Self-Advertising as a Freelancer
Advertising is important in freelancing. Here are a few ways to get your name out there.
In this month’s newsletter, Fancy Comma’s Kelly Tabbutt talks about ways to self-advertise as a freelancer.
As a freelancer, getting the word out about your services is crucial. It’s especially important to market your services when you’re just starting out, because how can anyone hire you if they’ve never heard of you?
Read on to learn about four common methods for self-advertising, how to use them, and their benefits.
Word-of-mouth could rightfully be called the “original” self-advertising. Speaking about your work and skills in everyday interactions is one of the easiest ways to let others know what you do and what you can do. It can be difficult for those who don’t like “boasting,” but if you do it right, it will simply come off as banter. This can also create a snowball effect: those you have shared your work and skills with can share that information among their networks.
You can tailor how you present yourself based upon your audience, and find ways to self-advertise without sounding like a walking commercial. Ideally, you want to talk about the work that you have done, the work that you can do, and the work that you would like to do in a way that is conversational and speaks to the personality of your audience. You want to make this self-advertising as subtle as possible, while leaving a lasting impression of your abilities.
2. Social Media
Social media is another great venue for self-advertising. As with word-of-mouth, social media can also facilitate a more conversational form of self-advertising. However, because of the breadth of audiences available on social media, you also have the opportunity to self-advertise in a more professional manner. Use these platforms as a way to introduce yourself, your work, and your potential to the wider world (literally, these are global platforms).
The true power of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram and Snapchat lie in the capacity for network building. Join groups or pages or follow others outside of your network who share your interests or goals or work in your field. Post pictures of your work (or yourself working) and talk about your projects and goals. You can also network with other freelancers – or those in need of freelancers – for brainstorming sessions or informal interviews.
3. Resumes on Job Sites
The traditional form of professional self-advertising is through your resume. Posting your resume on (multiple) job sites is a great way to get your name known among the professional community. Specifically, the target audience of this type of self-advertising will be prospective employers. While the networking potential of this avenue of self-advertisement is more limited, it is also more targeted, and can lead to very impactful connections.
When you use job search websites such as Indeed or Monster, or even career-focused social media platforms such as linked in for your self-advertisement, you will want to cast as wide a net as possible. You should create multiple versions of your resume, each tailored specifically to foreground unique skill sets. You will want to post each (or multiple) resumes on these job sites based upon the types of employers who will likely use each site.
4. Promoting Independent (Non-Paid) Writing
Wherever possible – and applicable – you should take the opportunity to promote your writing, whether this is professional (paid) or independent (non-paid) writing. You can describe what you have done and what you can do until you are blue in the face, but the proof lies in concrete examples of this work and skill set. Further, displaying and promoting your independent writing gives you the opportunity to show your passion for writing and the breadth of your portfolio.
When promoting your independent writing, you will want to tailor which pieces you talk about to your audience. If you are talking to people who write, or employ people who write, about fine arts, discussing your science fiction films blogs will not help you connect. Beyond the topic of your writing, you want to think about the style of writing and the skills your writing displays. Share writing that demonstrates your ability to meet the specific needs of potential clients.
Many Paths, One Destination
When it comes to self-advertising, there are many paths you can take. Regardless of which one you choose, your ability to let others know who you are, what you have done, what you can do, and what you want to do is key to building your network of co-freelancers and clients.
Here’s what we’ve been reading (and writing) lately:
Learn about 10 easy ways to get into science communication or SciComm in the latest post on the Fancy Comma blog.
The Xylom has published several reflection articles written by alumni of the AAAS Mass Media Fellows program. I like this post by Krishna Sharma about his time at the Miami Herald. It’s actually part 3 in a series of journals; check out part 1 and part 2, too. You can read them all here.
If you’re a SciCommer, you might be interested in Fay Lin’s article about leaving academia to become a science communicator.
It’s no secret that neuroscience can inform marketing. So should brand managers be working with behavioral scientists?
That’s all for this month’s newsletter. Thanks for stopping by! And if you liked this post, remember to share it! :)