As a freelancer, it’s important to be a great marketer too – if you are not promoting your services effectively on the market, then your chances of bringing in regular work are much lower.
You might be the most skilled person in the world, but if nobody knows about who you are and how you can help them, you’re going to struggle.
Everyone is different though. For some people, marketing and self-promotion come easy, for others it can be a real challenge.
Fortunately, there are a lot of great books out there, written by marketing experts to help you learn the methods to market yourself as a freelancer, and your business better.
Here are some of our favourite marketing books that we recommend to every freelancer:
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Roberto B. Cialdini is a now legendary book that will help you understand the psychology of why people say ‘yes’. Understanding what makes people tick like this is great for building your confidence. You can learn to communicate the right messages through your marketing, knowing that you’re giving yourself the best chance to make a great impression.
The book walks you through six universal principles for influencing others: Use them wisely!
- Reciprocity – we are uncomfortable when we feel indebted to someone else. This is why we aim to return favours, and treat others as they treat us. If a friend buys you with a cup of coffee, chances are you won’t forget to treat them back next time.
- Scarcity – things are more attractive when they have limited availability. The less of something there is, the more attracted we are to it, and this applies to both physical products and services. That’s why “limited offer” and “for a limited time only” works so well in marketing.
- Authority – people who position themselves as an expert in a certain field are more influential and persuasive. You need to establish authority and credibility if you want people to trust you. That’s why we put our job title in an email signature, doctors wear white coats, and so on. Show and demonstrate your expertise – don’t think people will assume it.
- Commitment and Consistency – we want to be consistent with our behaviour and identity. For example, if we think of ourselves as someone who is healthy, then we will keep doing actions and choosing options that are perceived as healthy. The more active and public the commitment is to staying healthy, the more you will be likley to stick with it because – because you won’t want ‘lose face’.
- Liking – this might seem too obvious, but it’s really important to remember it as a freelancer. People like those who like them. They are more likely to be influenced by people they like than by people who they don’t like.
- Consensus/Social Proof – before making a decision, we tend to see first look at what others are doing before we decide. For example, we are more likely to sit in a cafe that’s busy, put money in a tip jar if it already has money in, or work late hours if other team members do that.
The book goes into much more detail about how you can use these principles to become a skilled persuader, and someone who is able to communicate how you can help your potential clients more effectively.
As one of the favourite books of some of the widely successful entrepreneurs from different backgrounds – like Chris Do and Gretta Rose van Riel – it truly is a must-read for freelancers of any level and from any industry.
In this book you will learn a simple, but extremely effective seven-element framework that will help you build a strong business brand and craft a clear marketing message.
Here’s an overview of the elements in the framework:
Donald Miller walks you through the framework and explains why it is helpful to view your clients as heroes in their own movie.
Most stories – going back thousands of years – follow a very similar basic structure.
There is a hero, who has a problem to overcome in order to achieve the happily ever after they crave.
All good stories involve a problem and some conflict – and that’s where you come in. You should play the role of the Guide, helping them to solve their problem with your services.
So you will be the Gandalf for Frodo, or the Yoda for Luke Skywalker.
By the end of the book, you will have a clear understanding of the framework. You will know how it works and how you can use it to market your services.
This is a great-read for freelancers who want to clarify their offering and effectively communicate their services to potential clients in a way that people will actually listen to and engage with.
This is another great book by Donald Miler that will help you quickly understand the value of a good freelance website, and how you can make some quick changes to boost your sales.
It’s short, snappy, and will give you loads of actionable tips and advice that you can implement straight away.
There is nothing groundbreaking in here. But, it really emphasises the value of being clear about what you do, and creating a website with a specific purpose – to get more clients and sell your services better.
Even better, it’s essentially a step-by-step guide to setting up a marketing system that works. All you have to do is put it into action.
It will walk you through the process of setting up a full marketing funnel. So, you can also see how a good website fits into a wider marketing strategy. The best thing is, none of this is too complicated to implement – and it really works!
If you often wonder where to start with attracting new clients – then the answer is simple… this book!
I really enjoyed this book and it offers a new way to think about your freelance business and how you price yourself and market yourself.
You only have so many hours and you can only serve a finite number of clients. So you don’t actually need a never ending stream of new clients. What you need is a few good clients who you can give a brilliant service to.
The premise of this book is simple – if you can make it so more people want to work with you than those who you are able to – or choose to – work with, you are able to dramatically raise your pricing.
By saying no more, and limiting the supply, you can create increased demand for working with you.
The book is full of great ideas, and will get you thinking about your marketing in a whole new way.
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