Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Struggling to get my message out…

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  • #986490
    Daniel82
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    Hi guys,

    I’ve been a self employed graphic and web designer for a number of years.

    Until recently, the bulk of my work was made up of advertising agencies using me as a contractor, so I never really had to find my own clients. This work has dried up as the agencies are cutting costs and taking the work back in-house.

    I am looking at ways I can get my message out to the right potential clients.

    Basically I am an all-rounder – design, web and print. So the value is in the ability for my clients to come to me for the entire job rather than requiring 4 or 5 different designers/developers or even using a full ad agency.

    This should be an easy sell. My current clients let me know all the time how happy they are and how much better off they are than before.

    My issue is that I don’t know where to start in approaching new clients. I have sent out hundreds of emails (personalised) outlining services and even offering free trial work – and the lack of response is overwhelming. I’m pretty confident 95% of those emails were deleted before they were even read.

    So my option is what – cold calling?

    As I’ve been self employed for so long, I don’t have a huge network of colleagues looking out for me. My network is a bit of a joke because I get the whole job done by myself without needing to get out and mingle an awful lot.

    So my situation is that I have all this experience and capability, and nobody knows I exist aside from current clients and previous agencies.

    I’m at a bit of a loss here – if anyone can offer any guidance – that would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    #1158043
    JohnW
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    • Total posts: 2,642
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    Hi Daniel,
    Have you considered that your advertising clients maybe jumping onto extremely cheap overseas graphic and website design services?

    You have to find new clients for existing services or offer new services to existing clients.

    If you are targeting new customers, email is unlikely to be a good medium. It is better suited to comms with existing clients.

    Online, your website should be your best hope to attract new clients.

    Unfortunately it is not set up to do this.

    It must be hard to sell your website services if you can’t get your own website in front of new clients in the SEs.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1158044
    Cooke Consulting
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    • Total posts: 122
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    Hi Daniel,

    LinkedIn would be my recommendation to you.

    Used right and if you are willing to put in the time and effort, it will generate a never ending source of warm leads – it’s been so successful for me, I now only use that and my networking groups.

    So now:

    • No more cold calling.
    • I don’t have to deal with gate keepers.
    • I deal directly with the decision makers.

    …my wife keeps hassling me that I should start another business showing people how to use it properly. Probably not a bad idea, but at the moment I’m too busy!

    Happy to give you some pointers if you want to get in touch.

    All the best,

    #1158045
    GuestMember
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    Yes, I agree with James. LinkedIn is a good place. I recommend starting in discussion groups. Answer a few postings and get your face around and also start your own discussions, especially in more local groups or further afield if you post. Start topics (just for example) ‘what information should go on a business card?’, ‘5 secrets to great brochure design’.

    #1158046
    ExplorePayments
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    • Total posts: 11
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    Hi Daniel

    You could give Facebook marketing a go … you can easily define your target market by state, age, keyword triggers and its relatively cheap.
    Cheers
    Ian

    #1158047
    AmberS
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    • Total posts: 66
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    Hi Daniel

    Have you considered joining freelancing sites like elance or Guru? Not everyone using them is after the cheapest solution. As someone who is your perfect target market, cold calling and emails get lost, unless I need those services at the time you get in touch it goes into the pile of emails from everyone else.

    Personally, I am starting to look to places like guru.com for design work simply because I have been let down so often by local designers – I still tend to choose the more expensive proposals as the quality of work is higher, but I can choose the person with the right design aesthetic for each job.

    Your website is also a bit un-Google friendly, single page websites look cool, but make it difficult to rank for specific keywords. I would also add a lot more information in the portfolios – I want to know what the brief was to see how you executed it.

    If you could send me an email ([email protected]) with more info on your rates etc… I can add you to our list of freelance suppliers, but would still highly recommend you jump on the outsourcing bandwagon as that it where businesses are turning to for this work.

    Amber

    #1158048
    King Creative
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    • Total posts: 27
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    Hi Daniel,

    You could list some of your services on fiverr.com. You may not make a lot of money from this website straight away but it could help you to build up your worldwide database of clients.

    Good luck!

    #1158049
    Daniel82
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    • Total posts: 69
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    Thanks for your responses and tips everyone – much appreciated. I am looking into all of those options.

    Regarding my one-page website – there are actually several other pages to the site that aren’t part of that front page and still show up in Google searches. For example if you click on “web design” in my services list, it goes to an entirely separate page. The purpose of the one page site was not only because it’s “the latest thing” but it makes it very easy for someone to get an intro, see my work, and contact me just by scrolling. Particularly useful on a smartphone, no constant page loading.

    Regarding Facebook paid advertising – I actually tried that recently, and to my horror, it recruited dozens of paid clicks from people well outside of the demographic I selected – and those people each had thousands of random “likes” on their pages. In short, they are professional likers (usually in asia) and it costs me money when they like my page, with NO intention of ever using my services. Facebook needs to ensure the selected demographic works properly so these problems don’t happen. I ended up paying for 90% useless likes. Call it a conspiracy but i’m not the first person to notice this trend.

