Top Ten Ways to Create a Freelancing Empire

Top Ten Ways to Create a Freelancing Empire by Shama Hyder of After The

Sure, you are great at what you do, but have you ever considered building a freelancing empire around your skill set? If you have ever had a Pinky and The Brain moment about your services, read on.

  1. Set yourself as the Go-To Guy or Gal in a Specific Industry- It is very tempting as a freelancer to offer your services to everyone you meet, but this method will bring you scattered results. However, if you hone in on a certain industry, you can really create a name for yourself. This doesn't mean that you only work with that niche, but that does become your primary target market. For example, let's say you choose to do web design for law firms. Now you can focus on that specific target market of attorneys. You can build a name for yourself within that group. Does this restrict you to only working for law firms? No, of course not. But it does help you create a name for yourself in a certain industry and reap the benefits of a strong reputation.

  2. Network Outside of your Regular Group - If you only hang out with fellow freelancers, you won't get very far in terms of building your empire. It is necessary to spend time with colleagues, but you won't always get more business that way. If you really want to brand yourself and get more clients, you have to network outside of your regular group.

  3. Always Ask for Testimonials- What do all the top dogs have in common? They have built up one heck of a reputation. And you can too. Always ask for a testimonial for work well done. It doesn't matter if you don't need them at the moment or don't have a place to display them. If they liked your work, get it in writing. Just collect them for future reference. You never know when they might come in handy.

  4. Always Ask for Referrals-If you do a good job on a project for a client, always ask if they know others who could use your services. I am shocked at how many freelancers don't do this. Don't assume that your clients don't talk to others about your work. Most people love to brag about a job well done. Be sure to make it clear to them that you appreciate referrals and would love to be of service to their friends and associates.

  5. Build a Relationship with Clients- Let's say you bid on a project and win it. The client provides the details, and you do a fabulous job for them. They pay and you move on to the next client...UNLESS, they pay and you keep in touch with them. Every now and then send them an email, and see how that project you did for them is working out. Do they need anything else? If so, you would love to work with them again. Did you mention that you just got married? And did they have a good Thanksgiving? Build a relationship with your clients. Keep in touch and communicate. Let them see you as more than a just a freelancer. If they start seeing you as a friend, the chances of you receiving future work and more referrals skyrockets.

  6. Create a Marketing Plan- If you want to build a freelancing empire; people have to know about you. So, spend time marketing your services. And I don't just mean having an elevator pitch ready when someone asks you what you do. You should have a full fledge marketing plan in place. What mediums (online and offline) will you use to market your services? How much time and money will you spend with each medium? How will you check to see if the marketing efforts are providing you with a good return on investment?

  7. Think of it in TERMS of a BUSINESS- So many freelancers consider themselves artists-and rightly so. But more than that, they are also in the business of providing a service. If you think of freelancing as one job or project after another-you start thinking short term. It is easy to forget that your services are actually a part of your business! The life of each job ends when you get paid and a new job or project begins. In order to create a freelancing empire, you have to see the separate jobs as a series of projects that are all connected. You are not just a freelancer, but a business owner who freelances.

  8. Seek out Mentors AND Mentees- You may think mentors are strictly for corporate cubicle workers who want to move up the ladder, and not for a freelancer like yourself. But you must seek out mentors if you want to create a freelancing empire. These mentors don't have to be freelancers themselves, but just seasoned business owners who you can learn from. On the same token, become a mentor yourself. There are plenty of young freelancers out there who could use someone to teach them the tricks of the trade. A big part of building a freelancing empire is giving back to the community. You can start here!

  9. Have a Website/Portfolio and Constantly Update It- You do good work,-display it! I hesitate to tell you the number of "serious" freelancers I have met, who don't have a website or portfolio. And many of those who do have a portfolio never bother to update it. It is not exactly confidence inspiring in a client when the last piece in your portfolio is dated 2000, and is an ad for Y2K.

  10. Get Good with Numbers- You may hate math (and I did for a long time), but there is no getting around this one. You have to get comfortable with numbers if you plan on building your business empire. At the least, know your costs, your revenues, and your profit margin. I really love Win Web's free accounting software that is especially designed for freelancers and small business owners. You can check it out at

Here is to you and the start of your freelancing empire!

