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abigailhester in a_graphicdesign

Ways to get more freelance work!

Word of mouth is the go

  • Enlist your family and friends to spread the word about your services
  • Send out an email to everyone in your address book, announcing what you do, where you are and what you can offer
  • Ask your satisfied clients for referrals
  • Offer free consultations to new referrals
  • Consider a referral or finders fee

Love those clients

  • Get in touch with past and current clients when you have a new service to offer them
  • Get in touch with past and current clients when you have completed a flagship project
  • Start a newsletter
  • Take advantage of every outgoing email by using your email signature as a marketing tool
    • Send promotions for services with your invoices
    • Ask your clients to place a credit on your work in web, video or print
    • Make a calendar featuring your work for clients to put up in their offices to serve as a constant reminder
    • Make a poster for your client to hang up on their office wall
    Talk the talk
    • Go to industry events - conferences, association meetings, seminars
    • Go to events in your client’s industry
    • Sponsor a client event
    • Join your local Chamber of Commerce and get involved
    • Socialize and always have your card ready
    • Do some pro-bono work for a charitable organization with industry links
    • Get involved in social groups you’re connected to (church, school, university)
    • Join an industry organization and get listed
    • Contact people you used to work with and ask them to send you any run-off work they might have
    • Offer to give a seminar to a local business group
    • Practice an elevator speech about what you do and have it ready to go wherever you are
    • Participate on online forums (using the forum signature line)
    • Comment on blogs to draw people back to your freelance site

    Advertising

    Promote Yourself

    • Get car signage
    • Get t-shirts made with your URL
    • Try location based Google Adwords
    • Advertise in a niche magazine or trade publication e.g. a magazine just for cafes
    • List yourself in business directories or the Yellow Pages
    • Research sites your clients are visiting and buy advertising there
    • Advertise in online directories
    • Take out an ad out in a local newspaper
    • Participate in a trade show
    • Holidays are your friend! Send a clever holiday greeting to clients showing your work
    • Promote a free first consulation service
    • Have a gimmick that makes you stand out
    • Give something away for free
    • Place an advert in an industry newsletter
    • Offer branded pens and paper at industry events
     

    Be an industry expert

    • Pitch an article to an industry publication
    • Pitch a story to a blog or resource website
    • Offer to speak at industry and networking events
    • Start a blog and publicize it
    • Submit tutorials or how-to’s to websites
    • Get on the radio
    • Write an eBook or Report for your target market and promote it online
    • Enter your work into competitions and awards… and win :)
     

    Use the media

    • Issue a press release about a story related to your services and try and get it into a local newspaper or magazine
    • Pull a publicity friendly stunt (think Richard Branson)
    • Run a contest which ties into your services

    Job Boards

     

    Brrr – it’s cold in here!

    • Find out how you could improve a companies business and profits and cold call them with your pitch
    • Mail promo postcards to potential clients
    • Mail fun promotional items to potential clients (calendars, toys, posters etc)

    Help leads find you

    Get in bed with local business

    • Contact your local internet service provider or printing house and offer them a commission if they refer work
    • Establish contacts in larger agencies that can refer their run-off work
    • Keep in touch with freelancers that will offer clients a complementary service to yours and throw each other work
    • Create a local business directory and use it to get to know other business owners who might later need your services
    • Cross promote with other businesses
    • Ask if you can put your business cards or brochure in local stores
    • Rent officespace shared with other businesses or freelancers

    Industry Specific Ideas

    And here are some ideas that are tailored to certain industries…

    Photographers

    • Enter your work into a gallery or run an exhibition
    • Submit some work to stock agencies to attract attention
    • Do a new series of work so you have a reason to show your portfolio to an old contact
    • Send in your photography work to industry magazines to make a name for yourself
    • Start an online photojournal
    • Photograph an event or series and pitch it to a newspaper or magazine
    • Get an Agent

    Programmers & Developers

    • Pitch your self as a developer who understands web designers, because most of them need a developer
    • Write a small web app like ta-da list or jobpile and get some recognition
    • Answer tech questions on forums and use a signature that says you offer freelance coding services
    • Enter a programming contest like RailsDay
    • Contribute to open source efforts and get known

    Illustrators/Animators

    • Start a comic strip blog - e.g. gapingvoid.com
    • Make characters and create merchandise based on them - figurines, badges, tshirts etc
    • Enter some competitons to get your illustrations in some famous places - snowboards, posters
    • Create an awesome animation that wins you fame like Laith Bahrani
    • Do stock illustrations for a site like istockphoto and have a portfolio site offering custom ones
    • Write to big blogs and offer to do a cartoon strip (k10k)
    • Send in your illustration work to magazines like computerarts.co.uk
    • Create a promo Reel of animations or illlustrations and send it around/get it publicised
    • Send your illustrations to gift card publishers

    Writers, Bloggers, Journalists

    • Pitch yourself at ad, design and web design agencies as a copywriter
    • Find some photos on iStockPhoto and write some great ad headlines for each and make a mailer out of it
    • Submit articles to article banks for sale
    • Write opinionated, witty pieces and get them publicised on Digg with a blurb at the bottom about your services
    • Pitch article ideas to editors, online and off
    • Write a book and publish it with lulu.com

    Designers

    • Submit work to design compilation books and magazines
    • Get your portfolio/profile listed on a site like Coroflot
    • Design a great website and submit it to design galleries like CSSMania.com
    • Build a great portfolio and submit it to design portals like DesignIsKinky.com
    • Start a magazine, design portal or blog

    So there you have it, lots of ideas! Do you know of any more? Add them in the comments and i'll add them to the list…

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September 2008

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