Marie recently stepped away from her position at a digital marketing agency in favor of striking out on her own and taking on her own clients. Marie loves working independently, and she’s been slowly putting money away to get her through the initial bumpy period of leaving a full-time job. She’s excited to be out on her own, but part of her is a bit hesitant.

Will she be successful on her own, or will she have to go crawling back to the agency in search of full time work? Marie’s situation is far from unique. The allure of working as a freelancer often outweighs the risks. Working from anywhere, setting your own schedule, having seemingly unlimited earning potential — the benefits add up quickly. But there are also some risks. It’s a challenge, leaving a full-time position (or even a part-time job) with a guaranteed paycheck, benefits, and stability.

As a freelancer, Marie will now be responsible for bringing in her own clients and making her own paycheck happen. Even though she’s a marketing professional, one thing Marie struggles with initially is marketing herself. This is a new endeavor for her! All she knows is how to market her clients. But to “sell” her own skills? Isn’t that narcissistic and self-serving? If Marie wants to be successful and have a healthy roster of her own clients, then the answer to this question is no.

Marketing one’s own services does not automatically point to narcissism and selfishness. There are several ways for Marie to improve her “self-marketing”.

One simple way to start is to build a strong portfolio. Of course, anyone stepping away from a previous job should be sure to obtain any necessary permission as well as remove any private or otherwise sensitive materials from pieces of a portfolio. But showcasing work is a strong way to attract new clients.

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Portfolios can either be designed to be emailed as PDF files or printed out to show in an interview. They can also be hosted online as a website, which is often preferable because of the ease of sharing it. But having a strong portfolio is a great way to attract prospective clients. An added benefit of hosting it online is that, with proper SEO techniques, this website’s presence can have a positive effect on directing referrals to Marie without her even having to go out and seek them herself.

Another way that Marie can market herself is by ensuring her LinkedIn profile is strong and up to date. Many professionals hire freelancers off of networking sites such as Linked In. Having a strong presence — posting relevant and/or original content, interacting with other users, etc. — on platforms such as this is another simple way to net some potential leads for new clients.

Working on your own is a challenge, but it’s one that’s worth the effort if you’re only willing to put some in. For Marie, finding ways to market her skills is something that’s a bit foreign to her.

And she isn’t alone!

This is something common that plagues a lot of solopreneurs or freelancers. But with just a bit of effort, this problem can easily be solved and before you know it, you’ll have a strong roster of clients and more work than you know what to do with.

-5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.