Marketing strategy for consultants and freelancers I Smart Insights

What kind of marketing strategy should you adopt to reach potential clients? Venngage surveyed 100 consultants and freelancers to find out which ones worked, and which didn’t

Creating a foolproof marketing strategy that will land your clients isn’t always an easy task. There are numerous freelancers, consultants, and solopreneurs demanding the attention of a small pool of businesses and customers. To find the best marketing strategy, Venngage spoke to 100 marketers to learn from their experiences. The results are surprising and should aid you in deciding which marketing strategy works best for you.

Traditional media is out

It seems like only a short while ago, marketers were putting out advertisements to coax clients to hire them. But those days may well be in the past. Among the marketers we surveyed, print advertising ranked lowest as a method of attracting clients. The only print medium that was still being employed was business cards.

Another traditional method that failed to gain much traction among respondents was cold calling. It was deemed a complete waste of time by a large percentage of those surveyed.

Interestingly, strategies haven’t become completely digital, either. Though social media marketing, blogging, and SEO strategies do seem to be working well for marketers, the most effective methods of reaching clients were found to be referrals and networking events.

LinkedIn is the key

Among the social media platforms that have been performing well for marketers, LinkedIn ranked very high. Other social platforms and even Google ranked fairly low in comparison. Facebook was the next most popular, with Facebook groups, more than any other aspect of the platform, appearing to be the most beneficial in winning clients. Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube ranked very low.

LinkedIn is also the primary portal for marketers to learn more about their trade, ranking slightly higher than blogs. Facebook groups also ranked in this area, which seems to point to the fact that making connections is important in educating oneself.

Major challenges

The respondents we spoke said that the biggest challenge they face is a lack of time. Surprisingly, many of them also said they struggle with the marketing aspect of their jobs. Not everyone is comfortable with marketing, nor do they seem to be satisfied with the results they are achieving.

Also, many of those surveyed cited a lack of design knowledge as a roadblock in their marketing strategy. This ties into the fact that a majority believe that using good social media graphics is an important way to attract clients on social media.16

Visual strategy

Alongside social media visuals, respondents also cited blog headers as an important part of their visual marketing strategy. As blogs and SEO were deemed a good way to reach clients, this was to be expected.

Slide decks were also popular, with a large number of marketers using them to pitch to clients. Interestingly, webinars did not rank highly as an effective tool to meet new clients. Slide decks are largely used in webinars, but if webinars are not earning marketers clients, then they are using decks elsewhere. We can safely assume that, as networking events have become a top contender for winning clients, slide decks and pitch decks are being used in those environments, rather than during webinars.

Among the other visuals that freelancers and consultants are using, email newsletters, whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, and charts, all ranked higher than webinars. Graphics are the way forward in terms of marketing strategy.

Make connections

The chief takeaway from this survey is that human connection is the best way to earn clients. Whereas a short while ago, impersonal advertisements in print and social media were enough to reach people, now referrals and networking is the best way to meet like-minded people.

Digital media is still an important part of marketing strategies, however. LinkedIn, in particular, has grown in popularity from being viewed as a business-forward platform to one that encourages communication between people.

Putting yourself out there and connecting with people is the best way forward, but you also need to have a strong digital presence to reach the clients you want to.

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Get the full survey results and learn more about the best marketing strategies for consultants and freelancers with this infographic from Venngage.

Best Marketing Strategies Infographic 700x4859


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