According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful — not interruptive. Many freelance writers spend time writing pitches and applying to gigs online, but have professional websites with just a handful of static pages. By applying inbound marketing tactics to their website, freelancers can turn those hardly-touched websites into a presence that attracts visitors and generates leads. Here are three ways you can use inbound marketing and get more out of the website you already have:
Write Blog Posts to Educate Prospects
Blog posts are a great way to turn your website into a dynamic, informational hub that ranks highly in search engine results. Two common misconceptions about blog posts are that they’re supposed to be short and they’re supposed to be about you because it’s your blog. If you are writing a blog post for your professional website, then shoot for something educational, comprehensive, and valuable to potential customers.
If you are a freelancer who specializes in business communications, then what are the biggest pain points of your clients? Write blog posts about those pain points. If they want more traffic to their website, then a blog post called “5 Website Mistakes that are Hurting Your Traffic” is a good start. Writing for free is never the favorite activity of a freelance writer, but blogging is a great way to showcase your skills while making a long-term marketing investment.
Create a Free Content Offer
A content offer is a free download, such as an ebook or a white paper, that prospects can download in exchange for contact information. Like blog posts, content offers can educate as well as move prospects closer to deciding to hire you. Don’t think of content offers as giving away free information that customers ought to pay for. Instead, view content offers as a way to build trust with prospects so they’re more likely to become customers.
For example, a ghostwriter may have a set of questions s/he asks all potential clients before signing on the dotted line. Turn those questions into a checklist i.e. “10 Things You Need Before Hiring a Ghostwriter.” Then, follow up with contacts that download the checklist after a few days. By providing the checklist upfront, you’ve eliminated a step in your sales process since you don’t need to start with the questions. When you follow up with contacts, they’re either more prepared to hire a ghostwriter or they’ll make it clear they’re not ready to hire yet, which will save you time and headaches.
Making the Most out of Social Media
Gary Vaynerchuk, author of “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” explains that, on social media, the ‘right hook’ is the sale while the jab is the tip, or the article share, or the free piece of advice. Part of the reason why Vaynerchuck wrote the book is because, on social media, people spend too much time and effort on the right hook, and not enough on the jab.
What does a ‘jab’ look like for a freelance writer? If you are a health writer, then it could be health tips, and great articles by fellow health writers. If you cover the trucking industry, then your posts could be about gas prices, noteworthy trucking companies, or industry-related developments. The point is that, by the time you make the right hook, and announce you’re available for work, or have a book you want to sell, you’ve already done the work to illustrate that you know what you’re talking about and that your product or service provides value.
Now, you don’t have to be on all platforms all of the time! If you only have time to be on Facebook, then spend the time on Facebook to ensure your posts are top-notch and engaging. If you don’t like Facebook and prefer Twitter, then spend your time on Twitter. Think about which platform(s) you and your niche would do well on, as well as where others in your niche spend time, and spend your energy there.
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Allison M Reilly is a St. Louis-based freelance writer specializing in marketing, current events, and video games. Reilly started her writing and editing journey as a freelance writer in 2011. Her work has previously been published in American City & County, Smallbiztechnology.com, St. Louis Magazine and Transport Topics. She’s also worked with clients such as the Webbright Services, Allied Offices, AllClear ID and Better Life Maids. Currently, her work can be found on Parachute, Arrested.com, TheGamer.com and more.
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