target audience being SME's, Startups, Entrepreneurs
First of all, congrats on starting your business! I was head of product for a marketplace company in the hiring space for 4 years so I have a significant amount of experience building a marketplace similar to yours from the ground up. I also know how challenging it can be to reach your customer base! These types of businesses are extremely fragmented and so it can be difficult to reach "critical mass" where your cost per new customer drops significantly. Here are some suggestions:
1. Study your competition. There are plenty of other marketplaces out there like yours (at least given the brief synopsis above) so you can see what has worked for them by studying their public growth tactics. Are they relying heavily on Google AdWords? Do they put out a lot of content that gets significant traffic? Do they have strong referral programs/rewards that seem to be successful? Take a look at these and assume that anything they are doing is at least worth a test for you
2. With any marketplace it's incredibly important to grow both sides of the market (supply AND demand) at similar rates, otherwise one side will not be happy (and if they aren't happy they won't retain). Because of this, I would be hyper focused on your growth by either field/location/etc. Don't try and build your entire platform across all categories at once. Start small with one or just a few key, high demand, categories and focus all of your marketing budget/attention at these demos. If you spread yourself too thin no one will be happy.
3. Rely on what I call the "second mover advantage". Because there are other platforms doing similar things, find ways to use those platforms to grow your own. Contact freelancers on the other platforms, or post your own projects that eventually lead people back to your platform. Make sure you aren't violating terms of service, but do everything right up until that line to bring customers from more established platforms over to yours: offer incentives, discounts, even operate at a loss to get your first customers on board. You are lucky that you don't need to build demand in this sector from scratch so use that as an advantage.
Good luck, and if you'd like to discuss further let me know!
If the Market place provide user profile and paid sponsor add best way to target is using tags keywords and long description of what you offer... and that way, when the marketplace do paid ads your service will choose by them to promote so you get free promotions..
but for that you have to build your service reputation and good rating to show up. hope that give you a idea.
One of the greatest challenges for a marketplace is to try to be all things to all people. If your purpose is to populate the platform with high-quality contractors who will stay with your company and grow your revenue, then jettison startups and focus on established businesses that are earning a baseline income of $250K.
If you don't hone your audience, your income will suffer and you will spend way to much money advertising for contractors and new customers. Better to niche the contractors and customers with a focus on top quality so you spend very little on marketing and grow profits. Book a call to get a strategy tailored for your company's needs.
I would start by selecting the most popular categories/fields that the users are looking for freelancers (based on Google Adwords Keyword Tool or maybe checking Fiverr - if their services are the similar to the ones you plan to offer).
Then, to intensive, but focused/targeting marketing* for freelancers and users of the field that you chose.
Repeat the above process for the top 5 categories and then either repeat or move on to the next categories.
As for the actual marketing platforms/methods, this really depends on the categories of services/the type of freelancers, your budget etc.
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, and would be happy to help you. The first (15min) call would be free so that I can get the information. You can use this link to schedule: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david/free-advice
Well done for creating a startup! Try enjoy the ride...
You question requires some clarification, as it unclear if you're trying to reach a target audience of a specific type of freelancer or you're a freelancer desiring to reach a target audience of potential clients.
I'm guessing your a Freelancer looking for clients, by the 2nd line of your question...
This is super easy.
Give talks at https://Meetup.com events, conferences, anywhere people in your niche meet.
You can also contribute to places like Experts Exchange.
Tip: If you can say something like I'm in the top 100 EE posters, this sets you apart into a different class of human.
Speaking at WordCamp events is great also. You just somehow associate your expertise with WordPress + you have a built in speaking circuit.
Tip: If you can reach the right people who... require your expertise + are dripping in free cash, you too will be a 6-7 Figure Freelancer.
The trick is finding the right people.
Speaking from stage to small or large groups is hands down the best way to attract high dollar clients.
My expertise is in helping expedite business outcomes.
The best advise is to tell your prospects of the unique value of your service or its unique positioning in terms of how it will help your customers. You need to articulate compelling propositions that are irresistible and sustainable. It should be better than your competition and communicated strongly.
A two sided service market place it a tough spot. You have to address two big audiences, who may have totally different characteristics, messaging need, and business development strategies.
Before your Go-to strategy you need a compelling story, a mission, and a vision. You also need to articulate a business strategy encompassing both ends of your business model.
The go-to strategy will evolve from your business propositions, market, business model, and audiences. What kind of freelancers you are taking about - professionals, technicians, labor et al. Who is on the other side of the market place - individuals, households, businesses-small/medium/large/government et al. What is your revenue model and business plan. How strong is your competition? How strong are you versus competition? Do you want to go for the whole market or a niche depending upon your SWOT? How are you different from Fiverr, Upwork, Clarity, and the like or unlike? Your go-to strategy should answer all these questions at the very least.
You may find better and sustainable success going this route.
Hope this helps and let me know if I can be of further assistance for the above. Best wishes.
I suggest you pick a freelancer's niche that has difficulties gathering together (either online or offline). Then you create a place where they all can talk and engage with each other to share best practices. Finally you offer them the opportunity to make business in that community.
Let me know if you have further questions.