Freelance content marketers are in a unique position. Success depends heavily on their ability to negotiate with clients, jump into action at a moment’s notice, and of course, provide outstanding results for clients and their portfolio. Freelancers know that it can be tough to find new jobs, especially when they are relatively new to the gig economy.
The “Gig Economy” is becoming more popular than ever before – especially after many people have lost out on work due to the pandemic. Experts predict that the need for freelance services will increase slightly or even significantly in 2021, even though demand declined this past year.
This means there will be plenty of opportunities for content marketers, as clients will actively be looking for assistance. However, as more people consider this type of work, competition could be fiercer than ever before.
The best way to attract new clients is by operating your own website with spectacular content marketing that piques interest organically – leading by example. While you can go out searching for clients and applying to available positions, there is nothing like having a client come to you.
So, if you want to reach your blogging goals for the upcoming year, there are some tasks to tackle to improve your own content marketing strategy.
Re-Vamp SEO Strategies with New Trends in Mind
Although you probably have a fairly good idea of the keywords you want to target to attract clients, now is a good time to refresh your SEO tactics. You can start by delving into some deep keyword research for new opportunities – as the trends change every month.
Take voice search for instance. Currently, 40% of people who utilize search engines use voice-enabled options (like Siri or Alexa). That number is expected to grow to nearly 50% by 2021.
Voice search operates a little differently than traditional search, often because most voice queries are phrased as questions rather than statements. It is also important to note that 41% of people use voice search to learn about the products or services a company offers. So, you should be looking for keyword phrases related to your industry that are likely to be used in voice queries, like:
- How much do freelance content marketers charge?
- How do you find a freelance copywriter?
- Why should you hire freelance writers?
- What do freelance content marketers do?
You might have to think a bit outside of the box here too, especially if you service clients in varying industries. You may want to expand your own site’s content library with blog posts designed to attract clients from industries you want to service. This can help you reach niche audiences and rank higher on more specific search result pages.
Conduct a Thorough Marketing Audit
Now is a great time to tackle some “spring cleaning” on your website and refresh your strategies for the new year. Take a hard look at analytical numbers from the past year to see which content strategies are driving in leads or sales, which ones are not. Then go a step further to try to figure out the “why” behind the numbers.
Start with the analytical traffic data from this past year and evaluate what strategies are bringing you viable leads.
- Are there specific content pages on your site that attract the most traffic?
- Which keywords attract the most traffic organically and which ones are lagging or even causing high bounce rates?
- Are there any major issues like broken links, outdated pages, or 404 errors on your site?
You should also reconsider your approach to marketing your skills.
See if there are some strategies or outlets you to explore. For instance, are you utilizing social media to share your work or attract clients? While LinkedIn is still king for B2B leads, Facebook and Twitter are extremely popular for lead generation, too. Now could be a good time to start posting more on social networks to attract new leads.
Make a Solid Personalization Strategy
You may be surprised to hear that 73% of B2B buyers want to have a personalized, custom experience when they are researching services. That information can be quite alarming to content marketers who may not have much experience with personalization – nor do they have the data and resources to make it happen.
Thankfully, there are some other ways to make your marketing strategy more personalized to your leads. The first is to get a handle on the buyer’s journey and see where you can incorporate personalized elements.
Email content is a great example. Many programs make it easy to include customized content, such as names, company information, details on past interactions, or content recommendations. This can also be automatically triggered based on the client’s behavior.
For instance, say that a lead fills out a contact inquiry on your website after reading one of your blog posts about content marketing for medical spa services. They should receive an automatic response thanking them for their interest, asking for more information, and looking to schedule a time when you can discuss things over the phone.
Now say that a few days pass and you get no response. You could set up a trigger-based messaging system that sends out a follow-up email with personalized details, like:
“Thank you for your interest. I saw that you had checked out my post on marketing services for medical spas. Here are some other pieces I have written or some work I have done for clients in the medical spa field that may interest you. Please let me know if there is a good time this week when we can chat about your marketing needs.”
You may also want to look into automated segmentation and dynamic advertising for your site. This kind of AI-powered technology uses consumer data to automatically adjust various design elements based on the visitor’s motivations, interests, or needs.
Focus on Building Your Brand Even More
As a freelancer, your personal brand is incredibly important. Remember, you are your own business – so you have to put in just as much effort into creating and supporting your brand as you do with your clients.
Although your clients are going to be very interested in the quality of your content work, they also want to hire a freelancer that is experienced, knowledgeable, inventive, and reliable. Those qualities need to be apparent through your branding.
Start by getting more detailed on the type of personal brand that you want to convey to clients.
- Are you more professional and technical or casual and easily approachable?
- Do you incorporate any humor or do you keep a fairly serious tone?
- What are the areas that you excel in with content marketing: growing new brands, creating exceptional long-form content, incorporating SEO?
Then, you need to be sure that these details are clear through your website design and content voice. This extends to your social media presence and email content, too. Consistency is key here, so be sure that your personal brand and your professional “personality” are coming through.
Freelance content marketing can be an extremely rewarding job that allows you to work with all sorts of clients and create your own schedule. However, it can also be quite challenging, especially if you are constantly searching for new clients and opportunities.
As the new year approaches, you might want to make improving your own website and marketing strategies a resolution. Taking the time to address the problem areas and try out new strategies could help launch you towards a very successful 2021.