By Abdullahi Muhammed
Building buzz about your business is an important strategy for success as a freelancer. According to SmallBizTrends, 63% of freelancers reported marketing as their most important expense to grow their business.
And marketing isn’t cheap. But if you can get even a little free press for your business, it goes a long way. Here’s how to do it.
1. Get close to journalists
Journalists make the press, so building relationships with them can seriously increase your chances of getting free publicity.
Start out by finding high authority or niche publications for your industry, and identify some of the journalists who write for them regularly. Many journalists these days are freelance, so make sure they didn’t write a one-off piece. Most major publications have profile pages for their contributors.
Make a list of journalists to get close to, and connect with them on social media. Start engaging and building a relationship. Then you can make them aware of a story idea that ties into your business.
Building relationships with journalists can bring long-term benefits for marketing your freelance business. But a much easier way to do this is with Help a Reporter Out (HARO). HARO is an online platform where journalists post notices that they’re looking for sources. Sign up and you’ll receive relevant notices in your email inbox every day.
Respond to the relevant ones, and the journalist will consider quoting you as a source. For example, say you’re a freelance graphic designer, and a journalist is writing an article about changes in the gig economy. They could interview you, and give your business some free publicity in the process.
2. Get off your website
Most freelance businesses set up a website, then devote all their efforts to attracting people to it. That’s a difficult way to get any press for your business, let alone free press.
You want to make the most of opportunities for your business to be seen elsewhere around the web. And that means getting off your website. Here are a couple of the many ways you can do this:
A. Guest blogging
Get off your blog and offer free content for another popular site on the web. Write about a trending topic or express a unique opinion to attract interest to the article and get citations around the web.
Guest blogging is one form of free publicity that can attract serious traffic to your site. Just look at the example of Video Fruit, a marketing consultant business ran by Bryan Harris. Bryan submitted his first guest post ever to OKdork. It earned his business 1,782 site visits during the first two days of publication, and 215 new subscribers.
It’s easy to find guest post opportunities in your niche, just use search queries like these:
Another option to get more buzz for your business is through content syndication. Republish your own blog content to appear on other popular platforms around the web.
When you look at a site’s guest blogging guidelines, read the fine print. Some will accept previously published content. The Huffington Post for instance allows syndication. Then you can put something like:
This post first appeared on [Your Business Blog] on [This Date].
This will get you a citation (which is good for SEO), and draw more traffic back to your site. You can also use the same strategy by republishing content on an alternative blogging platform like Medium.
Catch up on my current posts along with industry articles