Table Of Contents:
- Know your brand
- Getting a website or online portfolio to showcase your work
- Network yourself
- Paid Marketing and online tools
Starting your own freelance business can seem like a daunting task. All the insecurities and worries come to the front and sprinkle a little bit of doubt around your idea, but don’t worry about it!
Marketing yourself is one of the very important factors when it comes to creating your own business from scratch. People need to know you exist and if selling yourself is something new to you or something you feel uncomfortable with, no stress, this will help you all the way.
Here are some helpful tips to steer you in the right direction to get your business up and running and get those clients lining up in no time.
Know your brand
Know exactly what you are going to be selling to potential clients. Decide on a set of skills you are going to offer and know what you can and cannot do. If you have 20 traits to offer or 2, focus on branding it accordingly.
Have a visual for your brand, a logo or a theme, so you can keep the same flow through all the marketing and transactions.
Getting a website or online portfolio to showcase your work
Before you can start selling yourself you need to be able to show your potential clients exactly what they are getting, or a rough estimate if anything.
Setting up a website for your brand is not a necessity but highly encouraged as it is a visual representation of what you have to offer. If a website is not in your budget, online portfolios are also a good substitute.
Networking may feel like an awkward and cliché activity but it is the basis of any business. Don’t look down upon the idea and rather embrace it as a new challenge. Meeting new people and interacting and selling yourself can be fun for some people but for others it can seem like an impossible task.
You have to get out of that comfort zone and meet your potential clients, promote yourself and keep those relationships going in the long run. Networking in person is essential to make personal connections and keep those connections going on an online platform afterwards.
Follow your favorite designers and artists, interact with them and ask how they made a name for themselves. Social media is a huge part of getting your work seen by many people.
Learning how to use hashtags related to your field and work is essential to success. A fitting quote from Dribble – “Being able to build connections between other people improves your reputation.”
Starting from the bottom is the building foundations of any business. If this is your first try at getting clients and you don’t have previous experience with client work, don’t worry about it!
Spend some time creating some of the types of designs you would want to create for your clients. If you are focusing on branding, create a few logos and matching stationery and post that on your social media, website and/or portfolio.
Even if you have no experience this is a good way to show what you are capable of and lure in some potential clients.
Don’t stop designing. Keep practising and getting better. It is never guaranteed that you will get your first clients on the first day. Don’t just sit there and wait for something to happen. Work on your skills and expand on others.
Sometimes you will get clients who want specific things that you may not be able to do. Rather than saying no to the job, tell them you don’t have experience with that particular design but you are willing to give it your all and learn how to do it and try.
You’d be amazed what people are willing to wait for if they have faith in you.
Paid Marketing and online tools
If the idea of marketing is new to you and you need some assistance with learning how to do it properly, there are quite a few places to check out that can teach you what to do. IIDM™ has numerous courses for any level of knowledge to help you get on track with marketing.
Mailchimp is an easy tool to use for email marketing. It keeps up to date data for your mailing lists and gives you the freedom to create unique templates for any sort of email. It is estimated that more than 70% of millennials prefer brand communication through emails.
All in all it is not rocket science to market your own company. It just needs some commitment and love for the work that you do. Making the leap from independent to business owner can be challenging but with these few tips you can be assured that your hard work will pay off in the end.
It won’t happen overnight, but consistency is key to the success of your business.