It's harder, as a freelancer, to get clients when they don't know where to find you.
As a freelancer, your livelihood depends on people being able to find you. If you want a wider base, this means that you need to go online, setting up a home on the Web. A profile on one of the many freelancing web sites is not enough. You really do need a place you can call your own.
Professional Web Site
Creating a professional Web site is a good place to start. I have a Web site at MirandaMarquit.com. It's really simple, and not very dynamic. Honestly, it could probably be better. And it needs to be updated. But it contains my resume, links to some of my work, and the services I offer. It's a place I can direct people interested in seeing an overview of what I do.
A Web site that connects people to samples of your work, as well as your credentials, is important. Can you think of the last time you were asked to send in a paper copy of a resume? Or even a resume as an attachment? It doesn't happen all that often anymore.
Of course, I put my Web site up ages ago, when I first started freelancing and I had no idea what a “blog” was. So I don't have a blog attached to it. But there are others who combine their blogs with their professional offerings. Vered at MomGrind offers her services, and testimonials, on her blog. If you look to the right, you can see that she offers different services. People can read her blog, and, if they like what they read, they can hire her as a social media consultant or as a writer.
Your Own Blog
A home on the Web can also include your own blog. For the longest time, I didn't have my own personal finance blog — even though I wrote about finances for a number of Web sites. For awhile, I had a blog with b5 Media, but I didn't own it. My longest running financial blogging gig, AllBusiness.com, offered me a place to direct people who were interested in my “personal” financial blog. However, I didn't own that blog, either, and when AB recently let independent bloggers go, I wouldn't have had any PF place to call my own if I hadn't started Planting Money Seeds a few months ago.
Creating your own blog can be a great way to highlight an area of special expertise, as well as bring more traffic. It's your home on the Web — a place you can make your own and showcase your talent. I'm glad I started this blog; it's mine, so I'm not at the mercy of being shut down when a client decides to go another direction.
Social Media Profiles
You should also consider social media profiles. A number of people have personal pages on Google + and Facebook, and separate business pages. I don't have separate profiles, although Planting Money Seeds has its own Facebook page. Many freelancers, though, like the idea of keeping things separate. A social media profile or two is important, though. Think about where your audience is likely to hang out. Facebook, Google +, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Pinterest are all possibilities. You might even need multiple social media profiles. Just make sure you are consistent across social media profiles, and that you are easy to recognize.
It's also a good idea to join social bookmarking web sites. I'm not a huge fan of social media, but I know how important it is. Look for sites in your niche, whatever that niche is. Submit to those sites, and you will not only find more backlinks to your blog, but you are also more likely to be noticed by potential clients.
Stake your claim in cyberspace. Potential clients will be able to check you out, see your credentials, and determine whether or not you are a good fit. Coordinate your efforts between your blog and your social media efforts, and, hopefully, clients will start finding you — without the need for you to constantly go looking for them.