Freelance and independent contract jobs continue to be on the rise and are creating more resources and career options for people across the country. One of the main questions most people have when starting out on their own, regardless of the field or type of business, whether consultant, entrepreneur or sales executive is how to market themselves effectively. The internet has created an entirely new direction for self marketing for businesses as well as independent professionals. Websites, blogs, social media sites and other web services have become excellent tools for businesses and are great ways of building your brand as well as establishing communication with existing and potential customers.
Regardless of whether or not you want to promote your new handy man business or establish your name and talent as a musician, the web has more than one avenue that will put you in front of potential clients. YouTube is one of the most popular online sites, easily accessed and free to use. And while it originated as a place for fun, informal and personal self expression and sharing, it has become an excellent avenue for professional identity development. In addition to the obvious promotional benefits that are associated with having a video on YouTube, it can serve as part of a portfolio of web properties on which you control the content and can therefore use to manage your online reputation.
Choosing one or two social sites were you can share videos, slide shows, white papers, music files, or whatever media is best suited to showcase your talents and products, is an essential step to marketing your business. Tying these channels back to your main website and/or blog will create even more opportunities for you to attract customers and close sales. Building a strong portfolio of information and content that establishes you as an expert in your field will help you grow a reputation as an expert that will lead to you being “liked” and “plused,” “shared” and “recommended” across the web.
The connectedness of communication and people is the appeal of the worldwide web. The more sites, social media profiles, and individual comments and posts that mention, or even better, link to you, the stronger your pull will be in search engines and the more traffic will come your way. If you write a “top 10” blog post or create a “how to” video that appeals to a wide range of people and achieves viral status, then you’ll have tons of customers lined up. Even if you don’t achieve viral celebrity, having content in multiple places will increase the chance that you will be found by those people who could benefit from your services and products.
Marketing is essentially making yourself visible. A simple formula for promoting yourself and your business is to establish a quality web page or piece of media, connect it to your Facebook page or Slideshare account, then build additional social connections, and you are well on your way to creating a solid marketing campaign for whatever your business or creative project is offering.