A little sales help


New Member

Despite being a graphic designer for years I'm relatively new to working for myself, and I wondered if I could ask a little advice from those who are a little more seasoned than myself.

As a 'one man band' I've initially positioned myself as a freelancer plying my trade to existing design companies and those who regularly use design services, such as PR companies etc. I don't find it too difficult to find or call these companies as their need for design of all kinds is known.

But I would really like to build a client base that involves the end clients directly. By this I mean businesses of whatever size who may need design be it a brochure, branding website or whatever.

So my question is where to start, how do you approach a company completely cold, whats the direction?

Does anyone have any tried and tested means they are willing to share.

Thanks in advance

The best way in my opinion is to offer your services through the internet.
This way you can control your clientele and manage your workload in a much easier way than approaching companies directly.

This method is much more time efficient and is more effective than traditional leafletting methods for our industry.

Use Google Click Ads along with Google Analytics to analyse you to refine your client base.
This was you can use Keywords to target companies within your catchment area.

I'd also use all of the free advertising space as possible such as googles pages, Facebook, Four Square etc.

However, before advertising yourself you will need to have a website up and running with all the usual. Clients like to be able to get as much information as possible before making decisions.

Another consideration to have is your target market. Do you want to approach large companies or small business start-ups? Maybe send the two different sectors literature that is more bespoke to them.

Lot's to consider when starting up!
I've just seen your website.

Try and get cracking on SEO. It will help gain traffic to your website and it's a free way to market your business the only charge is the time it takes you to learn. But once you've learned you can offer it as a service.
Hi Toppers and thanks

As you've already spotted I have a website, and yes you're right I do need to master SEO, although from my stats I get an awful lot of traffic through google image searches, though this largely appears to be from the middle east, far east and america hunting for images references in graphic design, so not really condusive to obtaining new work.

I have considered AdWords, but have been a little unsure of the cost effectiveness, but I guess this will have to tried to see a the results if any.

I've kind of ruled out FaceBook advertising as it will generally market to those who have expressed an interest in graphic design- eg other designers, although I obviously have a page, as I do with twitter - which is a little tedious, but potentially useful - and a post on stumbleupon which does generate a small amount of traffic.

Of course as I mentioned above lots of traffic doesn't mean lots of work.

I would ideally like to target small businesses ideally, as I could get a bit swamped by a larger firm, that's not to say I'd rule them out. The question with literature is not so much its content, but how to get it to the person who matters.
You need to get yourelf out there with your business cards* and meet other businesses. One way is to network - try BNI and other networking groups, Chamber of Commerce. Often you can go along for a visit for not a great deal of money - probably £10 to pay for your breakfast/lunch/meeting room.

You can mail-shot potential clients - use post and email.

You can walk round and cold-call - but have a pad or pen or something to leave them.

You can phone them.

All they can say is NO!

Your website will really only work when they know you better...

Ask friends and family if they know people in business, phoning a name is easier than cold-calling.

A few ideas to get you going...

*You have got business cards - have't you?