sept 2015

5 ways to use Pancake app in your freelance business

5 ways to use Pancake app in your freelance business

What is Pancake App? Why use Pancake?

Pancake is online invoicing, project management, time tracking and proposal software for your business. You only pay for it once and then you're done! No monthly payments snapping at your bank balance. 

Pancake app does what Freshbooks, Quickbooks and Wave does- but better. 

I've been using Pancake to invoice my clients for the last two years and even though I've tried a lot of other invoicing systems, they haven't come close to what Pancake can do. 

10 ways freelancers can promote their services

Marketing doesn't have to be sleazy, hard or boring. You don't have to devote lots of time to it. In fact, there are 10 simple ways freelancers can promote their services. Just click on this pin to uncover 10 simple ways freelancers can promote their services.  #Marketing #Freelancers #Business #Small Businesses #Promoting

'Marketing' is a sleazy word.

So is 'promoting'. When we sit down and write 'marketing' on our To Do lists, it rarely gets done, right? Because those words fill us with dread. They literally make us go 'ugh, forget that.'

It's easy to feel that way. I sometimes feel like that, too. But your business will fail if you don't get your act together and start marketing. 

The blog posts you spent hours writing? They'll barely reach anyone if you don't promote them when they're published.

The portfolio you've spent years curating? That will sit gathering dust if you don't drive people to your website.

The services you're trying to sell? Barely anyone will look at them or book your time if you don't get out there and promote what you're selling. 

See where I'm going with this?

Aside from creating amazing products and services that add real value to people's lives, marketing is the next most important thing you need to focus on in your business. Without it, you'll reach far less people than you could. You'll make a lot less money than you could. And you could potentially end up back at your 9-5 job, answering the phone all day or making piles of money for The Man, not yourself. 

You don't want that. I don't want that. So we have to dedicate time to marketing, even if we hate doing it.

Recently in The Shelancers Club, we discussed marketing and discovered that not many of us have solid marketing plans in place. Heck, even I didn't give much thought to marketing in my first two years of business. I just winged it, like many other freelancers. I figured- if I built it, people would come. And people did. But when I implemented a marketing plan and put real effort and time into promoting my services and products, more people came and I made more sales. 

Marketing doesn't have to be sleazy, hard or boring. You don't have to devote lots of time to it. In fact, there are 10 simple ways freelancers can promote their services.  

10 ways freelancers can promote their services

1. Blog posts.

Every one of your blog posts should have a purpose. They should either show off your expertise, sell your products/services, or get people to sign up to your mailing list.


You can subtly link to your products and services within posts, and you can include opt-ins that get readers to subscribe to your mailing list. I offer content upgrades (like the one at the bottom of this post!) where my readers are sent a free bonus when they enter their details. I've found that content upgrades are the best way to build your list and ultimately promote your services in future newsletters!

Related post: Why do you blog?

2. Guest posts.

If you want to grow your audience and get your offerings in front of more people, guest blog for people in similar niches to you. Try and find bloggers with thousands of readers and pitch a guest post to them. They usually won't allow you to overly promote your services throughout the post but they do allow you to add a bio at the end linking to your site. Try linking to your opt-in and your latest product or service! It's much more effective than driving new visitors to your homepage and letting them find their own way to your mailing list or offerings. 

3. Social media.

This is the obvious one but I'm going to mention it anyway. You should be tweeting about your blog posts and services, pinning your blog post graphics, and networking with potential clients in Facebook groups. Most of the clients I've booked this year were from Facebook groups! That's how powerful social media marketing is.

You could try other forms of social media too, like Instagram, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon. But don't waste time on social media platforms that don't bring in new leads. Just focus on 3 social media platforms that work the best for your biz. 

Related post: How to get clients from Facebook groups

4. Webinars.

I haven't done a webinar yet but I'm doing one soon and I can't wait! As well as sharing lots of valuable information in your webinars, you can promote your services and products at the end. Just make sure they're related to what your webinar is about!

