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Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by thematthewbrennan, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Hey,
    So I have my website up and running, and its getting a few clients at a steady pace, but I wanna kick it up a level. What are the best ways of advertising for a start up freelancer?
     
  2. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Getting out there and meeting people is probably the best way. If you're freelance you're pretty much selling yourself, and actually meeting potential clients face to face gives you a greater chance of being remembered.

    Also attend local creative networking nights and meet like-minded people that way. You may find you get referrals for work when someone else is busy, or you may be contracted for a collaborative project.
     
  3. ARRIVALS

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    What Paul said. Just don't rely on social networking online.
     
  4. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    As mentioned above, the quickest way to gain business is to get out there and meet local businesses face to face, networking meetings etc. Waiting for people to find your website takes literally years in my opinion and this is due to the time it takes to ensure the site is optimised for your chosen keywords, writing loads of on topic content and creating valuable links in, it all takes time.

    Forums such as this are also a great way, i.e participate in threads etc, have links to your site in your signature, however...the downside of online shoppers in most instances unfortunately is they are not prepared to pay much as there is always some idiot prepared to do the job for peanuts!!
     
  5. ARRIVALS

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Nice plug ;)

    Speaking of those online shoppers, it turns out one which actually placed an ad in the tenders thread recently turned down my quote saying "it's too high, I thought this forum was full of enthusiasts, not professionals." :crazy:
     
  6. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    And, of course, the ones with the smallest budgets have the highest expectations.
     
  7. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    and are the most demanding...
     
  8. ahcstudio

    ahcstudio Member

    Awesome use of that smiley face! lol :icon_biggrin:

    I would also suggest getting yourself some printed marketing materials, business cards, leaflets, brochures etc... make them completely awesome and as creative as possible then get them out to businesses in your local area. Show off your skills!
     
  9. Im finding it very hard to get any substantial work. It trickles in via my website or elance.
     
  10. jimcroisdale

    jimcroisdale New Member

    SEO, SEO, SEO.....

    I work as a designer/pre-press guy at a digital and wideformat printing company in the North of England.

    In the past 3 years, we have gone from 3 people to 10 people and continue to grow - all during a recession - so I think I know a little about all this, although it may not translate directly to your business.

    We have done so much to get more work in, and in conjunction with our website (see my sig), SEO has given us by far the greatest return. By FAR.

    Type 'banner' into Google - we are #1 I believe. Getting good search terms into the top 2 or three results has proved to be the dealmaker for us - the traffic to our site has gone through the roof. We have also done extensive usability testing on the website too, to convert as much of the visits into sales as possible. Pound for pound, this has easily beaten all the email and mail marketing (all professionally designed - not by me!) and social media up the wazoo.

    Now, I agree with most of what has been said above - face to face is always best if possible. As a designer, you are pretty much selling yourself, but I guess you know that already. But then again, graphic design is one of the few businesses that you can do entirely over the internet (I'm dreaming of a poolside position, somewhere in Thailand....) so you may as well push the internet as a stream of income. There are only so many hours in a day for visiting clients, but your website can be working for you 24/7/365.

    As a website designer, I'm not sure of how much of the following you already know, but:

    Google sees your site in many ways, and I'm not an expert on this, but the quality of the content (including keywords) is one part of the puzzle. Another part of the puzzle is reputation, and this comes from having links to your site from other places, and i believe that this is one area where you can make a difference without getting too into things. There are several people on eBay selling backlinks - check out their feedback, find a good one, and spend your money. A guy I know got to the top of google for leaflets this way - just buying random backlink packages. It may well work for you.

    The other way, and what we did, was to enlist the help of a dedicated SEO company and pay them a monthly fee for a years worth of work. They did all the linking, helped us sort out content (in very specific ways) are recommended many ways in which we could help the whole situation. You can set a monthly budget and go from there.

    After 2-3 months, you could easily find yourself in the top few results in Google for 'graphic design', or whatever keywords you choose.

    All for now, Kirk out....

    Jim
     
  11. ARRIVALS

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Great advice, cheers.
     
  12. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, good advice.

    Your site is number 6 for me, just after Vistaprint (ouch!). Not bad for such a search term though :)
     
  13. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    Although naturally you have to be extremely careful with this approach as it could prove to be a hindrance depending on the way the links are being made.
     

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