You’ve probably had plenty of people tell you that artists just can’t make a living, but apparently they didn’t take graphic design into account. Thanks to the growth of the internet, and e-commerce in particular, there are tons of job opportunities available for those who have fused their artistic talents and technical know-how into one profession.
And graphic designers are proving that the old stereotype of the “starving artist” is a thing of the past. But like any type of business, you still need to engage in self-promotion if you want to get work, earn money, and ultimately pay the bills. And the less you spend the better, right? Not necessarily. The trick is to spend smarter, so that the money you do put into promotions comes back to you with interest. So here are just a few ways to get the most bang for your promotional buck.
While you can certainly go for tried-and-true, traditional advertising techniques, such as print, radio, and television ads, these options can get extremely pricy and there is no quantifiable way to determine the success of your efforts. And really, you’re working in an electronic field; you should be advertising with your digital medium in mind, which is to say online.
Even if you spend some money with traditional types of advertising in this arena, you can get data on who is viewing your ads and what actions they’re taking (click-through, for example) thanks to software that gathers and sends you the type of feedback you require to gauge the effectiveness of your efforts.
But you don’t have to spend major money to promote your graphic design business online; there are all kinds of ways to get your name out there for less (or even for free, in some cases). A good place to start is by joining forums. Networking is essential to understanding your industry, spreading your name, and growing your business. And it could deliver a plethora of benefits. You may find new clients, business partners, or simply the timely advice you need to make the most of your promotional efforts. You really have nothing to lose, and many forums even have job boards to help you.
From there you should sign up for ad sharing. These services are often free and they require only that you provide an ad to show on member websites and that you show member ads on your website in exchange. It’s basically a straight-up trade. A basic search in Google on “Ad Sharing” will yield plenty of information in this subject.
Of course, if you have a website, you need to make the most of it, so you’ll want to think about ways you can bring in targeted clientele (i.e. those seeking your services). And this is where SEO (search engine optimization) comes in. Yes, it is expensive to hire someone to do it for you. Is it worth it?
In most cases, yes, but it depends on your current bankroll, your earning potential, and your willingness to expand. Your best bet is probably to spend a few bucks on SEO for Dummies and see how far you can get on your own before you spend major money to hire a pro. It might be the best promotional move you make.