This post has been sitting in my drafts for too long now. And I know there’s a lot going on right now, but I’m hoping this will help you figure things out when you’re ready to get back to business.
If you’re a service provider + want to update your sales and marketing or if you’re new to freelancing and not sure how to get started or want to skip the info overload, I’m sharing 5+ guides (with actionable advice and tips) that will help you focus on the important things.
Use these guides to implement simple marketing strategies that will attract visitors and turn them into customers.
(Also, if you’re like me and lost main clients during this time + you’re worried about what’s going to happen next, read this first when you have a chance – Freelancing During a Recession.)
This post contains affiliate links, this means I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase using one of my links. Thanks for your support!
Create Your Audit Plan
Before you start, you should do some pre-work. Make sure you go over your marketing, sales, and back-office operations (admin, systems, processes).
Write down your current process. Review what’s working and what needs improvement. Write down your current stats – number of followers, email subscribers, and go over Google Analytics report to see what’s popular and what pages + posts need work.
List your goals and how you’ll accomplish those goals. Some example goals could be – “I want to gain 250 subscribers by April 30” or “I want to add 3 retainer clients by April 30”. Use this as your guide: My goal is __. To be done by __. The steps I need to take are __.
Create a checklist on Trello or Asana. Break down what needs to be done to reach your goals every quarter, month, week, and day.
You can also create a separate to-do list for each – web pages, posts, social media, tech, etc. This will help you stay organized so all you’ll have to do is add your notes from the guides below.
How to Know When It’s Time to Refresh?
Not sure if you need a refresher? Here’s what these guides cover:
how to build a strong online presence so you can stand out and increase brand awareness
how to improve service offerings so you can simplify your process and focus on benefits
how to come up with content ideas to educate + grow your audience
how to create lead magnets and digital products to increase sales
how to automate your email marketing, nurture new leads, and book clients
Guides to Refresh Your Brand + Biz
Pro-tip: Whichever book you read, make sure to follow through with the tips and don’t procrastinate. First time, read it and highlight/screenshot/bookmark the most important things. Take a break. Read it again + follow the steps to implement it ASAP!
Sales and marketing blueprint – 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib (1PMP)
When you’re all over the place or doing too much, read this to get back to the basics.
It’s a step-by-step guide that will help you map out your marketing so you can skip the guesswork and turn your visitors to customers. You’ll learn how to stand out, get clients, and close deals.
Connect with audience – Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller (SB)
When you want to clarify your message so ideal buyers can stick around. This book will definitely help if you’re coming from a corporate background and you’re still using your professional voice all throughout your site.
After 1PMP, use the StoryBrand framework to help you organize your thoughts and focus on what makes you unique so you can connect with your audience. You’ll be able to apply the framework to your main pages – home, about, sales/services, and landing pages.
Simplify services – Create your Productized Service (PS)
When you want to rewrite/revamp your services. After reading SB, use this guide to create a fixed offering. Benefits of having a productized service: no more customizing every project for every client, no more sending proposals, AND no more charging by the hour.
This means you can speed up the onboarding process, finish the project faster (if your workflow is streamlined), and then move on to the next thing.
7-day Email Course by Jonathan Stark
Your Productized Consulting Guide by UI Breakfast
Examples of Productized Services – Richard Patey and Coveted Consultant
Grow your web design business with new services in 2020 by Flywheel
Share expertise – 1-Hour Content Plan by Meera Kothand (1HCP)
When you want to show off your expertise but have no idea what to write about. After you create your productized services, you’ll need to create useful content that’s linked to your services.
This guide comes with a list of blog post ideas, plus you’ll learn how to create lead magnets and digital products. You can also use this for social media posts by posting tips or snippets from your blog posts.
Improve email marketing – Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss (ISM)
When you want to automatically turn your visitors to subscribers to clients. You’re posting dope content thanks to 1HCP and now it’s time to get those readers on your email list.
You’ll learn how to automate your sales and marketing with the email templates included in this book. You can revamp the templates to match your brand then add it to your email service provider.
Tired of being stuck on how to set up Dubsado or HoneyBook?
Want to know the right things to say to new leads and clients?
Ready to focus on connecting with your audience knowing everything is running smoothly in the backend?
Get instant access to done-for-you templates to help you improve your client experience!
Tools + Resources
- Find clients – Crunchbase, Craigslist, Upwork, Freelancer, LinkedIn, LocalSolo, RemotePanda, Guru, Angel Startups
- Manage clients + projects – HubSpot, Zoho CRM, Bonsai, AND.CO, Dubsado, Honeybook, 17Hats, Salesforce, Streak CRM
- Email Marketing – ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Mailerlite, HubSpot
- Manage behind the scenes – Guide to Improving Your Customer Experience, Get Client Ready: Improve WordPress Website
- Learn from experts – Help Scout, Trello, Zapier, HubSpot, The Balance Small Business, Millo
- Level up skills – Skillshare, Pluralsight, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Alison, Freecodecamp, Aquent
- Get Certified – Hootsuite, Hubspot, Google Digital Garage, Salesforce, AWS Cloud
Follow these folks on Twitter to learn how to make yourself marketable on social:
Pinterest tips – @realchasecurtis and @RichPointofView, Instagram tips – @theashleyfrance, Twitter – @joserosado, Email marketing tips, project management – @NerdNomadMom, Improve your brand + design tips – @iamkarmenk YouTube – @robertoblake, LinkedIn – @Latesha_Byrd, Freelancing – @CMillerTalks
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