I'm wondering if anyone can help me with some marketing tips. I'm going through a 'dry' time in my freelance projects. I have an e-mail list of about 150 people and use it to keep former clients, friends, and prospects up to date. What other ways can I use that e-mail list? what other things can I do to get my name out?
Marketing for freelance Web designers can be a challenge. If you're like many of us, you'd much rather be working on a new design or programming project than telling people why they should hire you. But in order to keep the cat in catfood or the kid in shoes learning how to market and promote yourself is vital.
I believe strongly in planning before going out and embarking on a solution. So the first thing I would do is come up with a plan that addresses both your goals and what you want to accomplish with your assets. Ask yourself the following questions, some you've already partially answered:
- What are your strengths? Why should someone hire you over another Web designer/developer?
- What are your weaknesses? How can you mitigate them?
- What area do you want to focus on? You should probably come up with 5-10 different fields, rather than limiting yourself to just one. Do you know anyone in those fields?
- Why do you want to focus on those fields? Do your strengths match the needs of companies in that field?
If you don't know anyone in the industries you want to target, that is your next step. You need to find and make contacts there. Use your list of 150 people to find out if they have contacts. If you're a member of LinkedIn or Facebook or some other community, ask for contacts there as well. You need to be selective. It doesn't help if you know 150 people in the building industry if you want to focus on veterinarians.
Then, taking the answers to those questions, I would email or even phone your target market contacts. Ask them for information on what they look for in a Web designer. What is important to them? What do they need? This will help you to verify that your beliefs about your matching strengths to that industry are correct. You can also use this as an opportunity to mention your services. But I've found it's more effective to start out with informational interviews, rather than trying to sell yourself cold. Once you know what they need, you'll be able to tailor a solution just for them.
The challenge is that when you don't have a lot of contacts in the field you want to target, it can be hard to stay motivated - especially when the bank account is getting lower and lower. But the more effort you spend in preparing and planning, the better your ultimate sales pitch will be.
More Marketing Resources
- 10 Tips to Promoting Your Web Design Business
- Web Design Businesses - Start with a Business Plan
- How to Set a Price for Web Design Work
- Wanted: 100 Referral Partners - from About.com Marketing
- 6 Steps To Get "Slightly" Famous - from About.com Small Business Information
- Guerrilla Marketing - from About.com Marketing
- Critical Steps to Writing a Business Plan - from About.com Small Business Information