50 Simple Marketing Ideas All Freelancers Can Use

As a freelancer, you have a wide variety of marketing options available to you. Just which ones will bring you the clients you prefer to work with depends — it’s important to make sure that the methods you use allow you to reach the places prospective clients will be.

It’s worth considering a wide variety of options. For that, it’s useful to have a list of options to consult:

  • Start a blog
  • Go to Chamber of Commerce events and other local business events
  • Release products (icons, articles, etc.) that can be used for free with attribution
  • Hand out business cards
  • Guest post on blogs relevant to your skills
  • Attend meetups in your area
  • Place your brochures with printers, or other relevant businesses
  • Organize a BarCamp or other unconference
  • Network online with sites like LinkedIn or Twitter
  • Share samples of your work online
  • Respond to press queries on Help A Reporter Out
  • Sponsor an event
  • Suggest a story to a reporter or blogger
  • Offer a coupon
  • Create a free ebook and post it online
  • Write a press release describing something special about your business
  • Offer to speak about your specialty at networking events
  • Answer questions on LinkedIn Answers, Yahoo Answers and other question sites
  • Comment on articles and posts
  • Create package deals
  • Develop a partnership with a freelancer with a different skillset
  • Send out a useful newsletter geared towards your clients
  • Provide a free initial consultation
  • Join a professional organization
  • Add yourself to directories, both online and in print
  • Place promotional items in event and conference gift bags
  • Run targeted adds
  • Volunteer your services to non-profits
  • Contact companies that could use your services directly
  • Attend alumni events for your school
  • Contact past clients
  • Attend events for your ideal clients’ industry
  • Join online forums
  • Print t-shirts listing your website
  • Have a giveaway or donate your time as a prize in someone else’s giveaway
  • Survey companies in your target market about their needs (and then follow up on those needs)
  • Optimize your website for search engines
  • Hand out brochures that showcase your projects
  • Get great testimonials from past clients
  • Teach a class
  • Brand yourself as a business
  • Start a podcast or videocast
  • Sell your services through affiliates
  • Work with an agency
  • Swap ads with other freelancers
  • Send out a postcard or other mailer
  • Package your promotional materials or services with other freelancers
  • Tell happy clients that you’ll give them a referral discount for any new clients they send your way
  • Celebrate the end of a large project with your client

Many of these options are inexpensive, though not all of them are free. That price tag makes it easier to experiment with your options — so do it! Take some time on a regular basis to try out different marketing techniques and see which ones will work for you — and which ones you can adapt. There are even more options out there than are listed here. If you have a marketing technique not listed here, please add it in the comments.

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