Image via Flickr user r-z.
In a recent post on Webdesignledger.com
, PsPrint blogger Jennifer Moline
wrote about cheap ways to promote a design business. Jennifer points out that freelancers are usually strapped for time and cash - making traditional advertising plans prohibitive. Yet there are ways to promote your freelance business cost effectively. Jennifer suggests Twitter
, Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and postcards
as affordable, effective advertising channels. I will throw my two cents in to the discussion with a four additional suggestions below: 1. LinkedIn groups
Promote your freelance expertise through the discussion feature on LinkedIn's groups. With your LinkedIn account join groups in your industry or field. Also join groups for the main industries you serve, i.e. telecommunication, fashion or nonprofit. Then post questions in the group discussion forums that you think will get people responding. If you have a blog, pose a question and link to a related blog post. Or you can link to any current events or industry news. These discussion are a great way to establish authority, direct traffic to your profile, website or blog and to meet new contacts. 2. Blogging
Whether you post on your own blog or guest post on industry blogs, this is a great way to build authority and reach new prospects. Leading blog platforms such as WordPress, Blogger and Moveable Type are all very search engine friendly, and keywords in your content will get indexed by search engines. Blogging is also a good foundation for pushing content out via social networks. If you have a blog, you can post updates with links to your content on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. 3. Backlinking
One of the main ways that search engines such as Google determine the relevancy of your site is by analyzing how many incoming links there are to your site. The more links there are pointing to your site, the higher your resulting page rank in search results. To generate backlinks, set up bookmarks or an RSS feed for industry blogs and websites. Check in with these sites weekly and post comments on any content you find interesting or relevant. Be sure to include an HTML link in each comment that points back to your website or blog. Doing backlinking will also help you to become a part of the conversation in the blogosphere. 4. Barter
This last suggestion is not as tech-savvy as the first three, but I think it's a pretty good idea. For graphic designers, web designers and copywriters, contact local print and online publications, and offer to barter your services in exchange for advertising space. In this economy, publishers may not be able to fill up their ad quotas. It's also more likely for publishers to be using freelancers rather than in-house talent to do layout, web design or print design work. For a few hours of work putting ads together, writing copy for event listings or fixing web code, you may have a free ad for your business!