Become Your Own Marketing Director

What I like about content marketing is its ability to make you look professional. Because, frankly, few small businesses have the time or ability to do it.

Here are just a few of the benefits:

  1. It gives you hands-on experience doing content marketing for a real business. Yours.
  2. It helps you attract prospects and build a list of followers, so your business will grow faster.
  3. It gives you the opportunity to test your ideas and learn what works, so you can give more strategic help to clients.

To get the most out of content marketing, though, you'll need to treat your business as your first and best client. You'll need to think of yourself not just as a freelancer, but as the Marketing Director for your own business.

A Simple Plan to Start

Your blog is the best place to start because it gives you a triple benefit.

  1. You get lots of experience creating content.
  2. Your website will rank better in the search engines because you constantly add fresh content. (Google lists content websites higher than static websites that aren't regularly updated with relevant content. Your goal, of course, is to make it to page one of the search results so your prospects will be able to find you online.)
  3. And your prospects will see your expertise simply by reading your posts.

If you need help coming up with ideas for blog posts and other content, read my article, "30 Content Ideas You Can Create This Week."

Once you're regularly publishing posts on your blog, your next step is to create your own newsletter or autoresponder series.

Email services such as AWeber and Constant Contact give you the tools to create a sign-up form that you can put on your website. Perhaps offer your special report as a gift for subscribing. Then, start building your own community of followers.

A newsletter can be a great way to build clout. But, it requires commitment. Decide how often you want to publish, then do your best to stick to it. One simple option is to send out your blog post as a newsletter. Another is to compile five or six blurbs with tips, tricks, and interesting news.

If you’re not ready to commit to publishing a newsletter, consider creating your own autoresponder email series instead. Write a series of seven or more tips, such as "10 Web copywriting tips to get more visitors," or "15 days to email marketing success," and set up an autoresponder series to go out to prospects who sign up on your website.

For guidance on writing autoresponders, try Jay White's Autoresponder Apprentice program. It can get you up to speed quickly.

A Word of Warning

The only danger with content marketing, especially for solopreneurs, is the time commitment. It's important to keep it in balance. Remember that writing copy for your niche clients is still your first priority.

Use content marketing to build your list of prospects, add to your professional website, and build credibility. But don't let it replace direct marketing, which is your best bet for getting clients.

Well, there you have it! Tomorrow … step five to looking like a pro, and the secret to freelance success. (It's easier than you might think!)

Have you tried any content marketing strategies for your business? I'd love to hear what's worked for you. Share your ideas below.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: March 15, 2012

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