Marketing as a Freelance Bartender: 3 Tips for Success

Working as a freelance bartender can be an extremely lucrative business. From private events with their own tip jars, to filling in for others, there are many ways that you can begin to get your name out there.

One of the hardest things is going to be contacting clients and seeing what it is that that client needs.  There are three major ways that you can contact clients and some of them are without even having to make a call or reach out!

If you are marketing yourself in the world of social media, you have all the certifications that you need and you are ready to barter for pay, then you are going to be ready to contact any client with confidence and determination.

Market Yourself

It can definitely be a tricky thing to start, but today’s modern world is all about marketing and creating a brand for yourself.  This is a good thing because it makes you stop and think about what it is that you want to portray to other people.  Let’s look at a few examples.

Business Cards

While a little old fashioned, modern business cards are a great way to get the word out and around when you fill in shifts for other bartenders.  Another way that business cards are useful is that you can leave them with party planners, cake shops and more in order to potentially gain more clients.  In this way, the client comes to you!

Social Media

Social media is one of the fastest growing ways to market yourself and reach out to clients.

Not only are you able to post about your business then boost that post for advertisements, you can also reach out directly to potential clients if you come across parties or celebrations that could need your impressive skills.

Word of Mouth

As you grow your client list through social media and talking to others, you are going to start to gain a reputation.  If your reputation is positive then others are going to start giving out your name, social media, and even business cards to others.

The specialty of word-of-mouth client gathering is that not only are you getting a potential client but the new client trusts a current client.  This means they are more likely to choose you over another freelance bartender!

Are Your Certifications Ready?

When you first learned how to become a freelance bartender, what did you imagine yourself doing?  Did you understand the difficulties and certifications?

If you did, that’s great!  If not there are a few things to take into consideration when you are a front line person that can intervene in several risky situations.


Tips is one of the top, and leading programs in alcohol safety and bartender training.  This isn’t the type of training that shows you how to do fancy tricks, but rather helps you understand your responsibility in different venues.  If you would like to learn more about Tips, click here.

State Requirements 

While the main Tips website does have courses that are specific to each state, it is important to know what certifications and laws you have to follow based upon your state.

There are general federal guidelines, but a good bartender that can be trusted is going to know the ins and outs of their state laws as well.  The more certifications that you can provide to a client, the better off you are going to be.

This will help a client know that you can be trusted because you have invested the time, and even the money, into ensuring you are a top-notch freelance bartender.

Know the Tricks of the Trade

One thing that absolutely cannot be forgotten is the importance of the role of a bartender at any event.  There’s your persona, observing how much people have been drinking, and creating a community in a party.  Yes, you play a huge role in all of that!

Serious Business

First, let’s address the elephant in the room.  Anytime alcohol is involved, people can and probably will make bad decisions and some of those decisions may include date rape drugs.

It can be difficult to manage an entire bar and keep your eyes on every drink especially if it is a larger bar.  However, when it comes to managing a smaller bar, keep an eye on drinks for anything that you did not add.  You can be the first line of defense in keeping someone safe!

It’s All in the Persona

One of the best ways to ensure that you get repeat business is by being as charming as you possibly can while also being willing to lend a listening ear.  A bartender is not responsible for the health of others, but sometimes that extra smile, or five minutes of your time could mean the world to someone.


It’s important to keep the party going!  While watching drinks and making sure that your patrons are staying safe, don’t forget to throw in some humor and keep the party going!

Not everyone is going to want an alcoholic drink so be sure you have a wide range of mocktails as well: have fun with the designated drivers and dance along with the music.  Soon, your name will be all over town as the best freelance bartender there is!