There are a lot of advantages of doing a freelance business. You are your own boss and you get to work on your own timings but what I consider the best part of being a freelancer is that you can have clients all around the globe. This facility is not available if you are into a traditional sort of business because you cannot get clients from all over the world. Keeping in mind this advantage of freelancing, I have seen a lot of designers ignoring the importance of marketing themselves locally and they give more importance to the designers residing outside their locality. If a client comes to you for a calendar printing design job, show your client you can incorporate local elements into the layout.
We all know that competition is very tough these days in the market because of the growing popularity of freelancing. If you want to get ahead of other designers and if you want to get more clients, you need to market yourself locally as well. There are a lot of ways through which you can localize your design business and if you do things the right way, you will not have to put in a lot of effort. Things should appear smooth for you provided you are doing right things at the right time. Following are a few which can guide you in localizing your design business:
Mention it in your Portfolio
If you really want to be a successful designer and if you want to attract new clients, you should have a strong portfolio. Having a portfolio website of a single page is more than enough. It should be well designed and you should be able to deliver your message clearly to the clients. Now, if you want to target local clients you have to make them feel at home. Since you are living in the same locality, you must be aware of the way clients think and what do they really require. So, you should address their needs clearly on your portfolio. You need to convey your message that you are interested in working with them.
Your portfolio should have your full address and you can mention and special offers you are willing to provide to the local clients. I have often seen people being more comfortable with people who are located nearby. Just make sure that your portfolio clearly states that you would love to work with national and international clients.
Optimizing Pages for Search Accordingly
I personally include the name of my locality if I am searching for anything nearby. If someone is looking for a designer in locality, he will do the same and will add the name of locality while searching. We all know that page titles are way too important in determining the page rankings. So, the best thing you should be doing is to optimize the title of your pages with the words and phrases your clients are likely to use.
If you really want to attract more local clients, you can simply design a separate portfolio age for them and optimize it. You can mention any special services that you are willing to offer to local clients. Also, you add testimonials from other local clients who you have been working for. This is the best way to get clients from nearby as they will get to know that you have been working for other clients locally as well and they are happy with your work.
A great way to improve your ranking to a better position is by building links with localized anchor text. This will not only include links from your own website but also from the relevant websites which means you would appear more in searches as your links are appearing on multiple websites.
Running Pay-Per-Click Ads
You must be aware of the term Google Ad Words and these PPC are a great way to attract local clients. You need to have a proper strategy for running pay per click ads. Any searches that will include the name of your locality can be chosen to run your ads. You also have an option to show your ads to people residing in a certain area. With this, you will not have to spend a lot of money on advertising your freelance business and at the same time, you will be able to target your local audience.
Promoting Your Local Work
As mentioned earlier, new clients will trust you more with your work if they will see your previous work that you have done for local clients. The reason why they would trust you more is because they would be able to relate to the work. Also, they will be more satisfied to see that you have been able to provide good work to clients already. So, if you want to attract local clients, you should promote the work you have done for other local clients.
Offering Complimentary Services
There must be other local businesses running around you which are offering services complimentary to yours. You can make an effort to create a relationship with them so that you both can work for each other’s benefits as well. For instance, if you offer designing free posters, flyers, brochures, booklets or calendars for your locality, it will create a soft-corner for you in the community and will also act as your promotion. Partnering with other local businesses can help you in providing complimentary services to your clients.
Face to Face Networking
You will obviously get a lot of opportunities to do a face to face networking and nothing can replace this particular way of advertising yourself. Emails and phones calls will never have a strong impact in comparison to the impact you can make during your one on one meeting. Designers try to ignore this kind of networking because they think it is time consuming but this can bring a lot of working opportunities or partnership opportunities for you so make sure you attend any event that can help you in face to face networking.
Your Own Business Cards
If you are having face to face meetings, you will have to provide them with your contact information. You need to get your own business cards made (emphasize especially on the designing and printing quality of the cards). Good quality business cards will make a good impression of yours so get them made in case you want to give them away to build new clientele or partnership.
Work With Renowned Local Organizations
If you have managed to satisfy one client, he will probably refer you to someone else which means getting one project right would bring in a lot more projects. Another great way to promote yourself would be working with a well known local organization. This will help you in getting a good exposure in your local area. You will have a good name on your portfolio as a client and it is enough to get more projects.
Promote Yourself through Local Publications
These days a lot of designers prefer promoting themselves via blogging which is a great way to advertise yourself globally. I have seen designers’ writing guest posts as well in other blogs. This approached can be used locally as well but with a different way. Instead of posting things on your own blog, you can simply write for a local newspaper or a magazine. If you can get your good work published, you can attract a lot of local clients.
Local Advertising Campaigns
I am sure you would be working on every possible way to advertise yourself online. However, advertising yourself offline can also be a great way to attract potential clients. You can go for newspapers, yellow pages, radio, brochures, banners etc to advertise yourself locally and you will get a lot of clients for sure.