I was cleaning up my Google Drive and found a doc that attempted to answer this question:
What are your best tips for freelancers/small business owners starting their first marketing strategy?
If I remember correctly, I was asked to contribute my answers to a roundup article.
For whatever reason (I can’t remember) my answers were never used. So this document’s future looked like an eternity sat on my drive gathering dust.
6 Marketing Strategy Tips
I decided to take my original answers, expand them a little bit and post them below
I don’t think there’s anything profound in here, but you might find something useful.
1. What has been the best thing you’ve done to market your business?
Being active on Twitter. Simply by sharing behind the scenes look at what I am doing day-to-day in my business, trying to share useful insights and answering any questions.
Obviously, you also need to be pretty good at what you do.
Business 101 for solo operators:
* be helpful + useful
* communicate communicate communicate
* make people more money than you cost OR save them time
* don’t be a dick
— Jake (@jsvxc) March 24, 2022
2. What does your marketing plan look like? How formal is it?
It’s pretty informal.
I will jot down ideas in a notebook or on my phone. Then each morning, I will spend 30 minutes whilst having my coffee (and waking up) turning those scribbled notes into Tweets. I’ll then schedule them to go publish throughout the day.
I’ll also create loads of rough drafts if inspiration hits, then come back and edit them (because most of the time, the initial idea is a turd that needs polishing).
If I’m feeling particularly inspired, I can get a full weeks worth of Tweets written and scheduled in one session like this. Sometimes I’ll just manage a few.
Either way, I don’t sweat it. I just try to get 1 – 3 interesting and/or useful Tweets posted each day.
If I can’t think of anything worthwhile to share, I don’t.
And sometimes, I disregard that process all together and just tweet stuff as it pops into my head.
IMHO, Twitter is for humans and humans are weird and inconsistent and creative and inspiring and annoying and brilliant and did I say weird?
Too much structure here is like scripting out a conversation before you have it with friends. It’s unnatural and not how humans interact best.
(I totally sound very old and anti-tech here and I am not. Robots/automation/tech is cool. People being people is cooler.)
3. What tools do you use to create and manage your marketing strategy?
I’m not going to go into the SEO tools I use here. This is purely the stack I use to ‘market‘ myself:
- The native Twitter app (+ built-in scheduler for single tweets)
- Typefully for scheduling threads
- Bear.app to keep notes in one place
- Snagit to take screenshots (+ make the occasional meme)
4. How do you decide how much time to spend on marketing your business?
The best answer I can give here is this:
5. What pitfalls have you encountered while marketing your business?
Generating more work than I can handle!
It’s a good problem to have, running a business solo is great, but sometimes you just have to turn down work because there are not enough hours in the day.
The problem with ‘learning by doing’ is that if you aren’t doing, you feel like you aren’t learning.
(this is aimed at myself)
— Jake (@jsvxc) February 16, 2022
6. Do you have any hacks/quick tips for freelancers starting their marketing strategy?
The secret to growing a social channel is, well… being social.
- Reply when people ask a question
- Share useful/interesting stuff
- Treat people the same (whether a CEO, beginner, 9 to 5er, consultant etc)
- Share mistakes + things you don’t know
- If it becomes a chore, stop.