March 10th, 2010 by Alex Mathers
Promoting our products and services can be a time consuming and daunting task. A lot of us get tangled up in online self promotion without realising the value in collaboration more often with other people through the web. It can be a wise way to expand your network, pool resources and save time, money and work.
The internet has opened up a range of exciting possibilities for gaining value through mutually beneficial arrangements or simply interacting with others in promoting your work effectively and ultimately landing more clients.
Here are eight ways you can do this:
1. Joint Blogs/Sites
Getting a blog or simple website out there that you can use to showcase your work, build credibility in your field, promote yourself, and simply express your interests, is an important element in one’s online self-promotional strategy.
A successful blog requires regular and outstanding content to be in for a chance of attracting many visitors. Particularly for those lacking in time, it is worth considering setting up a site with one or more suitable other people. With others working on the same platform, it is now possible to build up posts quicker, combine skills and resources, and promote everyone’s work through a single site.
Some freelancers might even want to consider using a joint site as a platform to promote the combined skills of several people as a business, as opposed to promoting individual freelancers.
2. Contacts on Social Media Sites
Social media allows people to build up substantial networks of people who we’d want to know about our work. With sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, it has become possible to link up with potential clients, fans, as well as key influencers and even celebrities in your industry. It’s best to add new people to these networks with appropriate personal messages.
What is extremely powerful with being connected to people who are well connected themselves, is that you are effectively ‘piggybacking’ on their networks whenever they are linked to something of yours. For example, on Facebook, if someone with connections joins your page, all their contacts will be aware of this in their newsfeeds. Linked up with key people, you can keep them in the loop with whatever you are working on, which will benefit your online visibility.
3. Content Exchanging
Getting material on someone else’s website can be a great way of having fresh new people seeing your name on the internet. You can agree to put an article or a guest post on another site in return for content for your own, or even agree to swap decent comments with someone else with a site or blog relating to yours.
One underused method of enhancing your validity online as a freelancer is to request a review/testimonial swap with someone. These can be placed visibly on your site, is mutually beneficial, and adds real value to the services etc you offer.
4. Joint Interviews
Find someone in your industry to interview in return for them interviewing yourself. Interview each other, either in written, audio or video format and upload to each other’s blogs or elsewhere. Include each other’s links at the bottom of and incorporated into interviews.
Appearing as an interviewee on another, ideally popular website, is an excellent self promotional method because, apart from appearing a separate site, an interview is a great endorsement of you and will add value to you as a professional.
5. List Promotion
If you send out a newsletter to a mailing list that you’ve built up, you can use this to promote other people and get your name on other lists. Having a feature, link, article about you on someone else’s newsletter is possible through polite asking. However, it’s even more possible through agreeing with relevant people who have mailing lists to swap content like articles or even simply a link in a newsletter so that you and your work get seen by a new and targeted audience.
6. Joint Products
By ‘products’ I mean both physical products such as giclee prints, and non-physical, like information products or audio downloads. Creating products like ebooks are one way of gaining exposure, especially if it is something that will spread through people are sharing it with others.
Obviously, sharing the knowledge, skills and work load with one or more partners is an excellent way of getting a high quality product together faster and to each collaborator’s already established contacts. You might also consider making products to give away for free for the promotional value within them.
7. Exchanging Links
A straightforward but useful promotional tactic is in agreeing to place a link on your site to someone’s work who has done the same for you on their site. People do click on links featured on or recommended by sites and by having many of your web links on key sites around the web, this will benefit your exposure.
8. Working with Others on Collaborated Projects
These can be paid projects, but it is also an option to create an interesting, self initiated project with others that you can add to your portfolio. Pooling skill and talent in this way will lead to high quality projects that will greatly boost the value of your personal portfolio and support your self-marketing efforts.
Really aim for a piece of work that is remarkable as you make use of the benefit of combining talents with others. The ideal partner to collaborate with is obviously someone who is well known in the first place, so that you can ‘piggy-back’ on their success and promote via the contacts they have as well.
About the Author
Alex Mathers is an illustrator, designer and writer for his site, Red Lemon Club, which focuses on online self promotion methods for creative professionals. He also runs a blog, Ape on the Moon, which showcases the best in contemporary illustration styles and techniques. Connect with him via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.