Freelancing: 7 Easy Ways Of Hustling Without The Hustle
It's that time of year when you're thinking about your game plan for the next few months. You need to bring in some work but you really don’t want get into the hustling game. It makes you feel uncomfortable, awkward, and… well, salesy.
You’re certain that people will think you’re weird if you give them your business card in a playground. Or their eyes will glaze over when you start raving about the vital importance of Facebook ads at a party.
You're twisted up by second guessing people and the what-if self doubt. So when the inevitable “what do you do?” comes up, you’re not in your top form.
Or worse, it doesn’t come up and you don’t feel confident about steering the conversation there.
What is hustling?
What is hustling after all? The word ‘hustle’ seems to get a bad rap; like being pushy and annoying trying to spruik your services.
It’s hard enough to talk about yourself and your business when you're worried you’re being a pain in the ass too.
It doesn't have to be like that.
Take the Urban Dictionary’s definition. “Hustle: To have the courage, confidence, self belief, and self-determination to go out there and work it out until you find the opportunities you want in life.”
I much prefer that.
If hustling is about self belief and finding opportunities, then that's a much easier pill to swallow.
As well, you don't know what people do and don’t want to hear. What they’re thinking, who they know, and what they find interesting.
So, don’t let those nagging thoughts hamper you. You truly never know when opportunity is going to knock. Or better yet, when you’re going to make opportunities happen.
And here's how to kickstart those opportunities with...
7 Easy Ways Of Hustling Without The Hustle
1. Make the conversation happen
Whether you choose to drop your business into the natural flow of conversation, or from the get go, make it happen.
“Yes, I just moved back into town. I’m a freelance writer working with small businesses on their website content. I’ll give you my card. Let me know if you hear of anyone who might need some help with their site content and SEO.”
See? It’s not that hard. Make it conversational but be direct. You want to let people know that you have a viable skill that can help them.
And the great thing is, once you get the word out there, other people will market you as you want to be seen. "This is Lani. She does freelance writing and SEO for small businesses." Sweet.
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2. Advertise with family and friends
I’m a big believer in using your existing family and friends network to spruik your services.
Okay, so maybe few of them work in your industry, and most have no idea what SEO is. But they know you. And they trust you. And they probably think you’re pretty awesome.
So, tell them you’re looking to get more work and even suggest people or places you know they’re connected to. Then send them off with a gentle push to market your services for you. Isn’t that what family are for?
3. Offer a deal on your Facebook page
Facebook is a great platform for sharing deals and offers. It would also work well on Instagram and perhaps others too.
But Facebook as we know has a wide network - family, friends, friends of friends, and random strangers who are interested in your field.
Put up a post advertising a special deal or a discounted price on a new service. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Simply write a post and add a free image. Or get onto Canva and grab one of their pre-formatted Facebook templates. It took me less than 2 minutes to create this cute Facebook graphic below.
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4. Take advantage of events
Jump aboard the Easter lead up or Christmas in July time of year. This is a great way to send or post an ad about your services. Because it’s a special time of year, people often expect businesses to offer sales.
What this means for your business is that you’re following the train. This is a good thing. You don’t need to feel like you’re out there alone on a branch because lots of other businesses will be doing the same.
At least, that’s what you tell yourself. And if it proves successful, then you’ve got some feedback that your target audience loves a summer sale.
5. Advertise on your email list
Advertising your new services, deals and ideas is one of the top reasons to have an email list. It sounds self motivated but it isn’t. Your email list already forms the biggest part of your target audience. As they hear from you regularly, they (presumably) like and trust you, which makes it a perfect place to pitch.
You don’t have to give them a full on sales pitch either. Test the water for interest.
Even if you’re only putting together the beginnings of an idea or a new service offering, share it with your email list. You might get some interest, clients, or even feedback which can be so valuable.
RELATED POST: Email Lists - What Every Business Owner Needs To Know
6. Advertise on your website
Naturally, you can and should advertise any new services or offerings on your website. But also go beyond your normal services page.
If you’ve got something new to share, then post it on your homepage. Squarespace has a nifty announcement bar that goes across the top of the homepage. It makes new promos and service offerings really easy to advertise.
7. Get onto social media
Social media is a treasure trove of an unadvertised jobs. There's Facebook groups where other freelancers pass on work when they’re overloaded, or people ask for X, Y and Z services. There's to Twitter shoutouts from editors and people searching LinkedIn for particular skills.
Social media is where it’s at for any freelancer.
You don’t need to jump on every platform of course. Pick the ones that you enjoy spending time on or after a while, they’ll just piss you off! Then spend time completing your profile, post interesting content, and engage with people.
On Facebook, go for groups that allow you to post your own site or blog posts at least some of the time. Help people out by answering questions, offering feedback and gaining some trust. Then, when you feel the timing is right, you can post a shoutout for your new service or deal.
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Okay, now tell me that these 7 ways of hustling don’t even feel like work? They’re so easy! But the one thing they have in common is the personal touch. Because after all, don’t we all want to work with a real person?
About the author: Lilani Goonesena is a freelance business communications specialist, based in Canberra. She’s an SEO copywriter and editor, Squarespace web designer, SEO researcher and digital marketing strategist. She writes an awesome Tuesday newsletter helping freelancers to DIY their digital marketing, social media, blogging, web design and "all that online stuff".