Though times are tough and seem to be getting tougher on a global level, successful freelance professionals will need to be ready to respond when the outsourcing market changes. In an increasingly competitive outsourcing environment, freelance providers must work harder and smarter at making themselves more visible. A key step toward increased outsourcing marketplace competitiveness and success is tying your online freelance presence more closely to your other personal online marketing activities. Here are 6 ways that you can lead more potential outsourcing buyers to your freelance profile:
1. Link your MySpace/Facebook/LinkedIn profiles to your freelance profile. If you’re on a social networking site talking about anything more professional than your Klingon haiku project, then you should have a link to your professional freelance profile. It’s a comprehensive display of your skills, your portfolio, and any relevant skills test scores and feedback ratings.
2. Link your professional website to your freelance profile(s). In addition to the advantages listed above, the more clients you drive to your freelance profile sites, the more you’ll benefit from the quick, easy and guaranteed payment system of a site like oDesk, and the stronger your reputation will become (remember, the best buyers hire those with the most experience - measured in jobs completed - and the best feedback).
3. Blog where buyers blog. Think about the blogs, forums and specialized news sites your potential outsourcing clients visit, and cruise them for yourself. When you can add an intelligent comment to the discussion, don’t forget to sign with a link to your personal website or freelance profile.
4. Twitter. We’re hearing from an increasing number of outsourcing professionals who say they put out calls for help, for quick answers to questions, via Twitter's short-burst messaging system. It’s becoming the next generation platform for professional outsourcing networks.
5. Google yourself. If you’ve got a freelance website trumpeting your services to outsourcing companies, consider how they will find it. Look into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve your position when people beyond your immediate outsourcing marketplace go looking for your skills.
6. Become a subject matter expert. Go to Yahoo! Answers and LinkedIn Answers, respond to questions, get involved in conversations, and link your replies to your freelance profile.
These are relatively low-impact ways to keep yourself out in the freelance marketplace, where your potential outsourcing clients can find you. Now’s the time to be as visible as possible, establishing yourself in every possible online outlet for outsourcing managers to find once the market reverses.