The life of a designer is not easy as what some of the people thought. A cup of coffee, a piece of bread with butter spread and their PC – that is what some people thought of the things that are always at the eye of designers. Some thought that they only think and apply the idea then after a few hours, the job is done. I, however, contradict these kinds of thoughts. I could probably say that their job is the same with an abstract. Stunning and the thought of being easy will come unto mind when they think of it, but when the time of application comes; it takes more than an hour to finish working on it just to show the real purpose of its creation. Thinking of a design that will probably suits on what the clients want is the first step they should do. The application of their sum up idea will be the hardest part of their work. In addition, their job does not only end in their finished design projects yet sometimes, it takes time for them to promote their works first before they can say that the job is well done.
Promoting sometimes is tough to do especially if you are one of the new fishes at the market. Promoting is a kind of act wherein you are endorsing, encouraging or making a campaign for persuading people to deal with your works or products. Probably, promoting is also arduous part of web designing done by web developers. You should bear many things in mind in promoting your design projects. The first thing you should think is what makes your project unique on the rest of the design projects in the industry. What are the offers does my company have that the others don’t have? What are things that make my services unique or special? Why should someone choose my services and company over the other companies? Ask yourself these questions and answer it honestly unless if you want to end up hurting yourself, then lie on it.
Here are golden tips that can help you to lessen the complexity and convolution in promoting design projects and be successful in the design industry.
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Create a knockout online portfolio
A portfolio is the best way to provide visibility and say that you do exist using the power of network within the wide world web. It is a great technique to show off your skills and abilities that your business generally offers. It will be better if you will have the list of the sites you have already worked on, what made them exclusive or fascinating, and as much as possible, the screenshot of the site. When you creating a portfolio, take note that you should keep screenshots only if the contract allows you to have the copies of the sites that you developed on your own server.
The portfolio is very significant because it is the central nervous system of your work, your contacts, and all the other information about you. Therefore, do something special on your portfolio and make it different than the default, and make it something easy to remember at the same time will keep you stand out from the crowd of professionals.
Leave a mark
It will be very helpful in promoting your design projects if you will leave your business information on every site you build. As we say, leave a mark. It is the same as if you were already recover from a surgery because of suffering from illness and leaves you nothing but a scar. The scar signifies that you were already passed from something that is too arduous to accomplish. You can make sure to get some sort of acknowledgement of your work in their site in the contract and it can help you to have a small logo to promote your business inconspicuously. There are some instances wherein the owner of the business does not allow their web designer to put his/her logo on every page of the site. However, if this happens, put something that will promote your works along their “About us” page with a link going to your business site. So if there are clients who will be pleased on your works in their site, you can have the chances to have visit from them.
Be willing to start from the cheap ones until it grows
Top of success often starts on the floor then goes with the stairs unto the peak. The same in starting your business in creating design projects. At first, you should consider some sort of free or low-priced design projects to start and to serve as a piece on your portfolio. As many designers said that recommend never doing work for free unless you want them to expect it more in future.
There are many organizations around there such as churches and local clubs that does not have budget in hiring a web designer for their sites. Offer them your service freely or in reduced cost. Be willing to start form the cheap ones until it grows. There is nothing wrong in accepting any designing projects as long as it has a reasonable rate of payment and there is nothing wrong with their advocacy or purpose of creating that one.
Through passing from numerous design projects, you will be able to collect more portfolio work pieces as well as you will have an exposure to other clients that will also help you to gain more of it.
At any time, as much as possible, promote your designs
We are aiming for the promotion of your design projects so at any time, as much as possible, promote your designs. If there is an available web designers listing, then you should get your site on it and be one of those listed web designers. Before start spamming the world, read any submission requirements. As the world of web is much widened, you will not be able to get additional customers because you are submitted on more places around the world. There is only one thing you should not do in spamming the world – do not make people annoy or infuriate on you. If you particularly do this then expect to be banned or be one of those who are listed in blacklist.
