Member Offer
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How do you market yourself? Freelancer? Company?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Squiddy, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I'm due a re-brand soon, not that I even finished my first one. But I find myself in a better position than the last time around and have begun wondering about how people market themselves to their clients.
    My intentions are to work with various other people to provide a host of services, so I wouldn't be providing all these services on my own, but I would like to market these services. For example, I work with someone who's into programming and together we're capable of producing mobile and web apps, but he has no website or anything.
    My options would be to advertise as a freelancer, advertise as a company/group that provides (combined) services like web and app design/development or perhaps we should just create two separate identities and link to each other in some way, not just a simple text link but make it known that we work together on our sites. That seems like a lot of work though.
    What would you do, or what did you do in such a situation?
     
  2. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Well I'm a freelancer that trades under a business name. Reason being is that I can employ or work with other people if I ever want to and not need to change my name. Plus it made more sense when dealing with other businesses.
    Couple of other people (some of which I work with on elements of their projects) work in the same way.
    My bank account even goes name trading as Image Resolutions...
     
  3. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Yeah, I've got everything set up in the same way, I just wondered from a more psychological or marketing point of view what the benefits and drawbacks might be?
     
  4. UK US Marketing

    UK US Marketing New Member

    Its a lot of work but most clients like to know they are putting their business in safe hands. In truth there's really not that much difference, but the perception is, companies are more reliable.
     
  5. The Simulator

    The Simulator Active Member

    I'd say it's a matter of personal choice. I know people who market as an agency/company and I know people, like myself, who simply market as a freelancer. I'm not sure one way is better than the other.
    If people request something I can't do I just say I can and send it over to my developer friend, no need for the client to know any of it.
    I guess as well it's going to come down to the type of client you want. Freelancers and agencies I find to pull from a different client base. I prefer to work on smaller scale projects with individuals and small businesses, and this is generally what I've found is the clientèle for a freelancer.
     
  6. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I suppose with a freelancer, there's always going to be that issue of how much knowledge can one person really have? If you start advertising everything from logos, stationary and branding to web hosting, web and app development then some people are going to think that something is going on, or you're just a jack of all trades with little skill in any specific area.
    However, I don't want to be pulling projects that are beyond my abilities and have to keep turning people/companies away or struggle through large ambitious projects all the time. I think the best option for now would be to advertise as a freelancer and then later on I can advertise as a company.
     
  7. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    At the minute I'm currently making a fatal mistake; I'm called Canny Creative - advertising myself as a business and established company, much like Levi. But then, on my "about" page, I'm talking about me personally, and there's a picture, of me. I think my website gives off the impression that I was really confused whether I was a freelancer or a design agency when I was building it.
    It all comes down to personal choice. I was really torn at the beginning. I wanted to trade under Tony Hardy, then about a million studio names, then decided on Canny Creative. One thing that still gets me is the social media aspect of such things. On Twitter, I'm Tony Hardy (@cannycreative). Which is annoying. I can't really air my personal stuff or get into too much heated debate with people. Really I need to have two separate accounts, but I really don't have the time to go and do that.
    Like Mark says, it's all personal. Whatever you're comfortable with. I'd take Levi's bit about "being able to employ people" on board. That's part of the reason I elected for a company name rather than my own. I felt that my overall aim in the end was to definitely have people working for me, and I didn't want to go through all the rigmarole of having everything changed, so just went at it from the beginning.
    I like the illusions that trading as a "big company" can create. People always want to talk to the CEO or part of the marketing department about things. It's fun having a few multiple personalities ;)
     
  8. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    It's a bit of a no brainer for me "I AM SCOTTY".
    I sell what I do and I'm what it is so I want people to know it's me.
    On the other hand, I have something on the cards where it's more of a company/brand so I'll go that way.
    One thing that niggles me when seeing a one man bands sites when they market themselves as a company. For example "Here at Such & Such we pride ourselves on bla, bla....." and then later on in the site it shows them as a singularity.
    It's just that it looks like someone trying to be something they aren't and you've found them out. A little deceptive if you get my drift.
    I don't see anything wrong with someone going under a brand name thing (many do) but a no, no (for me) putting "we" on their about/services page.
     
  9. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    This is me at the moment. However, I don't want to be perceived as a one man band. It's going to get sorted.
     
  10. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Completely agree with you Scotty, I find it quite deceitful as well when the copy is written to make it look like they are a company and not a single person!
     
