samedi 13 octobre 2007

5 Creative online marketing tips for creative professionals

Being a freelance professional = multi-tasking. Yes, we have to take care of the bills, meet clients, do some market research and promote the heck out our services. And actually work, obviously.

So finding new clients and «getting out there» often seems like, umm, desperation? Let us not despair: There are literally Tons of ways to promote online. Here are some which I've tested and which I invite you to discover. Most of them are free or really cheap.

1- Blogs
Blogs are personal web-logs, kinda like a diary. But they can become a promotional venniu if you use it to let your customer know about your products. I regularly post new illustrations on my blog Pot-aux-roses. If you don't have a website yet, a blog can put you on the online map, so to speak. You can get free accounts with Blogger and set up your blog pretty easily.
You can also create a blog for information purpose (like this one you are reading :)) If you are a professional or have extended knowledge in something, well a blog can drive to your website(s) a good amount of traffic.

You can also comment on other blogs. Now, this is more tricky, as it is regarded impolite to do some shameless promotion on a blog that is not your own. But an intelligent comment with a link to your own blog-website in the signature is ok.

2- Portfolio sites
There are a lot of website where you can create an account to then upload pictures of your product on your page. Some Portfolio sites opt for a screening process which you need to apply for. Other don't. Here's a list of some of those websites:
http://hireanillustrator.com/
http://www.indiepublic.com/
http://www.trunkt.org/
http://www.talentdatabase.com/
http://www.mintd.com/

3- Etsy.com
Etsy is like an online craft market. You can find almost everything you can imagine IF it's handmade. You can set up a shop and sell your goodies there; they take a small commission fee when you sell something. It's a real Easy Peasy set up and they have manage to create a thriving online community. This year I was thinking to do ALL my holiday shopping there!

4- Online Forums
Online forums are communities in which you can post comments, you have to once again create an account in order to do so. These place are little gold mines because lots of experience people can give you professional advices (or not!). In my first year of business, I've joined the Switchboards and learned priceless how-to in marketing, tips on managing a small business. I highly recommend it!

5- Editorials blogs
Now this is a subject which will need an entire post to deal with! All I'll say here is, in my experience, getting online press has been really awesome (brought me sales every time and unlike online ads, it doesn't cost a dime!) but it demands a lot of time to manage. So keep posted, I'll chat a bit more about it later.

So voilà! In my experience, promoting online isn't quite enought tought, you still have to promote also with promo material such as business cards, postcards. In another post I'll chat more about fist promo tools to have when starting up a business.

2 commentaires:

Phyllis a dit…

Great article. I appreciate being reminded about the Switchboards and will run off to join.

Phyllis

cloud9design a dit…

I LOVE The Switchboards. It's been fun perusing your blogs this evening. Adding them to my Google Reader! ;)

~Amber
http://cloud9designstudio.etsy.com