Harness the power of social media sharing
Many social media networks will surely help you in promoting you design projects such as Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Yahoo, Google+ and Pinterest. The catch is that you might not know how many people have seen your designs. Log in to multiple social media networks and start sharing, as it is the easiest way to showcase your work.
Start with the biggest one – like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Then, follow it up by pinning to Pinterest and other networks. Show your work in established networks that are visual so you will not end up with describing it in words. Have down pat to share in different times of day at various places. Respond courteously and diplomatically to the comments and share more than once. Moreover, social media sharing is great way to build up some gratefulness, comments and views, hence, intensifying your prominence.
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Freebies makes them come back for more
Free things are always appreciated and long awaited. Free things or the so-called freebies are often popular because they both work for customers and companies. In order to get clients trust shows them some of your applied skills. For example, you are specialized in creating web templates. Offer a free web template for anyone who is interested to download and use it on his or her own purpose. Once you have hooked them with the quality of your free product, they will be more interested to hire you in building a full web template content site. It is the same with the free taste we all encounter on groceries. They offer free taste in order to promote their products such as processed meats. If the customers like the taste of their product then they will be interested to buy the product.
The more freebies you give away especially to your subscribers, the more possible chances to hook up clients who will go for your offers. You could also offer free things like free simple flash menu, free site evaluation, free hosting with purchase of a design package, free estimate (you should always provide this one) and free domain maintenance with mention of some ads. These exclusive freebies will drive more traffic and leads to your portfolio thus, increase the chance of getting more design projects. If you have information, articles or links on your website that tackles about you are selling, you will be attracting more customers. However, be cautious if you decide to put up articles that they do not turn into ‘infomercials’.
The intersection of SEO and Design
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is also an important portion of a website. In order to get better ranking for the niche designs you want to build, use the exclusive aspects of your business to optimize on. There are many situations where website design choices can help or hurt your SEO efforts. Many of the trends in website design indicate that accessibility and website architecture best practices are still important considerations.
Always remember that following web design trends will somehow put an impact to your SEO. You can apply here the tip #5: use social media in sharing. Through sharing, you will be more visible to clients. Then the clients will discover the unique features of your business. But for assurance, you can also highlight these aspects of your business on your website or either on your portfolio. Take note that there are hundreds or at least millions of web designers scattered all over the world and they all have also the same business with you. The better you optimize for a particular niche, the more possibilities you will get the client that another, more oversimplified web designer would have missed.
Recommended: Why Web Designers Should Outsource Their SEO?
Be cautious on what you do on all promotional materials
Don’t give your client a reason to give unto you their backs or to turn away from you. Always be cautious on what you do on all the promotional materials. Whenever you are promoting your business, be professional, whether on your company’s website or in web designer listings. Remember that spelling and grammar are the very simple element in promoting yet most of the designers still commit failures regarding this.
If you make even a single typographical error in your promotional material, someone will see those errors and some end up deciding finding better web designer than you. You should assure that there is no mistake they could see on you. Beware also to the words you are using. Instead helping you to persuade them, you only push them away. For example, you thought that form of word can make your website ‘cool’, in some aspects, you’re right. However, consider the relation of what you are using to what you are promoting.
Ask for someone’s help
Sometimes, asking for help is not bad as what you think. Ask influencers to help you promoting your designs by sharing it. Begin with other friends in the design community and ask them to share you design projects or work as well. Then, branch out. Ask also on some of the people who influenced you online to share your works. If they already influence you, then they can do it again on other people. However, if they say no, then fine. A little boost from third parties can really help get your work out to an expanded audience that you may not be able to reach it only on your own efforts. Start to use your connections on Internet in promoting your designs.
Always care for your business
Your web design business should always be looking for clients and in order to look for one, you need to put the best foot forward. As much as possible, keep your business website up-to-date and of high quality. Put all your recent works or the current ones in the most visible area. Do not only focus on your portfolio because some of the clients are visiting only to check if the organized and amazing portfolio is equal to its content.