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Be Your Own Marketing Department: How to Market Yourself for Independent Contractor Work


When you first start freelancing or stop working with a client you landed by luck, it can be difficult to know how to market yourself effectively.

What’s worse is that the uncertainty of freelancing can also make you feel like you aren’t making any progress at all or that financing will be tough.

The good news is that there are actually very specific steps you can take that will increase your chances of success. It just takes some time and the ability to keep learning and pushing yourself.

Read on to learn some of the most vital techniques for landing contract work.

How to Market Yourself: Learn the Buzz Words

Many companies have their own internal recruitment team dedicated to scouring the internet for potential contractors and freelancers. From janitorial work to consulting, every job can have contracting opportunities.

Of course, these people aren’t going to magically find your resume or profile. Often, they’ll just look through the people that appear in their searches first and contact the best out of that group.

Even if you have the better experience and would be better suited for the role, if you aren’t appearing in those searches then you’ll never get contacted.

That’s why the most important thing you can do is learn what search terms people are using when they are hiring for the role you want.

For example, a copywriter should use phrases like content marketing, email marketing, social media, SEO, etc. 

To find these words, look at job postings online that have the job title you want and begin writing down the words and phrases that you see repeatedly. 

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Once you have the right words, it’s time to change your resume.

Fix Your Resume. Now Fix it Again.

Chances are your resume needed updating anyway but working in the buzzwords will likely mean it needs to be completely redone for them fit in naturally.

And don’t worry if you struggle to do this, there are ways beyond your job description to get them in. Try putting together a ‘Skills’ section where you can list all the buzzwords that didn’t fit into the main text. 

You should also look online at different resume styles and see if there is something more professional and sleeker that you can use. 

Once you have fixed your resume, send it to friends or people whose opinion you respect for their feedback and advice.

Curate Your Online Presence

What happens when someone Google’s your name and profession? What does an outsider see if they find your Facebook, Twitter, or even your YouTube profile?

It is essential your privacy settings are managed to ensure that people only see the information you want them to. And don’t block everything, it actually can come across as suspicious. Instead, let them see just enough to get a glimpse of who you are and what you look like. 

Most importantly as well, update your LinkedIn, Upwork, and any other professional/freelance sites you are on.

Just like with your resume, the more buzzwords and tailored information you put on there, the more likely you will appear at the top of search results. 

Even things like your profile photos should be up to date and professional. 

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Be Patient

Freelancing is an interesting and challenging pursuit. It’s not as stable, but you get to work on more things, work with more companies, and become better at what you do.

Knowing how to market yourself to land new work can be hard and sometimes even take months. The important thing is to be patient and proactive. Reach out to recruiters and companies, attend networking events, let people know what your skills are and that you are available.

You never know, one day that person you met five months ago could reach out with the opportunity of a lifetime.

Read our other articles for advice on topics like promoting yourself on social media and more.