Yep, I shamelessly exploit my People Per Hour account for marketing purposes.
I'm not there to hustle for work. I don't waste hours pitching for low paid jobs I stand no chance of getting. And if you're doing those things - STOP. Right now. Because I've got five methods for using People Per Hour as part of your marketing strategy that are all gain and no pain.
Disclaimer: I'm talking about PPH because that's the one I use. This would work on other freelancing sites too.
1. Be Inspired
This is how I began making money online. I spent hours researching on places like PPH, reading about the services other freelancers offered. I kept notes in two columns:
- I can do that right now.
- I could do that with training.
Fresh from a corporate career, in which I had served one company for six years, it was hard to imagine what I could offer other businesses once I'd branched out on my own. This research opened my eyes to what was possible and what people paid for.
If you are just starting out, or looking for new ways to expand your business, an hour or two's research can yield an inspiring list of opportunities.
2. Listen To Your Audience
Look at the jobs that have been posted by businesses seeking to outsource work. Their pain, problems and struggles are written all over them. You can use this information in two ways:
1 - What are the problems that you have the skill set to solve? Learn how to package and sell that and you're in business. I created my business after reading ‘I thought the web designer would write all the copy‘ far too many times.
2 - Create a database of the language your target clients are using, to keep. Use this as inspiration when you create new services, or write copy.
3. Get found
You've created a website to sell your services. Great. Now your dream clients can find you online. In one place. Create a Twitter profile and Facebook page. That's three places, and you've tripled your chances of connecting with your dream client (warning: probability has not been calculated and verified). Take 20 minutes to set up a blurb on LinkedIn and be sure to throw in some keywords. Now you're up to four.
On PPH, you can create a profile and packages called ‘Hourlies' that enable clients to buy your services in bite size chunks. Include keywords in your Hourlies so they are easy to find. Then clients connect with you. Ta-dah, you've been found.
4. Nervous Payers
Sometimes the most painful part of the marketing process is the final hurdle - securing the money. There's a little dance with fees. My client is nervous about paying money upfront, but I don't want to start a project I won't get paid for. PPH has an escrow service. You can ask for any % of the final fee (or the whole amount)to be held in Escrow before you start work. The funds are only released when the client is happy. Everyone's a winner (baby, that's no lie….)
5. Offload Energy Leeching Tasks
Strictly speaking not a marketing tactic, but it's certainly something that can help you grown your business.
If there are tasks that drain you of time and energy because they are a long way out of your Zone Of Genius, ditch them. Find someone you can pay, who thrives on that type of work, so you can pour your power into the work you love. If copywriting is your source of pain, I can help with that. For everything else, consider outsourcing to a freelancer with a good track record and solid reviews.
If there's no particular task getting you down, but you feel there is scope for managing your business in a more practical way, just browsing through the services available may make you think ‘wow, I could offload this crap on to that person'.
You can sign up to People Per Hour here, although I don't think you need an account for information gathering missions.
And if you've found this post witty, helpful, insightful, or any combination of the three, please splatter it all over your social media accounts so that other folks may flock to it.