How creative freelancers can find work without an audience

During a time when work, if not deemed essential, is pretty much at a standstill – how can you continue to develop, make money, and increase brand awareness? Freelance entertainment specialist Jamie Body shares his ideas.

If you are in the creative or entertainment industries, you may have lost your audience, but you still have your creativity and ability to entertain and inspire.

A lot of creatives overlook that they are a product, and like all products, they will do better in some markets than others. They will also need to clearly show what they have to offer, and potentially learn and reveal new features/services to secure the work they want.

Now is the best time to invest in yourself, build brand awareness, nurture your audience, and set things into motion for when the industry gets back on its feet.

Here are several ways to increase your brand awareness, solidify your skills, and improve your online presence during these uncertain times.

1. Take stock

Now is the time to take a step back, assess your skills and see what you are good at, what makes you money and what makes you happy. By establishing what you have to offer, and what you enjoy doing, you will be able to fine tune your client base during this new work landscape and figure out who is buying what you have to sell.

Your talents and your skills are what secure you the job, but you need to get out there and be seen by the people you want to be seen by. There is no point in having an amazing product which is packaged incorrectly and therefore the wrong people see it.

Here are a few questions you can start with:

  •  What do you have to offer that can make you money? Make a list. This should highlight what you are good at and what you enjoy. This will in turn also highlight the services you don't offer and what you don't enjoy doing. This is the time to add more of what you love and less of what you don't.
  • How can these in-person skills make you money online?

While you can’t physically go to work, what aspects of you and your brand could secure you work in real life? Do they clearly translate online?

  • You need to create different touchpoints.

If you are a writer, your ultimate and best-paying goal is to have your work published, but you can also make money teaching, sub-editing, or ghost-writing. Don’t take yourself out of the running by being a one trick one price pony

If no one is buying your product right now, do you need to sell a different skill or offer a different service?

2. Online vs offline

Having looked at your list of skills, do you advertise these well online?

Here are some ways you can use this time to increase your online brand awareness:

  • Update your website to list the skills you highlighted in part one, with recent examples of work, lots of photos and visual aids, and an easy way to contact you.
  • Make sure your social media bio clearly shows what you have to offer and has a clickable link to your website or portfolio.
  • Consider SEO and where you sit on Google. Make sure you highlight your skills and that your website is a true reflection of what you do.
  • Make your online presence personable. In a time when we can only really function online, are you selling the best you? Think about the brands you like and why you buy into them. Personality and personability sell.

3. Defining your audience

Knowing what you have to offer and having a clear online presence that matches your offline presence should help you to secure you work, but who is buying?

To work this out, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What problem do you solve for an individual or a company/brand?
  • What type of people or company suffer from the problem you solve?
  • Who are your competitors and how do you stand out from them?

Break your ideal client down to their demographic, location, income, in as specific detail as you can. This will help you to understand how you can package yourself to be seen by them, and highlight any current clients who have problems that you can solve.

Take the above and turn it into cash

You have assessed what you have to offer, making sure it is clear online and that there is no disconnect between the offline and online you, now how can you make money online?

When creating your touchpoints or price points with your skills, you may now have an idea of what is workable online. There are still people buying online, you just need to tread more carefully during this time and find the people that really need your services.

  • Online classes and consultations. Whether it's Zoom, Skype or on Google Meet, people want to use their time to learn new skills or finish projects they keep putting off. Offer coaching, consultations with price points for 30/60/90-minute options or a free 10-minute phone consultation to generate warm leads. You can pre-record a masterclass or do it live, offer a downloadable pdf booklet (easily created in Canva or with Adobe software) and sell that as a one-off or pitch to be a guest on someone else’s course or a guest speaker/columnist.
  • Freelance sites. There are some great sites such as Upwork, Fiverr and People Per Hour where not only can you pitch for work, you can house your own online portfolio where people can contact you.
  • Recording and filming at home. Do you have video or audio equipment at home? Voice over and presenter agents are looking for individuals with the ability to record at home for clients.

Now is the time to look at your business model and personal brand. Make sure you are positioning yourself correctly in your avenue of freelancing to attract the clients you want.

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