Shama Hyder is an expert marketing consultant to independent professionals and professional service firms around the world. As the founder of After The Launch, Shama serves clients through her one-on-one consulting work, and through her company's several online and offline marketing services.

You can get her free report "101 Ways to Market Your Business" at


Note: This artcile has been published by taking prior permission from original author - Shama Hyder of

Article published on this blog by Afzal Khan - Internet Marketing & SEO/SEM Professional of

Top 10 Ways to Use Facebook to Promote your Business for Free by Shama Hyder

Top 10 Ways to Use Facebook to Promote your Business for Free

There are plenty of social media platforms that you can participate in today, and they all have their pros and cons. The best way to choose a platform to participate in is to look at the people that hang out there. In my opinion, Facebook is one of the best platforms for networking-both personally and professionally. I also use Linked In and Twitter. Linked In is nice for having a more or less static professional profile online. Twitter is good for "blasting" bits and pieces of news to friends and clients. The one social networking group I am not part of is MySpace. Privacy controls are more lax at MySpace than I prefer. Of all the social networks, Facebook is the real gem when it comes to all-round marketing and networking.

I have been using Facebook for the past two years, and it is an excellent marketing tool. Here are 10 ways you can use Facebook to promote your business for FREE!

1. Create an Excellent Profile- This is THE first step in utilizing Facebook efficiently. If you think of Facebook in terms of a marketing campaign, your profile page can be considered your "brand." Here is my profile. A strong profile should include: a professional picture (please resist the urge to put up pictures of yourself in this year’s Halloween costume-unless of course that is part of your brand), your contact information, your website address, and your personal interests. You don’t have to list out all your personal interests-you can stick to listing just you professional interests if you prefer.

2. Add Friends- This is what makes Facebook really special-the relationships it allows you to build and sustain. The more friends you have, the more affective your marketing and networking efforts will be. The most simple way to add friends is to use Facebook’s own tools to search for current friends already using the platform. Once you have added all current friends, you can start adding acquaintances. One unique feature of Facebook is that is allows you to look at friends of friends. You can build up a huge network this way in no time.

3. Join Groups- You can join online groups within Facebook that are related to what you do. There are groups for consultants, coaches, and trainers…almost all professional service providers have some type of an online group. I am part of many marketing groups and have made quite a few contacts that way. So, find a few groups that suit your tastes and get to mingling!

4. Create your Own Group- Can’t find a group that really fits your style-create your own! You can add members, publish articles, carry on discussions, and probably meet quite a few prospects.

5. List your Events- Hosting a Teleseminar or speaking somewhere? Create an events page and invite all those you want. You can even see how many RSVP and get feedback from attendees. Marketing doesn’t get easier (or cheaper!) than this.

6. Syndicate your Blog- You can syndicate your blog on your profile page. This basically means that every time you make a post, it will automatically show up on your profile page. More Exposure = More Readers = More Potential Leads.

7. Reach OUT! – Are you a fan or admirer of someone’s work? Reach out to them on Facebook! Many colleagues of mine check their Facebook messages more regularly than their email. They are also more likely to respond to Facebook messages. Don’t feel comfortable sending out a message to someone you don’t know? No worries! Leave them a “I enjoy your work!” blurb on their wall. (All profiles come with “virtual walls” where friends and acquaintances can leave comments.)

8. Send Virtual Gifts- Want to show your appreciation for someone? Send them a virtual gift. You can choose from a bunch of balloons to a potted plant that actually sits on the recipient’s profile and grows over time (my favorite).

9. Use the Marketplace- Facebook has an online marketplace that allows you to list your services and products for free. This is a great way to gain exposure. You can also list certain things you are looking for. I often find some great books through the Marketplace.

10. Create a Community- Perhaps Facebook’s greatest benefit is that it allows you to create a community. It provides you a group of people who are constantly connected to you, and are open to hearing your message. Write on people’s walls, respond to their comments, and introduce them to each other. So…start building your brand and leveraging social media networks for marketing!

By Shama Hyder of
Email us at Shama [at]

Shama Hyder is an expert marketing consultant to independent professionals and professional service firms around the world. As the founder of After The Launch, Shama serves clients through her one-on-one consulting work, and through her company’s several online and offline marketing services.

You can get her free report “101 Ways to Market Your Business” at
Note: This article has been published by taking prior permission from the Author Shama Hyder. Posted on this blog by Afzal Khan.