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I want to spend some part of my monthly freelance income in a smart way to promote my services, build a stronger personal brand and do other things that will help me in finding higher-profile clients, get to the next level.

I have $1-2k monthly to spend on this kind of business improvement. Should I find a specialised agency that would go through pages of my personal site, or single specialists that could point me to the weak sides of my business and branding, build a plan and go with that?

How should I invest my profits in making sure my business has a steady stream of income?

  • Hey Sergey, welcome to Freelancing SE. We're a Stack Exchange Q&A site, just like any other SE site, so we're looking for specific and answerable questions. I edited this slightly to focus on solving your problem and not on what other people might do. My suggestion from here is to edit in more specifics about your situation, and if there's anything you've tried to improve your revenue stream. Hope this helps! – jmort253 Sep 2 '14 at 7:33
  • I'm not sure if it's the OP or jmort253's edit that put "steady stream of income" there, but I just don't think freelancing can result in a steady without the buffer of an employer. I'd suggest putting "an increased income in the long term" instead. – kevin Oct 4 '14 at 18:14
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I would consider your infrastructure before marketing. In my experience, you need to be able to absorb risk and error as easily as possible.

Do you have backups, transportation, file and data management, invoicing, and a proper computer? Do you have everything you need to do business and handle emergencies?

Remember, you can't lose work or drop in quality, especially if you thrive off of word-of-mouth.

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Networking and building your brand is the best thing you can do with a little money and spare time. When you're doing this, you'll figure out how to adjust your promotional materials and web site accordingly. You can spin your wheels on site-redesign until you're blue-in-the-face but none of that matters without some living, breathing clients that know who you are, know what you do, and are ready to slide some cash across the table in order for you to do it.

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That's a good amount of cash but the best way to promote your services and separate yourself into a niche or as an authority is to teach. Teaching isn't necessarily restricted to blog articles. It can also be hosting workshops or writing open source software.

For example I have a friend who built an open source library on top of Stripe. It gained a good following and suddenly he was able to increase his rates from $125/hr to $200 to $300/hr. It's not like he suddenly became some kind of Stripe expert overnight but he positioned himself as an authority.

I realize all of this doesn't answer your original question about how to spend your money. But if you find yourself not having the time to promote yourself maybe you use the money to delegate work to an administrative assistant or to hire some copywriters/editors for some blog articles.

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There is no general answer to this. It is just about finding what your business/freelancing model lacks at present, and it depends on the freelancing service you provide.

If you are doing something that could go viral, then you need to invest in Twitter/Facebook/Google Adwords. Something that can go viral should catch the eyes of as many people as possible, and you would have a strong network as well.

If you are freelancing locally (teaching, tutoring, etc.), you can print and distribute cheap pamphlets.

Depending on your field, you can invest in a variety of services and products, from advertisements to simply printing business cards.

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