Does “Word-of-Mouth Marketing” Work for Freelancers?

Word-of-mouth marketing for freelancers?


If you reacted just like that, then let me burst your bubble.

I have been talking about so many things that helped me grow my freelance writing business for so long, but most people find it hard to believe that these things work.

One of those things is word-of-mouth marketing.

What’s word-of-mouth marketing?

Word-of-mouth marketing means when someone is highly impressed with your work and highlights you during discussions without having second thoughts about it.

It’s so mind-boggling to comprehend that people don’t realize how their happy clients can promote them. You might have seen people giving examples of talented or professional teams at the events, during talks, and in the content. What they do is that they spread the word for you if you have done some great work for them.

How can freelancers use word-of-mouth marketing?

Since I have been lucky to maximize word-of-mouth marketing partly because I understood the importance of giving more than asking through various sources.

The first self-help book I have ever read was “Give and Take,” which gave me a perspective on giving.

Then, I read the concept of over-delivering  in Robin Sharma’s book “Life Lessons from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” He meant that you should always try to give more than you take, and it will change your business and life.

Later on, I heard Gary Vaynerchuk pounding on the concept of “giving” in his videos and other content. He also wrote a book “Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook” which revolves around the idea of “give, give, give, and ask.”

word of mouth marketing

Let’s take a look at how freelancers can use word-of-mouth marketing:

Attending Seminars

Seminars are the events where you bump into like-minded people. So it allows you to connect with relevant people, talk to them, tell about yourself, exchange email addresses and phone numbers — in other words, get acquainted.

It doesn’t immediately give you word-of-mouth marketing, but meeting in person is so powerful that it does wonders later on. If you succeed to impress someone, he/she is likely to remember you and mention you in front of others. Boom. You get word-of-mouth marketing by being nice and professional at an event.

I’ve connected with so many people by just stopping by at the seminars and events related to entrepreneurship, freelancing, and blogging. I also make sure to exchange phone numbers and emails so that I could follow up. It’s mostly others who ask for my email address and phone number before I do.

Joining Communities

Community is a vital tool to meet new people, attract prospects, and build relationships. However, most starters don’t take advantage of communities properly. They try to milk it as soon as possible. The best way to market your freelance business in an online community is to never talk about your offering. Instead, help the relevant audience without asking for anything in return. When you generously help others without any expectations, it pushes people to check out your profile and find out about your work. That’s how you land new visitors on your social media profiles.

Now, communities could be on Facebook, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp. It’s up to you where you spend the most time on the internet. Plus, the quality of the audience matters in this regard. You may join a freelancing-related WhatsApp group of 1,000 people where all members are job seekers, and no one is posting about the new jobs. Instead, you’ll be better off if you join a Facebook group of 200 people who regularly post about jobs, discussing different freelancing topics, and answering each others’ questions.

Offering Free Downloadable Items

You might not have heard or seen free downloadable items with no strings attached. Normally, we all know about lead magnets in online marketing. Bloggers and digital marketers surely offer useful stuff through lead magnets. The purpose of lead magnets is to offer something in exchange for the email address of the recipient.

On the other hand, offering free downloadable items strategy doesn’t require any email address to download the item. It’s more of a 1-click download strategy. The sooner your visitor receives your item, the quicker the visitor finds out about you. Once your audience starts to get benefit from your piece of content, they’re likely to talk about you everywhere — it’s free word-of-mouth marketing. I have been unintentionally doing word-of-mouth marketing for Gary Vaynerchuk for the last two years or so. The reason is that I learn a lot from his videos and books.

Help Bloggers through Comments

Most bloggers leave comments on others’ blogs for SEO purposes, but the reality is that commenting doesn’t help in SEO on most of the blogs. The point is that commenting provides us with a great opportunity to help other bloggers. When we help others, we establish a deeper connection with other bloggers. Bloggers won’t forget if your help makes a difference in their lives. When I leave comments on others’ blogs, I try to add examples, lessons, or stories that make comments helpful and interesting not just for bloggers, but also for their readers.

Stay Connected through DMs and Emails

Nobody got time to DM or email others to stay connected so when you do that, it makes you stand out from the crowd. I often email or DM to fellow bloggers if I have suggestions for their blogs. They appreciate my small contributions. Similarly, I’m open to receiving those suggestions for my blog too.

Staying connected with bloggers helps you become noticeable and relevant, which is the key to word-of-mouth marketing. When your name and face keep showing up on social media and blogs, it becomes easier to remember you. Plus, if you’re building a genuine connection with others and generously share their content, they won’t forget you easily.

What’s the point of this blog post?

I want to make freelancers realize that they can cash in on these small opportunities. Freelancers tend to build relationships or continuously bid on the projects on the freelancing platforms. The point is that they keep on striving to get new freelance clients through their preferred means.

The word-of-mouth marketing is quite underestimated, and one of the reasons is that it doesn’t bring instant fruit. So most freelancers would rather create a few Fiverr gigs than to get connected with a business owner who may need a service in the future.

Check out my two ebooks on freelancing:

I apply all of the techniques I discussed in this very blog post. The reason I keep getting freelancing clients is that I don’t get impatient if new clients don’t show up. What I do instead is that I invest my time in helping others, discussing things with like-minded people, attending events, and consuming content — in other words, I build connections.

As always, I’ve shared some of my secrets to getting freelance business.

What will you do now after reading this blog post?

Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. Hi Hassaan,
    Your article is ideal, especially looking at the question heading. Yes, for me because after speaking to a couple of friends on LinkedIn about my freelancing business, they referred some clients who paid really well. So in all circles of business, word of mouth marketing is still useful.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Moss,

      Thanks so much.

      The word-of-mouth marketing is so underestimated today. So I thought to discuss it because it works for me.

      I’m glad you liked it.

      As far as LinkedIn is concerned, it has generated a few leads for me too.

  2. Hassaan,

    Building relationships with the industry thought leaders can bring us credibility in a way or either. Influencing expert’s authority by letting them broadcasting us can make us stand out from the crowd. The ideal article, Hassaan.

  3. Hey Hassaan, thank you so much for this helpful post! I called it “Helpful” because it truly helped me. It’s as if you wrote this for me specifically. You’ve made me realize today that I needed to give more than I ask operating on the principle of “Give, give, give, and then ask” – which brings great returns at a later time. I’m fully blessed by this tutorial.

    I also loved the way you emphasized on what needs to be focused upon while commenting on blogs – which are connecting to other bloggers, building stronger relationships with authority bloggers, creating opportunities for tomorrow, and helping others among many. Much appreciated!

    Sierra Morgan

  4. Awesome pitch, Hassaan!

    Especially for start-ups, word-of-mouth marketing would be the lowest hanging fruit. By the way, that gets them introduced to the real influencers further. There, starts their journey. It’s all about the bond we build.


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