13 ways to market your business (that you haven’t already thought of)

It happens to the best of us. The phone isn’t ringing and you’ve refreshed your emails eight times in the last hour to make sure they’re working. There can only be one explanation and that is that you’re in the midst of a dry spell.

When work steadies for the self-employed, the knee-jerk reaction tends to be sheer panic, a determination to watch every penny that leaves your purse and a consideration of whether working for someone else would be so bad after all (did somebody say guaranteed salary, pension and free coffee on tap?)

But there’s a better way to navigate the famine part of freelancing than rocking like a madman and resorting to full-time employment again, and that’s going hard on marketing the hell out of your business. Here are new ways to market your business, because resting on your laurels and waiting for work did never a millionaire make.

Launch a course

Nothing says you know your stuff quite like teaching someone else to do it. Running a short course for local businesses won’t just get some money in the bank, the chances are they’ll be so impressed by your knowledge that they’ll hire you to do exactly what you’re trying to teach them to do. Clever, eh.

Advertise in the newspaper

We know what you’re thinking; when did we skip back to the olden days of print press? While we’re all doing digital these days, there’s still a devoted demographic of people reading the local and national press everyday. Sending a press release or pitching a story to yours is worth a punt if you’re keen to attract a new client base.

Run a competition

People love free stuff, especially if it’s something that they need to do business better. Run a competition to win your services for free in some capacity. Whether that means offering a free batch of blog posts, printed workwear, a coaching session or website rebrand, nothing gets you emailed, called or followed and shared on social media quicker.

Share the love

Don’t forget your existing clients in the quest to find new ones. Use the lull to share the love, whether that’s with an old school thank you card in the post or with a nicely-designed email. It’ll remind them that you’re there too and that’s always a bonus.

Send a sugar rush

I love sweets, you love sweets, we all love sweets. You’d be amazed how much a packet of Haribo with your direct mailing makes it less likely to end up straight in the bin. Bring some personality to your pitches.

Start a podcast

Podcasts like HELM’s very own Drop The Anchor can do everything from share knowledge to discuss hot topics of conversation, all while putting your name in front of prospective clients in a whole new way. Give it a go. And give ours a listen (please and thank you).

Do your bit for charity

We’re talking working for free again here, but hear us out because you’ll be rewarded with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside from doing your bit, as well as a host of new contacts that might well put paid work your way in future.

Create a Twitter list

Nothing flatters people like being thought of as worth following for their knowledge. Use a quiet spell to put together a Twitter list of all those people you admire in the industry and another with businesses that share your ethos or would be your dream client down the line. Seeing that notification pop up that you’ve added them to the list might just be the kick they need to find out more about what you do.

Plan a meet-up

Working for yourself can be a lonely old game, especially if you work from home or only hit up a co-working space a couple of times a week. Arranging a meet-up of fellow copywriters, designers, producers, educators or anyone in your industry is a great way to find your tribe. Longer term, there’s the potential of having work passed your way, and returning the favour, when things get busy again (which they inevitably will, after all these stellar marketing tips are put into action…)

Work for free

Calm down, calm down, we’re not talking long term. We’d never advocate working for free, unless you’re just staring out and need the experience. But when work is quiet, it’s an opportunity to take on those passion projects that won’t pay but will put you under the gaze of a new clientele.

Re-launch your brand

Refresh your logo and get your website copy rewritten to reflect where your brand is right now. And if you’re not even sure what your brand is (every business has one, little and large, it’s just a matter of finding your vibe) now’s the time to give it some thought.

Become an expert in your industry

Establishing a key person of influence is imperative to building a strong business and one of the fastest ways to do this is to become recognised an expert in your field. Volunteer your response to current goings on in industry press and share your feelings on LinkedIn.

Arrange an event

Events are a fab way to bring together like-minded business people from the local area and they’re perfect if more traditional methods of networking bring you out in a cold sweat. They’re one of our favourite ways to share stories, build business relationships and make new mates; check out HELM’s latest Doncaster.Digital evening for all of the above, plus snacks. We’re really big on snacks.

Helm Free Fridays

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