It's safe to say we're in uncertain times due to the coronavirus pandemic. With businesses forced to close and/or adjust their business operations and more people are working from home than ever, things have definitely changed.
For those of us who have been working from home full-time for a while now, things may not be that different. That being said, I know that making the transition to working from home can be challenging, especially in times like these.
Regardless of whether you've been freelance writing in some capacity for a while or are totally new, there's a lot of hesitation when it comes to promoting your services right now.
After all, you don't want to be insensitive to the things that are happening with the coronavirus and its impact on our communities and businesses. The thing is, content marketing is more important than ever right now.
More and more people are at home, spending time online, and looking for resources to guide and entertain them through this time. So, there's a need for content.
While I totally recommend doing whatever you're comfortable with, there are ways to promote your services and connect with your target audience that isn't spammy or that makes it seem like you're taking advantage of the situation.
5 Ways to Market Your Freelance Services During a Crisis
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Go To Your Target Audience
Is it LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Review your social media analytics to find out where you're getting the most engagement whether it's website clicks, messages, or comments, and tailor your message to each specific platform. Create a balance of and “value” content and promotional content, which will ideally be an 80/20 ratio.
Beef Up Your Own Content
If you've found yourself in a downswing, take time to add new content to your freelance writing blog — especially if it's content that would appeal to your target audience. In addition to creating more channels back to your website, you'll also have new content to post on social media and use to boost your credibility with potential clients.
Send an Email to Your List
Email lists are an essential tool for businesses to reach their audience. Not every social post will be seen but email gives you a direct line of communication. Even if you're a service-based business like a freelance writer, it's a must-have. Share tips and content ideas that your subscribers would find helpful, such as “10 words and phrases to avoid when marketing during a pandemic.” Don't have a list? Start one!
Update Your Portfolio and LinkedIn Profile
Now is the perfect time to add new pieces to your portfolio. Adding additional high-quality content to your writing portfolio will only work in your favor because it shows a wider range of your skills and increases the likelihood that a potential client connects with your work.
While you're at it, take some time to update your LinkedIn profile, too! Make sure your information is current, add links to portfolio pieces, ask past clients to write you a LinkedIn referral, etc.
Don't Forget About Your Past Clients
Chances are that your past clients are having a rough time, too. Send them an email to check in on them and let them know you're available to help them develop a content strategy. Offer something of value like swipe copy for a social post or even a discount on a blogging package. They'll appreciate that you're touching base! Even if they don't end up hiring you now, there's a better chance that they'll do so in the future because you touched base.
While it can feel uncomfortable to market your freelance services during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, there are ways to do it without coming across as a spammy or inappropriate.
The most important thing is to be real with your audience and any potential clients you're pitching. Don't try to sugarcoat or gloss over the situation. Remember, this isn't an ostrich situation — you can't just put your head in the sand and pretend it's not happening.
To recap, here are the five ways you can promote your freelance writing services without leaving a bad taste in a prospect's mouth:
- Find out where your audience is spending their time and build a presence there.
- Beef up your own content to showcase your expertise and drive traffic back to your website.
- Use your email list to your advantage and connect with people who are already fans.
- Update your portfolio to showcase new work and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date.
- Reach out to your current and past clients to touch base and offer them something of value.
Are you continuing to pitch your services during this time? Comment below with any tips or strategies that have worked for you!