Updated: Sep 25, 2019
Are you a freelancer screaming "HEY - LOOK AT ME!", but feel like either nobody is listening or simply can't hear you at all? Well, you're not alone. Many freelancers often feel like they are shouting their services and products from the rooftops, but struggle to find ways to drive traffic back to their website and increase their organic growth to rank on Google's coveted first page. Unfortunately, if I'm a Paralegal freelancer, I'm probably not well-versed in lingo like bounce rate, conversion rate, SEO, PPC, etc. While we'd often like to leave those things up to the pros, the reality is that a lot of freelancers simply do not have the marketing budget to leave it up to the pros. If you're that freelancer, keep reading.
We often read that keyword research is "key" in developing a powerful strategy for marketing businesses efficiently and effectively, but many still ask the questions: "How do I turn those keywords into clients, and more importantly, how can those keywords help rank my website, products, and services on Google?"
Here are my tips on steps you can take today that are completely free that will drive traffic to your website, increase your organic growth, and get you more clients, and the best part is that it won't break the bank.
TIP 1 - Evaluate & Re-Evaluate Your SEO & Analytics
Evaluate your SEO and analytics to make sure your keywords are yielding the tangible results you desire. It's like I say in my YouTube videos, if you're not in the know, how can you grow?
Try using Keywords Everywhere as a Google Chrome add-on to search for keywords. This handy took will provide you with valuable information like what are people searching for and how competitive that market is.
Here's an example of a search in Keywords Everywhere. The search is for "How to use Asana" and the picture to your right shows the results for that search. While the search gave me results for the keywords I typed, the big take away is that it also gave me related searches that I could use.
Now you try. Searching a phrase for a service or product you provide and look at the results you get. Are you surprised? Did you find related keywords that fit better? Now take the strongest keywords, and incorporate them into your website, blog, digital marketing, social posts, and hashtags.
Go to Keywords Everywhere to download your Google Chrome Add-on.
Don't forget about your analytics! Really take a look at your website traffic and focus on 1) Where your traffic is coming from; 2) When is your traffic driven to your site most often; 3) What are the basic demographics for people looking at your site; 4) What pages are getting the most views or the longest view, etc. Knowing these things can tell you a lot about your marketing. Test marketing campaigns and really focus on what is working, and what isn't. Stop spinning your wheels on what ISN'T working, and start riding the trends of what IS working. If you have not yet put analytics on your website, you need to do so ASAP. Google Analytics offers a free program that works very well for the early-stage entrepreneur.
TIP 2 - Start A Blog
Consistently creating and sharing high-quality, valuable content is the key to building relationships with your audience. Blogs are a great source of providing free resources to target audiences and driving traffic back to your website. Publish and post your blogs wherever you can. Just make sure they land where they belong, or the blogs could be considered spam. Starting a blog could also lead to FREE PRESS. Free press is a great way to increase your organic growth because someone else is promoting your platform with you. While they share your blog, your brand gets to tag along for the ride, which broadens your audience reach. This means your blog is going to rank higher on Google's SEO because more people are looking at it (and hopefully searching for it), thus ranking it more valuable in Googles algorithm. Don't forget to do your keyword searching before writing and publishing your blogs.
My preference to blogging and website building is Wix because it ranks highest of all website hosting platforms and even comes with special booking, calendar, SEO guide, and marketing tools. It is perfect for starting out with a blogging site or a landing page, and allows you to scale your business up to the more premium, full-scale sites.
TIP 3 - Seek Out Free Press
Free press is not only a great thing to feature on your website, it also helps to build "street cred". Have you heard the term HARO? No, I'm not mis-spelling HERO, I'm talking about the acronym, which stands for "Help A Reporter Out." Reporters and journalists post an ad for a story they are writing and ask for input from local experts, consumers, etc. Journalists need sources and you could be that source. For instance, a reporter could be writing a story for Trial Magazine and needs a litigation paralegal for a discussion about connecting with the jury through the use of trial technology. That sounds like a story I could perhaps assist with, and earn free press to feature on my website while doing it. I submit a pitch to the journalist and wait for a response. If the journalist likes my story, then I'm featured in an article, and I'm taking steps to promote my brand, my business, and more importantly, my "street cred", and of course, my organic growth on Google.
Visit https://www.helpareporter.com and sign up for your free account.
TIP 4 - Consistently Post to Social Media
Not only do you need to post to social media, but you need to consistently post to social media. When you build an audience (or followers), they begin to count on your posts and even look for them. When you're posting consistently, your audience knows what to expect from you and when to expect it. Don't let them down! Keep up with social media posts can be daunting on one's schedule and difficult to keep track of. If you have this issue, try incorporating your social media posts into your to-do task lists items for the week or prepare a social media calendar to keep track of your posting schedule. Regardless of how you get out there, you need to get out there and socialize with the masses. Even a small change like changing your cover page or picture once or twice a month has a large effect on the organic growth of your business.
BEWARE Tip: You can also use platforms like Later, but there are studies that show using these platforms can actually be counter-productive to your organic growth as platforms like the Instagram algorithm become more aware of the automation process behind platforms like Later. Instagram views some automation platforms as in-authentic and therefore, posts could be ranked lower, which will decrease your reach and thus audience.
TIP 5 - Post For Conversation
When you're starting off with zero followers and zero money, social media is your best strategy for free audience-building. Join Facebook Groups, follow hashtags, subscribe to YouTube channels, and start conversations or post within conversations on all of them. Yes! I want you to go talk to as many strangers as you can, but engage with them with the mindset of focusing on your target audience and ideal clients. Those folks are sitting on social media posting away right along with you.
Think of audience-building like the gears turning your sales funnel (see graph below).
Regardless of your SEO and marketing strategies, there are many free ways to use high-value keywords to build your organic growth and drive more traffic to your business, as well as gain momentum on social media platforms to target the audience and clientele you desire.
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Misty Murray, Founder
Paralegal Career & Freelance Coach
Follow Me On Instagram @ParalegalCoach_Misty