Tag Archives: freelance PR

Marketing Yourself as a Freelancer–Mistakes To Avoid

by Joe Wallace

book and script editor for hire Joe WallaceThere’s plenty of advice floating around out there telling you what to do to market yourself as a freelancer. Let’s not re-invent the wheel on that one.

Instead, let’s take a look at some things you should stop doing right now.


We all do it, even I’m guilty. But the worst way to market yourself is to try wading into a crowded marketplace with too many people in it and try to get noticed. If you fly with the flock, you’ll never stand out from it.

Instead, try hitting some markets that don’t seem so obvious. Travel writers would naturally gravitate to something like a Lonely Planet type guide or magazine–why not write travel pieces for food mags instead? The proper angle is the key. Freelance editors get stuck thinking about books and scripts, websites or magazines…but there are plenty of catalogues, brochures, technical manuals and other things out there with the same need for a sharp eye.

Think outside the box. WAY outside. Forget the traditional routes and find something so crazy you don’t think it’s ever been tried before. Once Catherine Tully and I co-wrote an article about martial arts.

For a JUGGLING magazine.

Get the idea?

Not Having Your Own Domain

One prolific blogger I know bought a domain called “IAmJohnDoe.com”. No, John Doe isn’t her real name and that isn’t her actual domain name. (It’s not live yet so she asked me to keep it private). Her chosen domain name (JohnDoe.com) was already hogged up by some other type of business, so she got creative.

The point is, if you are marketing yourself, you need to put your name out there connected with all the keywords in your specialty. Freelance writer, freelance editor, graphic designer, catapult builder, whatever. Yeah, I’ll say it–“for free” domains are useless for you if you are serious about marketing yourself. The first impression factor alone might not matter, but the amount of control you have over your own domain versus one of those free ones is worth the price.

Not to mention that if your free domain company goes bust at some point, or switches to a for-pay model you don’t like, you lose any Google value your site has built up over time.

Your goal with a site like this should include building it up so that if someone does a Google search on “Your Home Town Here” and “Freelance Writer” or “Freelance Editor” or “Freelance Cat Juggler” they should be getting YOU in the top results, because your resume site includes the right combination of keywords and relevant information.

Marketing Yourself To Other Freelancers at the Expense Of Your Target Market

I  belong to a few e-mail lists for writers and editors. A lot of people spend an inordinate amount of time doing PR stuff on these mailing lists, chatrooms, LinkedIn groups, etc. “Hey, I’m teaching here” or “Read my interview there” and such–a high volume of material that’s aimed at other freelancers. My question is this–how much time are you spending getting street cred with your fellow freelancers versus marketing yourself to potential clients?

I am NOT saying don’t participate in these groups. What I am saying is beware of spending more time with your colleagues than you do with your target market. Blowing your own horn is great, but if you’re just blowing for the rest of the orchestra to hear you aren’t really PERFORMING, know what I mean?

Advertise Yourself

Joe Wallace freelance social media.jpgby Joe Wallace

It’s funny what kind of great ideas you get for other people where marketing and self-promotion is concerned, but when I started taking a look at things I personally wanted to do, I realized I’d been missing the boat in a lot of little ways that could really help at some point down the line.

Everybody knows you should put a signature file in your e-mails to let people know important things like “I’m available for hire on your next project” and “Contact me here to hire me or look at my awesome resume.”

But there are other little things I realized I wasn’t doing to promote myself that could have the same result as the signature file. Two of the most glaring omissions? T-shirts and bumper stickers.


When I’m not doing freelance social media management, writing articles, or preparing seminars about using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as PR tools, I have a little cottage industry going selling vinyl records, t-shirts and accessories for vinyl lovers. Whenever I do a convention, I’m almost always wearing a t-shirt advertising my site for vinyl junkies, Turntabling.net.

So why don’t I do that sort of free advertising for my freelance work?

A t-shirt that simply reads “freelancer” would definitely be a conversation starter in the right social settings, and when one thing leads to another, you could just end up talking shop with someone in need of a writer, editor, social media maven, etc.

I also noticed a distinct lack of shameless self-promotion on my vehicle–acres of bumper space that is just sitting there blank which could be used to direct someone to a resume page, The Freelance Zone, etc.

So now I’m getting ready to start being a bit more active in my self-promotion efforts by wearing my business on my sleeve, as it were. Within reason, of course. It would be insane to get a tattoo on my forehead with a web address on it, and a car that’s completely screaming a business message is a bit of a turn-off. But one nice, legible-from-a-distance bumper sticker could be a good way of adding some extra attention to what I do.

Advanced Tips For Freelancers

The latest in our ongoing series of freelance tips and advice, video style. In today’s short clip, we feed a little hint about how freelancers can think outside the box when it comes to marketing their expertise to potential new clients. It seems so obvious once you think about it, but the freelance game is all about little tricks and techniques like these:

Press Release Marketing


What in the world does this old punk rock album cover have to do with self promotion for freelance writers? Too many promising freelancers pass on marketing opportunities eagerly used by thousands of bands–the humble press release.

“But what have I got that’s newsworthy?” You may well ask. Sometimes the answer is nothing at all…but sometimes the answer is EVERYTHING.

When you go into freelancing part-time, you don’t have much of a news hook. But what about when you take the plunge to go full time? No, USA Today doesn’t care–but your hometown or community newspaper might. Local somebody quits day job in crazy economy and goes freelance? That’s quite a news angle if you play it up right. What does it take to survive in our economy as a self-employed person? Are you the face of the new American economy?

It’s all about how you spin the story. You can use press release marketing to get yourself some added visibility–and don’t limit yourself to newspapers, local radio or television stations.

Consider sending a copy of that same press release to non-media sources like potential clients. If your release looks professional, you might just attract some interest by approaching that next client in this way–it’s outside the usual channels and doesn’t look like you’ve simply got your hat in your hand searching for work. That unique approach might just be what it takes to catch the eye of a hard-to-land future paycheck.