At a time when networking is extremely important, freelancers can’t afford to have a business card that isn’t eye-catching. My rule of thumb is if people aren’t complimenting you on your cards, then it’s time to make a change.
After collecting business cards over the years, I’ve seen some pretty interesting and creative designs along with some that just plain aren’t effective. Before going over some ways to ensure your cards don’t fall into the latter group, I think it’s important to ensure all of the proper information is accounted for. When designing cards for myself and my clients, I ensure the following information is included:
For many freelance designers, an extra buck here and there would be a welcome sight. Unfortunately, many freelancers are currently experiencing just the opposite. I’d like to share a technique that can help you create additional income opportunities through recycling old work. For the purpose of demonstration, I will be talking about turning unused logo concepts into cash, but with a little imagination, this same technique could just as easily be applied to almost any other design medium.
If you are a graphic designer, you have probably designed quite a few logos for clients that included presenting multiple initial concepts. What happened to all of those concepts? Some designers may get a little bit of mileage out of their unused concepts by including them in their portfolio for self-promotion, but generally speaking, most unused concepts go to waste.
I have one client with a two-week cycle for invoices, who is always out of the office on Mondays. I have another client who pays invoices on a monthly cycle and wants copies of all projects sent to three different stakeholders.
Remembering these details about my clients are crucial for making sure they remain my clients, but I certainly have no hope of remembering all of it on my own. To make matters more complicated, getting these details in the first place can be completely complicated: how often do you have to rely on trial and error to find out when a client is actually in the office?
Photo by Michel Filion.
I’m one of those heretics who believes that selling is much more important than marketing. Why? Because, a few years ago, I fell into the marketing trap, and my business almost failed as a result.
What was I doing? Well, I spent a lot of time going to various networking groups, and just didn’t find that many viable clients. What I found were a lot of other people looking for (you guessed it) clients for their own businesses.
I also did a lot of direct mail marketing, and lookie-lookie! It worked wonderfully. For a while. Then I noticed that the people on my carefully crafted mailing list had become immune to my oh-so-stylishly designed and cleverly written postcards.
I might as well confess to all the time I spent on getting those postcards ju-u-ust right. Not just the Photoshop and Illustrator time, but the time spent in running them by other people. Carefully crafting that mailing list ate some hours too.
Since we launched the FreelanceSwitch job board in 2007, it has been a big success. It is one of the most popular freelance job boards on the Internet because of its high quality and tough standards; when we moderate jobs, we ensure that they’re good for freelancers, making fair requests and paying fair pay.
I personally got my start with Envato by applying for a job writing articles for the PSDTUTS Wiki on that board, so I’m not unfairly biased – I was a user first, moderator second! Before my run-in with Envato I scored plenty of other writing work too and still often consider that $7 a month some of the best money I’ve ever spent. No joke and not an ad, but you’d be crazy not to sign up.
Currently, we have close to 150 jobs open and consistently about five or more new jobs per day come in (not to mention the million get-rich-quick schemes and so-called “revenue sharing arrangements” that you don’t get to see). We’ve made some changes to improve the experience for both job searchers and job posters:
- We’ve added search – now you can see a full listing of all open jobs based on your keywords.
- Job posters can now use a WYSIWYG editor to add formatting to their posts, such as lists, bolding or italics.
- Posters can now go back and edit their advert after the fact.
- We’re also now running job applications through a form on the site based on an email address the employer gives us to help reduce spamming.
For the occassion we’d like to give away three 1-year subscriptions to our readers. If you leave a comment on this post explaining why you’d like a subscription before Monday the 9th of March, you’ll be in the running to win. Make sure that if you have a job board account already, you use the same email address that you use for your account in the comment’s email field.
Without doubt my favourite freelancing site after FreelanceSwitch has to be the awesome FreelanceFolder – another good source of news and advice. And I’m happy to announce that as of today we’ve partnered with them to pipe through our latest jobs to their site.
If you haven’t been to FreelanceFolder before, let me recommend two great posts of theirs to get you started:
Of course there are plenty more, so head over and subscribe! In the meantime, thanks to Mason Hipp and his crew for having our jobs over at their site!
If you’ve ever heard of a white paper, you’ve probably heard of Michael A. Stelzner. He wrote the book, —literally—on white papers. (White papers are used by businesses to explain products and services and promote their benefits in detail. They’re one part case study and a whole lot of marketing copywriting…and they can make writers big bucks.
Michael’s website, WritingWhitePapers.com, offers a wealth of information on breaking into this lucrative field. In the writing industry, this 40-year-old San Diego resident is kind of like a legend. So of course I wanted to see how he captured this niche, made it his own and is now sharing the goods with others looking to make a profitable living as a freelance writer.
Whether you write or not, Michael has some useful information for establishing yourself as an expert in your field and securing your spot with large clients.
Arguably there are few more vital sales vehicles than a web portfolio yet too often they are aimed more at other people in the industry than at clients. If you’re a photographer, you’re in luck because PhotoShelter – a company that provides a variety of services for photographers including portfolios – has put together a detailed survey and report asking clients what they want out of a portfolio.
The survey was of 550 image buyers, everyone from creative directors to photo editors, and asks them questions about what formats they prefer, how they react to Flash and what they are looking for in a portfolio, even whether they prefer a background to a plain look. The results are illuminating and very worth reading. Continue Reading
Photo by pinkspleen.
We are a stimulated society. Our senses are tested thousands of times over daily. From the city that never sleeps smelling like syrup to the ever-evolving way our eyes are inundated with advertisements, we have both people and things vying for our attention.
What makes you stand out in a client or potential client’s mind? Is it the quality of your work? The color of your hair? Or maybe the firmness of your handshake?
All of these, and so much more, could be things that can make or break deals for you.