Establishing a successful career as a freelancer in the graphic design and marketing fields can be both incredibly rewarding and challenging. But as in any industry where contractors are plentiful, it can be difficult to separate yourself from the masses and identify how exactly you fit into the market. Fortunately, in the era of social media, self-promotion and marketing are much easier than you may think. In an effort to help all struggling, up and coming freelancers here are some self-marketing tips and strategies:
Identify Your Niche
According to It’s My Business, there are currently 10.3 million independent contractors working in the U.S. Whether you’re a writer, graphic designer, or consultant, the most important component to finding success as a freelancer is identifying your niche. In what areas do you excel? What are your weaknesses? What are you passionate about, and what are you most interested in working on? It’s critical to know the answers to such questions before you begin your freelance journey.
Create Your Own Brand
Once you’ve determined what types of services you want to offer, you can begin to shape your own brand and image. Don’t hesitate to share your expertise and enthusiasm on blogs, question boards, and other forums. Establish your name within the industry and prompt users to explore your name and website further. Consider creating a unique email extension with your own name and design a logo you can use when sending around work samples. One of your greatest resources: your local printer who wants to establish an ongoing relationship with you as you grow your business and reputation in the community. You will find no richer resource for technical, creative and promotional information.
Build A Professional Portfolio
Creating a unique and user-friendly way to display and showcase your work allows you to show potential employers just how talented you are. Though you should always be prepared to provide both digital and hard copies, building an online portfolio is crucial. You can collect your work via a blog or website, or create a digital reel of your work to present. Keep it simple without being too generic — allow your personality to shine through.
Now that you’ve got a grasp on the basics, it’s time to discuss some logistics. As a freelancer, it can often be tedious and difficult to send and track invoices. Digitize your payment process by implementing mobile processing resources. This not only saves you time and frustration, but it is also incredibly easy to use for both yourself and clients. Track payments and manage accounts wirelessly all at the tip of your finger.
Utilize All Social Media Outlets
Take advantage of free social media platforms by posting links to or photos of your most recent accomplishments. Solicit your services and provide contact information for your users while maintaining a professional, eye-catching page. Consider creating social pages explicitly for professional use, and keep your personal accounts private.
Take On Pro Bono Work
Though you may not be jumping at the thought of taking on free work, such opportunities can often lead to paid gigs and/or referrals. This is also a great way to gain experience or dabble in an industry you’re not usually comfortable with. Furthermore, this give you the chance to network with potential clients for future projects – and while you gain useful experiences you also help others.
Small business entrepreneurs and talented freelancers are at the heart of Asheville and western North Carolina’s exciting economic growth – and we are committed to helping meet your marketing needs. ImageSmith is proud to be a printer in such an exciting era of digital communication. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmental responsible printing. They should also be able to work with you to solve any difficult prepress issues with your files. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER. Ask Imagesmith!
Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.