I'm trying to grow my freelance Graphic Design business and I have practically NO budget for advertising to get new clients. Although I am fully grateful to the repeat clients I have, they are few and I would love me single clients because when I did have those, at least I had a somewhat steady stream of money, although small amounts. This is when I first started out and how I built the relationship with my current clients.
Those were the myspace days and I offered FREE div layouts on my website which drove people to my page and I got more custom clients. Now with myspace dying and facebook & google+ rising with little to customization you can do, I have to concentrate on web design and web & print graphics outside of social network sites.
I have a facebook fan page going with about 80 likes and posts going on everyday keeping my presence on the web, but I haven't received any NEW clients. How else (on the web or in print) can I advertise. I live in a low income area with mostly Spanish speaking people so I don't know if people in my area have the need or income to spend on custom graphics.
What ideas and tips would you have for someone like me to get some new clients and income with little to no money left for advertising?
Hmm, I think the best you can do for now is to do some rounds of promotions in social networking sites. There are plenty of groups there that help designers like you get connected with clients.
Other then Facebook & Twitter...what do you suggest are the better social network sites to join?
I've looked up Linkin & Pinterest. I already have a Google+ page, but getting people onto that is difficult.
Learn Spanish, There are other social media sites besides facebook and google that are more valuable. If you do not have a portfolio site I'd recommend getting one having a fan page show casing your work is not professional enough to me at least.
I've been working on my portfolio for a while now. The fan page became less about my work and more about graphic design in general so it seems I'm attracting more people like that to it.
The Facebook customisation thing may be very limited, but a lot of businesses don't realise the potential of those forums. If you can put together a social media package whereby you take care of setting up Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ ect.. for a business and sort out all their branding and link them all up, I think you could charge for that. Never underestimate what people will pay to avoid learning something new.
It is actually a real lucrative business in Social Media Marketing. I'm actually studying up on that with the Let's Get Social website. You put in A LOT more hours but you can charge companies through the roof for these things. The hard thing now is to convince small business in my area (a low income area) to use social media sites. But thanks for the advice.
Actually, some companies are finding the time and money spent on social media is not worth it in the long run as you experienced and while there are some good jobs handling it, I feel they are most likely at their peak and will slowly decline as businesses are cutting corners and pulling back due to drop in revenues and expected increase in taxes.
Even some of the of the bigger companies have scaled back their social media efforts recently and the smaller ones just can't afford the time or labor to really take full advantage of their presence. Just having fan page, Twitter account, and etc. is not really enough to make a noticeable impact unless you can leverage them with worthy content and engage people. Very few are able to do this effectively.
I suggest trying something that generates real and promising leads like thumbtack.com for better chances of getting work. I was suggested this service from a friend and was surprised by the leads I have gotten from it. You can join for free, build up your profile and sit back and wait for leads to come. The leads are free but if you want to submit a quote, it will cost between $2-$5 and you are competing with others. They also have a monthly fee that gives you unlimited quote submissions too I think.
Thanks, I'll take a look at that site. I'm already part of freelancer.com but I find that I have a hard time competing in that area.
I agree with the part of social media marketing is only as good as the content they have, and my husband experienced that with his job. His boss hired an outside company just to take over the facebook page to increase exposure and paying them $3000 a month got them a sharp nose dive in their stats. So my husband took over that (not part of his job description) and increased the numbers of the facebook page which increased the number of sales by 10%.
He has since taken a short medical leave leaving the facebook in charge of a newbie graphic designer (my husband is a web designer) and the content he's generating is actually making the overall numbers and interest in the company drop. So through our own experiment, we know how hard it is to maintain a good social media network for a business.
I am a little surprised nobody has mentioned Craigslist as an avenue for advertising. It's free and is frequented often by people looking for all types of design services. I'd recommend posting in local cities in your state first, and then try branching out to nearby states over time.
I did one or two posts in our local craigslist, but have a hard time generating any leads from there. Any suggestions on where and what to put to entice people?
For my posts I use a large graphic that shows past work along with a short bio of myself. I also renew the posts every 2-3 days to keep it towards to the top of the stack. Just like you would with your personal website, your ad should showcase your work (essentially the products clients will be purchasing from you) as well as enough info about you/your services so as to seem inviting and friendly to work with. You can see one of my posts at http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/crs/3327400978.html