The number of freelancers is rising at a really fast pace, and like everything else you need to stand out in order to stay competitive. Standing out is no easy task, your work needs to be attractive to a lot of people, but especially to your clients. Unfortunately, being good is not enough in today’s world, you also need to tell the world you are here and you are capable of good design.
The best designers and developers are the ones we don’t know about, the only difference is that they don’t need, don’t know or don’t care about self-promotion, or promotion at all. But if you value your work, you should value the way you are presenting it to the world. So before you sell a product, you need to sell yourself. Tell them why you deserve to be chosen, why you.
“Self-promotion is the act or practice of promoting one’s own interests, profile, work, etc.”
If this sounds obvious to you, think twice and ask yourself if you are really doing everything you should. Why are you receiving 200 visits / month, when others receive 5000 visits / month with similar work and services? Because they are promoting themselves better.
In this article, I will try to give you some insight about how and where you should promote yourself. Take a look below.
Have an Online Presence
If you plan to expand your brand and to sell your work, having a professional online presence is mandatory. Building a portfolio is the perfect way to share your experience, knowledge, work and clients, while showing your personality through creativity. Don’t forget to reference your website as much as possible, especially to clients. You can reference it in your email signature, artwork, ads, business cards, etc.
Keep Your Website Updated
Content is slightly more important than aesthetics. If your website looks great, but your last post is dated from 2009, your visitor won’t return because he’s not expecting updates in the near future, and he’s right. Ideally it would be great to update your site daily, if you can’t at least try to update it once a week.
Support Good Causes
More and more charities are adopting online media to raise funds for their causes. If you have the time, supporting charitable causes makes the world a better place, and helps you achieve positive feedback, respect, and influential clients. It’s also a lot more fun than regular work.
This is definitely the most important step in the whole process of self-promotion. Actively participating in the community is an opportunity to expand your network of contacts, meet perspective clients, learn new methods, meet agencies and have friendly discussions. Open yourself to others in the business, help people that ask you for advice, and spread the word about your new artwork or website.
Sharing your point of view about the business in general, gives your clients and readers some an idea about your personality and professionalism. New content like articles, case studies, tutorials, etc, transforms your website into a place of valuable information, and keeps your visitors coming back. It’s also a place where you can easily promote your most recent work.
The best way to let your visitors know how good your work is, is giving it to them for free so they can try it. offering quality freebies like icons, buttons, layouts, brushes, patterns, textures, etc, increases your self-motivation, respect and more importantly, exposure.
Showcase Your Work
Personally, I think this should be one of the first things you should do as soon as you launch your website. There are many great showcase galleries out there (especially CSS galleries) with a big impact in your website exposure and evaluation. A gallery can bring you 10 times more visits, and besides they are mainly seen by other professionals, it can be a plus for clients.
Make Sure They Know You Did It
Simply put, never forget to sign your work. If people like the work, they will try to find out who did it, and they will know it was you. You will start to be asked to do the same kind of work for clients, or “how you did it” questions within the community.
Help, collaborate, share your experience and insights, and answer people and clients even if you don’t have the time to do more work. Giving back inspires others to do the same. You can learn a lot and make great friends within the business, just by sharing your knowledge and experience. It also increases your self-esteem, and keeps people coming back.
Look for Work
If you find an opportunity to work with good professionals or big clients, do it. Don’t think twice. It can be a great plus for you and your portfolio. Being a part of great projects or great teams, promotes your expertise and makes it easier to find new jobs and projects to join in the future. So the more experience you have, the more likely is to increase it.
At this point, you should know that building a portfolio is just the beginning, you now need to keep it updated and spread the word. What about starting a blog? or offering freebies? Don’t be afraid of starting new adventures, meeting people, applying for jobs…
Nothing in life is achieved without hard work, so if you want to be a great freelancer, you need to do it right or don’t try it at all.
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