It's a proven fact that more people are likely to purchase after a webinar than after receiving a promo emails. In fact, Readytalk recently conducted a survey that showed that 20-40% of webinar attendants turn into leads! That means that almost half of your attendants could become potential customers or clients depending on how your webinars goes.

Join webinars are another great way of promoting your products and services. Team up with someone in another creative field, invite both of your audiences, do a webinar together, then offer a package deal at the end of the webinar that offers your services and your collaborators services at a discounted price. Join webinars like this will get your services in front of a whole new audience!

(If you're enjoying these 10 promotion tips so far, I have 5 MORE bonus tips for you! And they're pretty awesome. Just fill in the form below to get the cheatsheet!)

Find More Clients, the FREE 5-day podcast series!

Sign up to learn the most successful marketing strategies of these five entrepreneurs!

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5. Let your clients do the promoting.

Do such good work for your clients that they can't help but rave about you to all their friends and followers. When they do, you may find that people want to hire you because of the great things they've heard. You're probably wondering how you can get people to rave about you though, right? After all, it must take more than good work?

You're right.

Don't just do good work for them. Give them an amazing client experience. Be the best *insert job title here* they've ever worked with. Go above and beyond what they expect from you. And lastly, don't shy away from outright asking them to refer you to their friends and followers. 

Related post: How to get referrals from your clients

6. Give stuff away for free.

Everyone loves free stuff. When you give away free guides, worksheets, webinars, podcasts, eBooks and courses, it pulls people deeper into your sales funnel and closer to buying from you. It also builds trust in your potential clients and customers.

If you want them to trust you enough to invest thousands of dollars in you, you have to prove to them that you're worth it and that you know what you're talking about. Why should they give you their money, instead of someone else in your field? You can prove you're an expert in the free stuff you give them, and promote your products and services in freebies too.

7. Tell people about your services.

You can't just put up a website and expect people to look at your services and get in touch with you. Sure, some will. But not everyone. You have to tell people in blog posts, newsletters and social media that you're available to hire. I booked one of my most loyal clients through simply tweeting her and telling her about my design services!

8. Create affordable products.

Before people give you their hard-earned cash in exchange for your knowledge, they like to know that you know what you're talking about- that you're an expert. You can show them you do by creating affordable books and courses on your expert topic. 

For example, if you're a website designer you could create a $20 eBook on website design. A potential client could come along, hesitate about hiring you for thousands of dollars but see your $20 eBook and buy it. After reading it and experiencing just how knowledgeable you are, it could help them make up their mind to hire you! See where I'm going with this?

9. Start doing Periscope broadcasts.

I've become addicted to Periscope. It's the BEST social media platform for your business because it allows your followers and potential clients to get close to you and get to know you.

For those of you who don't know, Periscope is a social media platform that allows you to live stream videos to your followers. While you're talking, your followers can interact with you and ask questions, kinda like mini webinars.

I've found that creating Periscope broadcasts has drawn me closer to my followers and it's doing wonders for my business. It may feel really scary doing your first scope but it's worth it! Little tip though: You can promote your services and products on Periscope (of course!) but don't overdo it. Your main priority should be providing people with lots of value. When you do that, people will want to look you up and invest in you.

(If you'd like to follow me on Periscope, you'll find me @neshadesigns. Leave your Periscope handle in a comment for me to follow back!)

10. Get purposeful with your marketing.

You may not realize it but most people go through a sales funnel before purchasing your higher-priced services and products. First they get hooked on your free content (blog posts and social media updates) then they commit to more of your free content (webinars and newsletters), then they buy affordable products like $20 eBooks, THEN they invest in your higher priced services.

Do you have a sales funnel in place? If not, maybe you should think about creating one. Like I mentioned earlier, we have a really simple sales funnel template in The Shelancers Club that could help. 

Free bonus! 'Find More Clients', my 5-day podcast series

Find More Clients, the FREE 5-day podcast series!

Sign up to learn the most successful marketing strategies of these five entrepreneurs!

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