I think most freelancers could agree that finding work is one of the hardest struggles we face – and if you’re just starting out you might not be familiar with how to get your name out there.
For you beginners: this is post for you!
And for those that have been at it for some time, this is a great reminder for what you could / should be doing to help promote yourself. (In fact, please add to this list by leaving a comment with your most effective business promotion ideas.)
There are many ways you can self-promote yourself, but here are four beginner strategies that are the stepping-stones to getting your freelance business name out there:
1. Build a strong website / portfolio that converts
Quite obvious, but this is the most important asset and tool to your freelance business.
If the user experience and/or design of your website isn’t the best possible representation of your ability and work, then you’re only doing yourself a disservice.
Here are some key components to having a strong website:
- Clean design with excellent usability.
- Consistent brand identity (across your entire online presence).
- Easy to read “about” content that represents who you are and what you do. Don’t be afraid to display a photo of yourself either. You want to make a good first impression before you’ve even made direct contact with the client.
- Showcase your best work.
- Make it easy for visitors and potential client to contact you directly.
Ultimately it comes down to a clean design with great usability and easy to read and enjoyable content. If you have these things above, then I’d say you have a pretty effective website.
2. Experiment with social media and ad space
Social media plays a huge role in running any business, and I would say that it’s a necessity for freelancers.
Actively use your social media accounts! Share useful links and converse with others online. This will help build your following.
With your online accounts up and running try experimenting a bit with your followers: ask questions to interact, post photos to entertain and share what you’re currently working on to pique interests in your work.
Another way to promote your freelance business is to purchase ad space.
I personally have never purchased ad space for my business, but if you’re just starting out it could help to experiment and see if it generates any leads.
Purchasing ad space will help drive traffic to your site and then your website should generate leads if it’s built effectively.
3. Word of mouth is where it’s at
For me personally and majority of the freelancers out there making a living would say; word of mouth is ultimately where the reliable sources of client leads are.
Nothing is more effective than a family member, friend, or past client personally recommending your name and services.
Let your family and friends know what it is you’re doing and contact influential people in your life to let them know that you’re available for work.
4. Directly target the market you wish to produce work for
If you’re interested in working with a specific type of client, target them directly. Use Google, Facebook, and Twitter to research this type of client.
Find out who to contact in the company and shoot them an email introducing yourself.
If you get a reply back and they’re interested – great! But if they aren’t in need of your services at the time, be sure to keep the contact and follow-up periodically.
Maybe it’s not a specific client you’re looking to work with, but a specific type of work you’re looking to do. Find your niche – research those that would be in need of your services and again introduce yourself.
How do you like to promote your business?
There are so many creative ways you can promote yourself and I know there are a lot of seasoned freelancers reading this so feel free to share your favorite ways in the comments on this post.
If you’re just starting your freelance graphic design business and have any requests or questions, leave a comment and I’ll personally do my best to help!