So far, your new design company has been like a well-kept secret. Your friends and family know that you have brought your talents to market, but few other people (like customers). Here is how to arouse the interest of the public in a way that does not place them in a noisy mess of self-promotion.
Promote Your Name Online
Online marketing is an endless revolving door, with something new flying at every turn. In order to remain relevant as a designer, especially independent, you cannot afford to be buried under all other content intended for your internet audience. If you understand your business goals and your target audience, you can begin to make a place for yourself in the lives of your future customers. Here are some ways to achieve this:
- Blog regularly, at least once a week, with a unique look at relevant topics. Occasional funny messages are also right-describe the amazing journey you’ve just made with your family or share your thoughts on the recent big screen adaptation of your favorite book.
- Links to other blogs of the design industry, especially the well-read ones, in their own posts. Connections with reputable websites not only builds relationships with these websites, but it also improves your online visibility.
- As an active member of online forums and member communities of design websites, strengthen your community connection with your presence and authoritative ideas.
- Facebook Facebook Instagram Instagram and Pinterest: share your recent projects on user-friendly Social Media sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. (Facebook and Twitter are also good at promoting updates to your blog.)
- Once you have established yourself as a voice in your field, ask other established websites if they can contribute to your website (articles, infographics, etc.). (Note that this helps if your content has received a lot of engagement by showing you that you get similar results with an original post.)
In every promotion, your branding is the key. If you look the same everywhere, thanks to your consistent profile pictures, on behalf of your company and your writing style, the design community will start to recognize you-and thus establish your name among a coveted audience.
Include potential customers Offline
Never underestimate the power of good old printed marketing to keep your awareness in your local community. Consumers feel a stronger connection to something they can hold in their hand than with anything flashing on a screen, the fact that direct mail makes them spend more shows. Print parts such as locally displayed flyers and oversized postcards put your work, name, logo and hopefully your face in front of potential customers as you track your daily activities.
These articles should not only highlight your own skills, but also what others are saying about you, so throw in some good reviews that you have received. If you don’t have many opinions to choose from, ask for recommendations for those who have praised your work in the past. Do not be afraid to name some of your known customers (with your permission, of course). After enough exhibits, those who see your documents could simply search them online.
Offline marketing should also not be limited to pieces of paper in various forms. Here is a list of ideas you can use to help people notice your business during their daily lives:
- Let customers know that they are thinking of you by sending them holiday cards that you design specifically for them. The personalization will come out so that your service will be top-of-mind.
- Have an excellent business card to distribute while networking. A good design on such a small stand is one of the most powerful ways to demonstrate your skills to future customers.
- Organize a contest of your choice among local businesses, with the winner receiving a free design service from you. This warns potential customers about their existence and talents.
- Stick a sticker or a branded car magnet on your vehicle, for a promotion that is both affordable and with a high viewing rate.
- Consider placing one or two ads in the local print media to reach a demographic that may not be much online, but would like to relax with a magazine or paper. Everything you can do to expand your audience (without exceeding your advertising budget) helps your visibility.
More importantly, let people know you. Talk to them at business meetings, city events, online at the cafe for lunch wherever you are! If the conversation leads to what you do to earn a living, this is a great opportunity; but if not, don’t force it. Only a pleasant connection between your face and your personal interactions can lead to business after.
Optimize both strategies for maximum visibility
As always, your Online and offline efforts should work together. Being present and interacting in both areas is necessary to be successful. Design your advertising strategy around your target customers. Prove that your business is worth your time and you start to see it as worth your time.
The optimal balance between printed and digital marketing is different for every freelance designer. Factors such as location, preferred media, and market saturation will all impact your marketing strategy. It may take some trials and errors to get the best return on your promotions, but even your little baby steps will help you to make yourself more visible than before.