Are you a provider of professional writing and editing services? To reach more potential clients, you need to market your services, but there’s no need to spend a fortune on costly campaigns. By putting in a little time and effort several times a month, you can market yourself absolutely free.
Get a Craigslist account. Play by the rules, and Craigslist can be a great avenue to promote your writing services. The online classified ads network has been around since Craig Newmark launched it in 1995. Still a free service after all these years, Craigslist is an often overlooked vehicle for connecting writers with clients. Just as you can sell your sofa or piano here, you can promote your business.
Start by creating a free Craigslist account. Having an account enables you to post more frequently and across multiple cities. Starting with a city of your choice, click on the “write/ed/tr8” link under “services.” This will bring you to the “writing/editing/translating” category. Click on “post” on the upper right, and follow the instructions. Be sure to use the “anonymize” option for your email address to decrease the likelihood of getting spammed. Under “specific location,” write “Anywhere.” Keep your post succinct, and include your website or blog address.
With a Craigslist account, you can create numerous ads – one for each city of your choice. No need to restrict yourself to just your own town or state. Make your ads unique. Always keep them appropriate, and never misrepresent yourself. By following the rules you’ll avoid getting flagged, and you’ll be able to take full advantage of this great option for free marketing.
Create your online presence with a blog. Launching your own blog is easy and can be accomplished in a day. A blog is especially helpful if you don’t have your own website. In fact, you should treat it as a website even if you already have another site in place. Keep your blog’s presentation and content professional. This is not your personal diary – it’s your professional online presence.
Blogs can be created via WordPress or Blogger. Other blog publishing systems include Movable Type and Drupal. I use WordPress and, so far, I like it a lot. Setting up my blog was straightforward, and adding posts is quick and easy.
Your blog posts should be informative, with content that someone who might be interested in writing services (or some aspect of writing) would find useful. Self-promotional material can be included in an “About Me” or “Services” page. Once your blog is running, include the link in your email signature, on your Craigslist ads, with your article bylines, and wherever else you can insert it.
Launch a Facebook fan page. More and more people are using Facebook for professional purposes. A fan page allows people to join by “liking” your page. When you create a fan page to promote your writing services, keep it tasteful, professional, and informative. You’ll draw people in by the useful tips you share; personal invitations via email or Facebook will increase the number of people who “like” your page. Make sure your page isn’t just one big commercial. It has to contain the right mix of relevant information with occasional promotional content.
Feel free to use other social networks for marketing purposes. If you’re comfortable with LinkedIn, Twitter, or any other network, figure out a way to use it tastefully and legitimately for your promotions.
In addition to doing online marketing, keep at it with word of mouth. This old-fashioned method still works today. The more you get the word out about your business, the better your chances of finding great new clients.