  11. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Simples, you don't use an 'about' page :) Your home page can serve as a nice intro page and then you use things like 'how we can help' (yeah I know it's a we) or 'scenarios' to show how you can help them rather than saying this is what we do.

    Thats more down to how you word things. You can pretty much avoid using we/I etc if you use your company name wisely, it also re-inforces the company name/brand etc.

    Don't forget though, not every piece of work that a freelancer does is direct to the client so in some cases you can be working with other people before the end client gets the work. This is how a fair bit of my work is done, I work with my 'client' to satisfy what they think their client needs.



    I've been thinking about this type of stuff quite a bit of late while designing my site etc
     
  12. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I can see where you're coming from, but it's just that automatic assumption they're trying to plant into your head that the company is some kind of office-based team working with each other on a daily basis, which annoys me.
     
  13. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    if it gets the clients and you can do the work who cares lol

    Honestly with my work it would make no difference if it was just me in the office or multiple people in the office, the only difference would be I would be able to work on more than 1/2 projects at a time because there would be more people doing the work. My type of work doesn't really require 'group work'
     
  14. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    lol I'm not saying that people shouldn't do it or that there is no benefit to it, it just annoys me :(
     
  15. Russell

    Russell Member

    I had this debate with myself a couple of years back when moving from a freelance to setting up a Ltd company. I currently use 'we' etc when discussing the company but also make a point in my about and service pages that it's a small company and I work with other trusted professionals if the scope of the project falls outside of my area of expertise.
    As a side note its worth assessing where your client base currently lies (and where you want it to). I've kept my old freelance site up as it still generates enquires from larger marketing/ design companies specifically looking for freelancers, which is work I'd take on if I've got a quiet spell. However I only update and actively market my company site as my long term aim has always been to deal with all clients direct so I'm not relying on other companies workflow for jobs.
     
  16. The Simulator

    The Simulator Active Member

    As everyone has said already, you can umm and arr over this for a long time. But at the end of the day this only going to be decided by what you feel comfortable with and what you hope/aim to achieve from the future.
    One thing I would say, it's easier to make the transition from being freelancer to 'agency' as people would see that as natural progression, as ridiculous as that is people are a fickle and stupid, and also impulsive, so seeing you name (a former creative director of an 'agency') now a freelancer they might question why you're suddenly demoted.
     
  17. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Are you old enough to be drinking beer?
     
  18. davewill

    davewill Senior Member

    This is something Ive given a lot of thought to lately as I prepare to go freelance. Im a real believer in being completely transparent so my clients know exactly what they are getting for their money. Ive worked in agencies in the past that have pretended to be larger than they actually are and the amount of time spent prending to clients that they were bigger than they actually were was frankly ridiculous. Ive seen designers forced to email clients from 2 or 3 different email addresses so it looks like there were 3 people working on a brief when in fact it was just 1. One of my bosses would only meet clients in coffee shops or conference centres because they presumed there were hundereds of staff in that company when in fact there was only 15 of us and my boss didnt want them to see the real office. In the past Ive been asked to reply to emails talking about how the team is on with it or Ill pass those comments on to the others, when in fact I was the only designer at that studio. Ive also had bosses who have hired freelancers, cleaners, drivers, workmen, tea ladies etc all to work on a single day because we were getting a visit from a client and they wanted the studio to look cramed full of activity!!!
    Ive seen freelancers using the "we" and "us" thing but frankly I dont see the point. I know why people do it, but its not worth the effort in my opinion. I prefer to focus on the fact that if a client uses me then it will just be me, so there are major perks to that. I play up the positives by telling them that the same person (aka me) will work on their job from start to finish, it wont get passed around a studio for different designers to work on. They also get to speak to the boss at all times (aka me), not just some junior designer tasked with replying to emails. If I needed to outsource some part of the project I would make my client aware of this, but they still deal with me, and only me. This way I dont need to spend time worrying about trying to be something Im not, and I wont get caught out or made to look daft in the long run.
     
    scotty likes this.
  19. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    You going to be freelancing as a script writer Dave because that lot sounds like it'd make an awesome sit-com.
    I'm with you brother. Me, myself and I. :nod:
     
  20. davewill

    davewill Senior Member

    haha, i often thought of writing an anoymous blog, just to keep track of it all!
     

Share This Page