The World is Your Market

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How can I reach prospective clients in faraway places?

The World is Your Market

Whether you're in Manhattan or Montana, the Internet allows you to reach potential clients anywhere. Especially if you don't live in a major design hub such as New York, it's vital to put a little extra effort into your Web site. Here are some ideas.

  • Familiarize yourself with search-engine optimization (SEO) and make sure your site contains proper code and keywords to be visible on Google and other search engines.
  • List all the services you can provide, not just the ones you've been hired for lately.
  • Consider a formal or informal creative consortium with friends who are freelancers. For instance, if you are primarily a designer, but you know someone who's a great writer or sharp proofreader, let your clients know that you can arrange these services as well.
  • Categorize your portfolio offerings in an easy-to-understand way, with navigation links so that someone who wants to know about your point-of-sale display work doesn't have to wade through pages of print ads.
  • Don't rely on clients' IT departments to be able to receive large files. Set up your own FTP server or other system for making your work available reliably.
  • Use well-designed and well-written postcards to target potential clients, then follow up with individual e-mails to decision-makers. Yes, this requires a lot of research. Yes, it's still worth doing.
  • Design a clear, attractive business card and order a lot of them. Give them to everyone you know. Even in a small town, there is freelance work to be had -- if people know you're there.



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