How to promote a new freelance business

I’ve started several business ventures in the past few years. Some of them have been complete failures, some have been marginal successes and one in particular (this one) has done very well.

With this experience of starting small, one-man operations and bootstrapping them to success or failure, I have a decent amount of experience to offer first timers.

This morning I was talking with a long time friend who has a full time job he doesn’t mind clocking in for, but over the past several years has gained a lot of experience and knowledge in a field that he’d like to start freelancing in.

Here’s his dilemmas:

  • The field (mail list management and data mining) isn’t exactly ‘sexy’. Nothing there that’s gonna wow the general public through tweets and blog posts.
  • He has little time or money to sink into marketing. A wife, two kids, full time job… you know the drill.

What he’s got going for him:

  • Great references and contacts. He’s an honest, hard working guy so he’s got several years worth of people that know and trust him.
  • Technical web help. I’ll be helping him setup his web site, get any social media accounts going in the right direction, etc.
  • A niche that has low over head and high prices. Big money for someone who knows what their doing, but the only physical tool is a computer. Reminds me of another market I’m involved in 🙂

I have a few ideas of how he’d get started that I’ll be sharing in some future posts. However, if you were in my shoes, what advice would you give him as he’s getting started?