How to Use the Power of Inbound Marketing to Get High-Paying Clients
To attract high-paying clients, you need to go beyond just showing your best work samples.
You need to showcase unquestionable expertise and solid work ethics in the industry you serve.
More importantly, you need to do it in a compelling, accessible, and memorable way.
This is where inbound marketing steps in.
Inbound marketing tips for freelancers
The goal of inbound marketing is simple: make leads come to you of their own accord.
It sounds like a tall order, especially for freelancers who are yet to land their first regular, high-paying client. But with the right inbound marketing strategies, it’s only a matter of time before this vision turns into reality.
Here are the top seven inbound marketing tips that will help you win big-fish freelance clients:
1. Start with audience research
Inbound marketing—just like all other types of marketing—starts with audience research.
Build your marketing plan by identifying your ideal client and understanding their pain points, content preferences, and goals.
If you’ve done a handful of projects in the past, you should already have an idea of who to target. Otherwise, you can use the following audience research techniques to identify your ideal prospects:
- Look at freelance job listings: Who are posting projects you’re comfortable with? What do they do for a living and what are they trying to accomplish?
- Read industry reports: Look for relevant industry reports to find out in-depth information in your market. What are the top challenges in your industry, what solutions are already tested, and are there any demographic data included?
- Create audience personas: Use a tool like HubSpot’s Make My Persona to create a visual guide on your target audience. Include accurate details such as their job responsibilities, organization size, and industry.
You can also gather data on your target audience using analytics and user insights software.
We’ll get to content and user analytics later. For now, use your audience personas to optimize the following steps.
2. Invest in a portfolio website
With your audience personas in hand, you should now have an idea of what they need to see before choosing to hire someone.
Use that information to create a portfolio website with content that will speed up their decision-making process.
For example, if your ideal client is searching for freelance graphic designers that specialize in marketing content, showcase relevant work samples like eBooks, white papers, and infographics.
Create categories according to niche and project type to help multiple audience personas find the right samples.
Of course, there’s also the task of building your actual portfolio website.
You can get it done in less than a day with a content management system like WordPress.
Even the cheapest hosting options that only cost around $5 per month come with free, one-click WordPress installation tools. You may also choose from thousands of free portfolio website themes from the built-in library.
Here are a few tips to help you create an eye-popping portfolio website:
- Highlight your best work
- Include an “About Me” page that shares your background and experience
- Keep it simple to make important elements easy to find
- Use PageSpeed Insights for actionable tips on improving loading speed
3. Develop a content strategy
An effective content strategy puts the “inbound” in inbound marketing.
Sure, a stunning portfolio website will help turn visitors into clients. But without high-quality content, it’s nigh impossible to get potential clients to check out your site by themselves.
If you’re a freelance content creator, you should have no problems understanding how to write compelling content that will garner an audience. If you’re in another space, here are five content writing tips to remember:
- Conduct keyword research: Use tools like AnswerThePublic and Ubersuggest to find keyword opportunities and come up with in-demand content ideas.
- Prioritize readability: Use simple words and short, easy-to-understand sentences.
- Incorporate visual content: Insert data visualizations, screenshots with annotations, and other types of informative visual content.
- Measure results: Establish the use of content analytics to identify strategies that work and refine your content strategy over time.
- Use competitor research: Analyze your top competitors to obtain ideas like the ideal word count, subtopics to cover, and target keywords.
For creative freelancers who don’t specialize in English, a more effective alternative is to outsource SEO content creation.
Depending on your budget, you can work with other individual contractors for content-related tasks on-demand. This is a much more cost-effective and efficient method than writing website content yourself or building an in-house team of content creators.
4. Plan your content publishing strategy
A content publishing strategy aims to maximize the reach of your content through proven promotion tactics.
For freelancers, LinkedIn is the most lucrative social media network for finding high-quality freelance clients. The platform is filled with CEOs, entrepreneurs, marketers, and other professionals who may need someone with your skillset.
On LinkedIn, you can:
- Syndicate content from your own website to widen your reach
- Showcase work samples that are featured on other websites
- Highlight your educational attainment and accomplishments
- Share your work history
Other social media platforms are also packed with features that can help you reach prospective clients.
Instagram and TikTok, for example, let you take advantage of short-form videos to build your online presence and connect with a wider audience. These platforms also include tools that will help you engage users, make your content more discoverable, and grow a following.
Some examples are TikTok “challenges” and popular Instagram Reels hashtags By using or participating in these trends, you can easily publish content that’s discoverable to users who plan to use the same video customizations.
5. Use project management tools
Sometimes, freelancers lose clients not because they failed to make a strong first impression on prospects. More often than not, prospects lose faith in the productivity and transparency that contractors and agencies can provide.
A project management system can address these concerns.
An all-around project management system is a selling point that will help you capture the attention of high-value prospects.
Project management platforms like Wrike help enhance your productivity with task planning, management, and tracking tools, like Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and automated workflows.
Other alternatives to Wrike, like Trello and ClickUp, let you share your boards with clients to streamline collaboration. You can share files, generate visual reports, specify task due dates, and more.
Landing high-paying clients is a whole different beast than hunting for freelancing gigs.
With the strategies above, you can elevate your freelance brand’s authority, prove your expertise, and show prospects that you’re well-equipped for the job. These are the qualities that big-budget prospects are looking for when hiring freelancers.