1. Guest Post
You're a freelancer right, so you should at least have a decent knowledge in your field of work. Why not use your knowledge to your advantage. Contact your favorite design blogs and offer to write a guest post, 90% of blogs will take your article as long as it is unique, detailed and well explained. In taking on your article they also display a link to your website, a short bio as written by you and possibly link to your social media profiles.
So why write a guest post on a graphic design blog? This is not exactly the type of audience I am after, if they are reading a design blog I am sure they know how to design!
The point of a guest post is not to attract direct clients but more so to begin making a name for yourself within the design community and network with others. The more people that know about you and your services, the more chance they will tell others about you.
2. Create a freebie
Spend some time creating a unique and useful resource that others could make us of. It does not matter if it is as small as a social media button or as large as a coded web template. As long as you create something nice, well-constructed and useful, people will take value in it.
Place a download to your freebie on your website, blog and submit it to the large amount of resource websites. Do not forget to share it via your social media profiles.
3. Run a competition
Run a competition via your website, blog and social media profiles. Offer a free or heavily discounted service to the winner, people love getting something for free. This is definitely a great way to get gain some exposure and drive a bit of traffic towards your profile.
But why offer a service for free? I am freelancing to make money!
You've heard of the old saying “You have to spend money to make money” right? (Although that is not 100% true). This has a similar theory, provide a service for free, or a discounted price, and receive more work. Not only are you gaining a potential long term client relationship but also increasing your potential word of mouth advertising. All it takes is some excellent work with the winner, both design and support wise, and they are sure to spread the word about you with their friends.
4. Look for work locally
Local work is easily going to be your largest source of work and income when starting out, especially if you focus on web design. Do not be afraid to get out there and approach local businesses, even if they have an established website.
Focus first on looking for local businesses that do not already have an online presence. Do not just offer your services too them, almost all of them will turn you done right away. Instead educate them on why they should have an online presence and, specifically, how it will benefit them. You need to justify to them why they should spend money for you to create a website for them, highlight how it will increase their sales and presence within their market. It is surprising on just how many local businesses do not have websites and just how many of them are not even aware of the perks of having one.
After targeting businesses that do not have a website, start approaching companies that do have one. Most local businesses have an out dated or poorly designed website that has been made in house. Again, use your knowledge to educate your potential client on why they should hire you to update their website.
The most obvious way to promote your services is via blogging. Use your blog to write detailed articles about design, prove to your potential clients that you do indeed have a great knowledge of what you do. Blogging is also an ideal way to show your potential clients who you are, what you are like and what your services may be like they should choose to hire you.
Try to release a few articles about your design process, what steps you take to achieve an income and how to achieve the required required for your projects.
There are limitless ways to promote your design services but the effective and free ways to promote your design services mentioned above are sure-fire ways to increase the popularity of them. Business will not increase over night and you need to be prepared to dedicate a lot of time in promoting your services but over time it will pay off.