When you first start a freelance business, there are a lot of things that you must figure out. You need to know who you’ll serve and what you’ll do for them, for starters. But, once you figure that out, you’ll need to find your audience so that you can market your solution to them. If you wait for them to find you, no matter how good your SEO is, you’ll be waiting forever. You have to go where they are. So, do you know how to figure out where they are?
Get Clear on Who You Want to Work With
Research everything you can about your audience so that you know as much about them as you can. You need to know what keeps them up at night, and what their hopes and dreams are. Plus, you need to know what publications they read, where they read them, and what groups they participate in online – as well as whether you want to work with local people, offline. By doing this research you’re going to discover what they want and need, and exactly how to put it together.
Conduct a Twitter Search
Use Twitter to research certain keywords to find people talking about your subject matter. Once you find these people, you should be able to locate them on Facebook, Google Plus, and other forums. When you figure that out, you will likely find out exactly where they are hanging out. Once you know, you can then join those groups and message boards to do even more research.
Conduct a Reddit Search
Reddit is a great source of information almost any topic. You can start with posting a question that will attract your audience to you. Now that you know more about them from your Twitter search, you should be able to come up with a question. When people answer your question you can conduct more research on the people answering, to find out where they hang out too. Then you’ll have even more places to check out.
Study Your Competition
There are likely blogs that are your competition. Study these blogs; look at the responses to their blog posts, and find out about any groups that the blogger mentions. You can even pitch guest post ideas to the competition. That will give you a bio box which will cause their audience to click through to find you, or at least start seeing you as part of their community.
Collect a List
As you conduct your research, you’re going to notice certain names appear everywhere. These are the popular people within your niche. You want to make a list of these people so that you can follow them on each social media account and observe where they go, what they say, and how people respond to them. You want to follow all the movers and shakers within your niche not because they’ll hire you, but because the people who follow them may hire you.