Resources & Inspiration for the Artistically Curious
I’m all hopped up on 12oz sugar free RedBull and I wanted to get this out before I forgot what I wanted to say or lost focus. WINGS: ACTIVATE!
As a freelancer working on a limit budget, one of the things I’m constantly at war with is how and where to spend money. When it comes to marketing myself I’ve always been a bit on the stingy side, relying heavily on word-of-mouth to spread and encourage interest in my work. While that has been somewhat beneficial, what I realized after the HOW Creative Freelancer’s Conference was that I needed a marketing strategy in place to keep the work coming in.
I’ve been taking a look at a lot of high-traffic design sites and asking for prices for one, three, six, and twelve month rates. It’s no surprise that sites generating two million plus hits a month have higher rates than those doing under 500K, so I’ve decided to try and spread it around evenly among different sites generating different amounts of traffic.
From a brief talk with Shane Pearlman at HOW CFC I was able to put a number on the length of time I should consider when trying out any new marketing strategy: six months.
Marketing is kind of a gamble for me right now as I work to determine my market and position myself to reach my optimum audience, and as I begin to seek out new advertising opportunities I’ve begun to see a shift in the way I’m thinking about my business.
One of the things that may be obvious to some, and not-so-obvious to others is where to plant your marketing materials. For the most part designers aren’t looking to hire designers, so advertising on a design blog may not be the optimal place to reach your audience, but I wouldn’t suggest not advertising there either. Right now it’s in my best interest to advertise in a lot of places and try everything out before I can begin marginalizing and narrowing my targets.
So for the next six months I’m going to be advertising on a total of six “low” to “high traffic” blogs and watching my Google Analytics carefully to determine where I’m getting the biggest hit return to my website jamesviola.com. As it stands right now I’m on three design blogs (smokingdesigners.com, printbench.com, and inspirationhut.net) whose page views rank high to low respectively. In addition I’m currently shopping around for three more blogs that aren’t necessarily geared toward “Design inspiration” and seeing who I can pull in from the non-creative crowd, my actual audience, and a group I hope I can truly tap into.
I’ll be sure to keep everyone up to speed on my progress and share any vital information I think may help freelancers looking to reach a broader audience. For now I would suggest covering all your bases on free services like StyleApple, BeHance, Dribbble, Twitter, Facebook and even Craigslist. Just remember that Craigslist is usually full of people looking for a great deal, so unless you’re into completely devaluing your profession by offering logos for a hundred dollars I would more of less steer clear.
Stay Creative You Sexy People, You