How do I expand my niche freelancing gig into a business?

I create Wikipedia pages for clients on popular freelance websites and have been quite successful with nearly 100 5-star feedback reviews as well as an overall 5 star rating... however, these freelance websites charge me 10-20% of the revenue depending on each site. Although I have started a basic pricing page on my own website, I'm not sure how to take it to market as this is a very specific niche - simply using Google or Facebook ads will not be that useful. Companies, individuals, products or topics eligible for Wikipedia are the ones with some kind of news coverage or references from published books, magazines etc. Any advice, on a general approach or marketing strategy (ads targeting etc?) and marketing venues that can be used would be appreciated.



If you're looking for people like me (who have the change to have a Wikipedia page), you should target them with LinkedIn ads. I believe LinkedIn will get you better results than Facebook or Twitter.

Answered 9 years ago

People already having a Wikipedia page do make a small portion of my target market as they some times have edits / updates for their pages without violating Wikipedia policies or new pages for companies or products but mainly I am looking for new notable clients that do not yet have a Wikipedia page. This would maximize the jobs per client apart from the fact that my major service is creation of new Wikipedia pages. I agree linked in ads might be a way.. The issue is that they would also go to irrelevant or new companies without media coverage. Is there a way to get to only the companies that have already had media coverage? Perhaps budding celebrities (but not limited to a single niche) as well. What would be the best way to reach out optimally to such a target group?

Answered 9 years ago

Very interesting niche! I was just reading about this in a news feature article regarding companies that hire individuals specifically for this work.

My suggestion would be to gather some data and convert it to infographic form, showing the power of '1st page on Google' to influence perceptions. 'Everyone' isn't your market - quite clearly, it is people or products that have the public split, or that are not known.

Outside of the freelancing work and ads, another suggestion would be to join Meetups and attend conferences on PR. Perhaps even join a PR firm as a dedicated PR writer.

In short- you will have to create your position in the minds of the potential client.

I've spoken with nice startups about this sort of issue as their consultant, happy to bounce ideas with you on a call!


Answered 9 years ago

As Nicolas rightly says, LinkedIn is where your clients are likely to be found – not Facebook or Twitter.

That said, I wouldn't pay to use LinkedIn ads in this case. Not initially. Your target niche is quite narrow, and LinkedIn's targeting might be far too broad. Compare your own ability to home in on likely clients using LinkedIn to the shotgun approach of LinkedIn ads. And also consider whether someone is more likely to respond to a hand-crafted message or an ad. Before you pay for LinkedIn ads, test your own ability to get leads from LinkedIn through your own manual efforts. If you cannot, then LinkedIn ads cannot. If you can, then you may still be more efficient than LinkedIn ads.

Apart from that, the main strategy I'd pursue (in your shoes) would be SEM. That might mean PPC ads in Google and Bing. It should also include some intelligent SEO copywriting to ensure that you're indexed and can be found organically. That's something you – as a writer – can figure out and accomplish on your own.

If you'd like advice on branding, naming, and domain selection, then talk to me.

Answered 9 years ago

I'd first ask if you are getting decent deal flow through the freelancing sites, if it would cost more than 10-20% margin to acquire users on your own, including the price of handling payments, invoicing, etc. Just something to consider, independence is great of course.

If you'd like to supplement those projects instead of replace, that seems like an easier transition to expand your overall clients and deal flow.

Paid acquisition would be a tough route and sharp learning curve. If you were to go that way, the best funnel would probably be to paid > content piece > email drip or phone consult

If it were me, I'd do cold email by prospecting via linkedin and emailing qualified leads directly using permutations on their name to the domain of the current company.

Don't try and sell them in the email, just to show them something cool that you do they might find of interest - or a tip on something they could be doing and might not be. Personalization is the key on these emails and a clearly defined objective for sending them (click link, respond, schedule call, etc)

Hope that helps a little :)

Answered 9 years ago

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