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Self marketing advice...


#1
Hey! So, I am trying to start out as a freelance designer. I have a name/identity , business plan, mission statement and website all ready. The only thing I am lacking is work lol :(

I was wondering, what are the best ways of getting yourself out there and drumming up business? I am already on with the social media thing but this just seems to link me up with other designers. I have thought about leaflets and such but is this the right way to go about it?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks :)
 

Katedesign

Well-Known Member
#2
There is no simple answer. Most marketers will tell you that it takes 7 hits to get someone to use you. So you have to try everything. Leaflets, targeted mailing, emails, networking, phoning, knocking on doors (surprisingly I have had most success with this!). It is probably just landing at the right time with whatever method you use. They want some design/print/web work and your leaflet, phonecall, business card, website appears in front of them. Try everything. And be patient. You won't be lucky most of the time...but the more you are out there the more chances you have. And then ask for referrals.

It is tough but it will happen!
 
#3
I think word of mouth is very important. Asking at any opportunity that arises about being able to do work for friends, friends of friends, friends of family etc. I get quite a few people contacting me who I don't know directly but have seen/been told about work I done for someone else.
 
#4
Personally I have an information pack which I physically send out to prospective clients, once we've had an initial contact I'll find their address and send an email telling them a pack is on its way and to keep an eye out for the bright yellow envelope. If they don't require my services on this particular job they'll remember the yellow envelope and the small pack they've been sent. Inexpensive but memorable.
 
#5
I think word of mouth is very important. Asking at any opportunity that arises about being able to do work for friends, friends of friends, friends of family etc. I get quite a few people contacting me who I don't know directly but have seen/been told about work I done for someone else.
Thanks! I have been trying to do this...but it seems to take a while! I think I just need more patience lol :z

Personally I have an information pack which I physically send out to prospective clients, once we've had an initial contact I'll find their address and send an email telling them a pack is on its way and to keep an eye out for the bright yellow envelope. If they don't require my services on this particular job they'll remember the yellow envelope and the small pack they've been sent. Inexpensive but memorable.
Thats a really good idea, I think I will look into something like that rather than just a leaflet which I am sure businesses get through their doors all the time. How do you make the initial contact? Do you contact them? Thank you! :]
 
#6
It's simple enough to do. I spend hours and hours targeting local businesses online or through the yellow pages, as simple as that. At the end of that day you've got to put the legwork in to get anything in return. The most important thing is to make that lasting impression so that they talk about it. Even something as simple as a bright envelope which stands out from the monotonous white ones a client receives on their desk starts a conversation in their office.
 

Tony Hardy

Well-Known Member
#7
It's simple enough to do. I spend hours and hours targeting local businesses online or through the yellow pages, as simple as that. At the end of that day you've got to put the legwork in to get anything in return. The most important thing is to make that lasting impression so that they talk about it. Even something as simple as a bright envelope which stands out from the monotonous white ones a client receives on their desk starts a conversation in their office.
Do you cold-call first to see if they're interested? Or, just mail bomb people you think would benefit from your services?
 

Katedesign

Well-Known Member
#8
I send out a leaflet to firms - but only if I have a name. So I don't necessarilty cold-call but I do phone and ask for a name. Just say I want to send information about my business. If you give them a chance they will say 'No, thanks'.
 
#9
This is all great advice! I too have been struggling to decide what is the best approach. Has the leaflet mailing worked well Kate? This seems like a relatively inexpensive way of raising your profile in your area..
 

Edge

Active Member
#10
Website, blog and articles. I'm doing about three quotes a week to prospects who found us through the website. Also making better use of your signature. E.g 'Creative Design, Artworking and Print Management' is not a keyword phrase many people would type in so get on the Google keyword tool and find out keyword phrases people are typing in which relate to your products and services and build content around that. Payback will come sooner or later and the good thing is it's never wasted effort as everything you do stays there online unlike leaflet drops.
 

Katedesign

Well-Known Member
#11
This is all great advice! I too have been struggling to decide what is the best approach. Has the leaflet mailing worked well Kate? This seems like a relatively inexpensive way of raising your profile in your area..
tbh - the leaflet mailing hasn't worked brilliantly - perhaps the leaflet is at fault!! I do think it is just a matter of knocking on their door, leaflet landing on their desk, phone-call getting through at the right moment. We have had some work but I do also see it as profile raising - and the hits on the website go up just after a mailing. As I've said before (and I'll say it again) it takes 7 'marketing touches' (up to - as an average) before you get a bite. So patience is a virtue.

I am thinking of hitting them with postcards with just one message per card. eg. Design; print; copywriting; web design; etc. Our leaflet promotes everything we do!