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How Email Can Boost Your Freelancing Reputation The first step is to convert visitors into subscribers, and there are some excellent tools to help you do that.

By Thomas Smale Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


When you're a freelancer, you want to be widely and favorably known. Of course! A positive reputation gives your leads and potential customers assurance that you can help them in the right way.

Related: 3 Ridiculously Easy Hacks to Get People to Sign Up to Your Email List

Your reputation also reflects your status as an expert in your niche and serves as confirmation that you can be relied on to deliver value every single time.

To arrive at that point, consider mail for the essential tool it is -- just as it is in virtually every industry. If you're running an online business, as you likely are with a freelance business, you need to be using email effectively to drive more sales. Here's how . . .

Grow your email list.

It sounds simple enough. A larger email list will make you look more credible. You can even use it as a social proof metric on your website to elicit more signups. James Schramko of SuperFastBusiness, for instance, proudly displays his subscriber numbers on his sidebar, along with the message, "Join 27,128+ SuperFastBusiness subscribers."

Getting the ball rolling is sometimes the toughest part. When you're first getting started, people may not know who you are, and you may not have much traffic coming to your website either. You need a strategy for converting more visitors into subscribers.

First, it's important that you use a specific email service for freelancers. Getting set up with the right service will ensure the deliverability of your emails. It can also help you automate your flow, so your emails can be working for you even when you aren't.

LeadPages is another invaluable tool. With it, you can quickly create landing pages and easily add content upgrades to your blog posts. When you match up your visitors with relevant offers, you will see more signups. Every one of your blog posts could be generating more leads.

Many bloggers and internet marketers have also found value in SumoMe for growing lists. This tool lets you implement a Welcome Mat, pop-ups, Scroll Boxes and even a Smart Bar on your website to capture more leads.

Related: 5 Email Marketing Tweaks to Double Your Business Revenue

Deliver quality content.

Regularity and quality are two keys to the strong content that will help you build a strong relationship with your subscribers. Freelance writer, blogger and WordPress developer Hassan Akhtar suggests "sending exclusive content to those in your list at least once a month. This will make them feel valued and more inclined to stay subscribed."

Once per month,might be too infrequent, however, as your list begins to grow. Adjust your frequency to at least once per week as you see more people opting in.

Positive quotes and testimonials will also help you build your reputation, and there's no reason why you can't include them on your website and in your emails. You could collect feedback using tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms, especially from past clients. If you use FreshBooks to manage your finances and invoice your clients, you'll also find a built-in mechanism there for collecting feedback.

So, take advantage of this feature. Then, include the best quotes in your emails. Get your clients to do your selling for you.

Also, don't forget to nurture your leads. Use a tool like Print Friendly to turn your blog posts into PDF documents, and send them to your subscribers. Leverage GoToWebinar or other webinar software to share online presentations. Send them to a landing page when you have a new offer for them to check out. Share ebooks or reports with them.

Further, repurpose the content you've already created. If you've been blogging for any length of time, you should have content just waiting to be shared with your email list. Tease the list's members with a summary and get them to click on a link to be brought to your website.

Answer questions.

If you aren't giving your subscribers the option to respond directly to your emails, do so immediately. Don't use a "noreply" email address. If the people reading your emails want to do business with you, you'll want to make it convenient for them to contact you on the spot.

Also, pay attention to the questions your followers are asking, whether they arrive via email, social media or comments attached to your blog. Answer these questions, and save them for later. If one of your followers is asking, there's a good chance others are curious, too. Curate these questions and your answers to them, and share them in your emails. This will boost your authority.

SEO and blogging consultant Shae Baxter's emails are always compelling. She often incorporates real-life scenarios and questions in her long-form messages. She shares the challenges and successes her clients are experiencing, and demonstrates the kind of results she's helped others achieve. This ensures that her messages are always targeted and relevant to her audience.

If you aren't sure what questions you should be answering, or what challenges your potential customers are experiencing, you can use Quora as a starting point. Real people have asked just about every conceivable niche and topic on Quora, which can supply you with ideas on what you might write about, too.

Systemize your marketing.

The more you can put your marketing on autopilot, the better. After all, the goal isn't just to send great emails. It's to get clients. So, you want to spend more time generating business. Again, it's essential to get set up with the right email service, because some services make automation and segmentation a straightforward and easy process. With others, it's nightmare. It all starts with the right tools.

To begin systemizing, create checklists and processes for yourself by using tools like Google Docs, Evernote or SweetProcess. If systemizing is a repeatable task that you're doing at least once per week, it's worth documenting.

It has often been said that we have limited willpower, which further diminishes throughout the day as we make decisions. Referring to documented procedures and following the necessary steps will help you reduce the amount of willpower it takes you to write emails, segment your lists, follow up with leads and so on.

Most of all, keep learning. Sign up for a course so you know what you need to do to put your marketing on autopilot. Learn from others and what they've done to succeed in their respective fields.

Related: Here's How My Email Newsletter Remains My Best Marketing Tool

Final thoughts

Email marketing takes work. You can't boost your reputation overnight. But, with consistent effort, and a finely-tuned message, you'll begin to see results from your effort. If you've built a large following, and people still don't appear to be converting, then you may need to connect them with a different offer.

Sometimes, a disconnect may occur between what you're offering and what your subscribers need. But, if you're regularly surveying your audience, you'll begin to figure out what that is.

Thomas Smale

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of FE International

Thomas Smale co-founded FE International in 2010. He has been interviewed on podcasts, blogs and also spoken at a number of industry events on online businesses, exit strategy and selling businesses.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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