If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either an entrepreneur or an entrepreneur-in-waiting. If you’re not quite sure what that means, don’t worry. In simple terms, an entrepreneur is someone who decides to take the plunge and try to make their idea a reality. An entrepreneur-in-waiting is someone who has the potential to be an entrepreneur but hasn’t quite found the courage yet to try. In any case, whether you’re just starting out or you’re already a confident entrepreneur, you’re probably wondering how to go about marketing yourself as a freelance designer.
If you’re wondering where to start, I’d recommend the following blog posts:
5 Tips for Starting Your Own Business
I have my own business. I’ll be completely honest – it wasn’t easy. There were countless days where I questioned whether or not I’d made the right decision to start my own company. However, as time has passed I’ve realized that there are many benefits to owning my own business. Here are 5 tips for you to consider if you’re interested in starting your own company and pursuing a freelance design career:
1. Find Your Niche
You don’t need to be good at everything. In fact, being good at something is often over-rated. Instead, find your niche and specialize in it. For example, if you’re a graphic designer and you find yourself frustrated by creating web banners, don’t just stick with designing web banners. Instead, find a creative professional who is good at designing logos or branding for brands.
When you specialize in one area, it makes it much easier to find work. If you’re struggling to find work as a graphic designer, but you’re good at logo design, consider specializing in that area. You may find that it’s much easier to get work if you have a solid portfolio of logos designed by you. This way, you can showcase your work to potential clients and prove to them that you are, in fact, qualified to work on their project.
2. Have A Project In Mind
Whether you’ve decided to start a business or you’re still deciding which route to take, one thing you must have is a project in mind. It doesn’t have to be a big project. In fact, you don’t even have to have finished it yet. Simply having a project in mind is half the battle. The other half is showing the world you’re serious about turning your idea into a reality. The better your idea, the better your marketing will be. You can’t go wrong with that logic!
If you’ve decided to start a business, the most important thing to do is to find a product that you believe will be successful. It’s easy to get stuck in the day-to-day drudgery of running a business, but taking the time to think about potential products can make a big difference. You don’t need to rush into making a decision. Take your time, consider all the pros and cons, and then make a plan. In the end, having a project in mind will make you much more marketable as a freelance designer.
3. Identify Your Target Audience
Knowing who your target audience is going to be important. If you’re not sure who your target audience is, ask yourself these questions:
- Who would enjoy my product?
- Who needs my product?
- Why should they buy it?
- What is my competition?
- What are my competitors doing?
- What do I offer that my competitors don’t?
- What am I offering that my competitors don’t?
- Who or what is inspiring me?
- What is driving me?
An easy way to find your target audience is to ask yourself questions about what makes you tick. If you’re not sure what makes you tick, ask your friends and family. They will be able to give you some good suggestions. You can also look at other successful businesses that are similar to yours and figure out how you can incorporate what you’ve learned into your own company. In any case, having an idea of your target audience will make it much easier to market yourself as a freelancer. You can also ask yourself questions about who your ideal customer is and what they want. This should help you figure out what keywords you should use in your marketing material.
4. Create A Unique Selling Point
A unique selling point (USP) is something that makes your product or service stand out from the crowd. It can be as simple as your pricing structure or as complex as a process that you use to bring your product to market. Once you find your niche, establish yourself as an expert in your field and start marketing yourself as such. In other words, don’t just limit yourself to designing web banners. Instead, develop other marketing materials that you feel will make your work stand out. For example, if you’re known for your user-friendly designs, develop some marketing material that will demonstrate how effective your design is. If you want to establish yourself as an expert in UX design, create some case studies or offer a free seminar. The possibilities are endless!
Once you’ve found your niche, establish yourself as an expert in your field and start marketing yourself as such. If you want to become a famous furniture designer, produce some pieces that are truly unique and speak to the heart of people. Create an atmosphere of trust by providing a platform for your customers to engage with you. Don’t be afraid to be creative and unique with your marketing materials.
5. Test Marketing Channels
There are many different marketing channels available to you. Each one has its pros and cons, but in general there are three main ones:
If you’re looking for quick results, you may want to try and see if social media marketing will work for you. However, if you’re looking to develop a solid customer base, you may want to try and see if a direct mail program will serve your needs. It’s also important to note that not all digital marketing is created equal. You may decide to go this route, but be careful not to overextend yourself. Try and narrow your focus on one or two channels and see how they work for you. If you’re still debating what path to take, ask yourself these questions:
- Where do I want to be in 1 year?
- How else can I grow my business?
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to get started and what to expect. If you’re looking for a change of pace, you can always choose to work as a freelancer. The key is to find something that you believe in and that is going to serve a purpose. You can’t go wrong with that!