It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get started with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) if you haven’t already.
There are many ways to market as a freelancer but local marketing may be the answer if you’re finding it hard to find specific work in a sea of freelance marketing.
Marketing as a freelancer comes with many risks from bidding against multiple people for the same job to working for clients in countries with lower overheads, which can push down costs. The best solution to mitigate these risks is to put your eggs in different baskets.
How to begin local marketing:
The first thing to do is decide what you’d like to be known for (i.e filter your niche). This keeps your website focused, and makes it easy for Google (and humans) to understand what your site is about.
Think about how people search for your solution. If they are looking for a local service, they’ll probably add a location modifier to their search.
If you aren’t sure which word works best, use a keyword tool and do some research. You want keywords that have good search volume, but aren’t too competitive.
It is worth noting that you should keep an eye on how your NAP is listed on your website. Is it consistent everywhere? Sometimes small details like “Ltd” or brackets in the phone number can confuse search engines. So make sure you use your contact information the exact same as on your website when you register on other sites, like Google My Business.
When you register for Google My Business then you’ll be on the map (literally – Google maps). And you’ll have a good chance of being shown in the “local 3 pack.” Which is a great way to get discovered by clients.
Given that Google My Business is free, it’s a wonder that more businesses don’t use it. But sadly, many companies don’t make the effort. Depending on the size of your town or city you may find you’re the only company in your niche to claim a Google My Business listing.
It is also worth registering in some online directories. When you sign up, make sure you use the exact same contact details as on your website.
You don’t need to sign up for a huge number of directories. Four to six will establish your online presence. Try to focus on directories that are specific to your niche, or directories related to your geography. For example, a listing in the local chamber of commerce for your niche works very well.
Some larger directories to consider include:
- Yelp; HotFrog; YellowPages; Google My Business.
The local SEO steps listed above cost nothing and take little to no effort. That’s what makes them so powerful. For a very small time investment you can find yourself consistently at the top of Google for your niche.
And just as importantly, you’ll eventually establish yourself as a leader in your niche in your community. When you do that, other local opportunities will begin to open up to you, too.