    I am in a very competitive industry for PPC. Particularly if I try to advertise web design. It’s over $10 per click on adwords to be top 3. I just can’t afford that which is why i’m left scratching my head about advertising options.

    I will definitely look into using LinkedIn more effectively. I have a profile and quite a few recommendations on there already.

    Thanks all :)

    #1158050
    Daniel82
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    • Total posts: 69
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    **Update**

    James (Cooke Consulting) was kind enough to take my call yesterday and gave me an hour of his time to explain how to use LinkedIn to gain great exposure.

    So I made some changes to my profile and did some other things he suggested. It made perfect sense and I had not even thought of using LinkedIn in the ways that he uses it.

    8:35am this morning I get a call from a potential new client, after a website quote. It turns out they saw me on LinkedIn, in a shared group, and because my profile was optimised properly they ended up at my website, and then called me. This is exactly how I hoped it would work but I had no idea it would work that easily or quickly.

    So a huge thanks to James for offering his time and knowledge even though I’m not exactly in his target market so there was little in it for him.

    I strongly suggest he does start that business his wife suggested! :)

    So things are looking up and I don’t feel so invisible anymore.

    I will keep you posted on how things progress.

    :)

    #1158051
    OpusNOIR Photography
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    • Total posts: 51
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    =Cooke Consulting;182288]Hi Daniel,

    LinkedIn would be my recommendation to you.

    Used right and if you are willing to put in the time and effort, it will generate a never ending source of warm leads

    I would love to know how to use LinkedIn more effectively as well.

    Is it worth paying for premium account?

    Otherwise how do you optimise your profile?

    #1158052
    Cooke Consulting
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    • Total posts: 122
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    Great stuff Daniel! – I’m glad it’s working out as quickly for you as it did for me.

    As I mentioned to you yesterday, when I implemented the changes to my profile – within 24 hours I had 2 warm leads and a joint venture request. At the start of January I was also contacted by one of the oldest Debt Collection Agencies in the USA to ask if they can publish one of my blog posts to their readership of 400k people, hello free advertising!

    I’ve given several talks now to business groups that I am networked with and those that have followed my suggestions are showing great results too.

    Once again, good luck with it and remember show “Value” and be “Client Facing”.

    @OpusNOIR Photography – I’ll be free at 2pm tomorrow (Friday 31st Jan), either skype me at cookeconsulting or call my office number 02 8006 1928 – you can be my last guinea pig. ;) Lets see if you can pull off similar results. Before we talk can you please send me a LinkedIn request use the email address [email protected]

    All the best,
    James

    #1158053
    ConceptualiseMarketing
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    • Total posts: 25
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    Hi Daniel

    BNI has worked quite well for me and my business (graphic design and marketing). Agree with the other people that suggested LinkedIn also – it’s an underated marketing tool that can work really well.

    Good luck!

    Zoe

    #1158054
    PAYG Marketing Managers
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    • Total posts: 8
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    Cooke Consulting, post: 182609 wrote:
    Great stuff Daniel! – I’m glad it’s working out as quickly for you as it did for me.

    As I mentioned to you yesterday, when I implemented the changes to my profile – within 24 hours I had 2 warm leads and a joint venture request. At the start of January I was also contacted by one of the oldest Debt Collection Agencies in the USA to ask if they can publish one of my blog posts to their readership of 400k people, hello free advertising!

    I’ve given several talks now to business groups that I am networked with and those that have followed my suggestions are showing great results too.

    Once again, good luck with it and remember show “Value” and be “Client Facing”.

    @OpusNOIR Photography – I’ll be free at 2pm tomorrow (Friday 31st Jan), either skype me at cookeconsulting or call my office number 02 8006 1928 – you can be my last guinea pig. ;) Lets see if you can pull off similar results. Before we talk can you please send me a LinkedIn request use the email address [email protected]

    All the best,
    James

    Hi James,

    I know you said that OpusNOIR would be your last guinea pig, but if you’re interested in one more I’d love to know how to make the most of LinkedIn – it’s always baffled me.

    Jared

    #1158055
    Cooke Consulting
    Member
    • Total posts: 122
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    Hi Jared,

    I’ve just flicked you an email.

    Cheers
    James

    #1158056
    PAYG Marketing Managers
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    Hi Daniel,

    I’m a marketing consultant and can share with you the ways I have looked for graphic designers in the past, and also some of the comments my clients have made when they’re looking to work directly with a designer..

    Elance.com
    – this where I found the designer I use the most.
    – don’t worry too much if there are other designers on there at much lower rates than you. Some people shop for the lowest price (and a high % of these will probably regret it and be willing to pay more the 2nd time they use it). Important factors for me are:
    – I want someone in Aus (so I can call them easily).
    – Rate needs to be reasonable/competitive relative to the quality.
    – I read some of the reviews, but it’s not a major, if someone has experience and quality work I know there’s a pretty good chance they are ‘easy to work with etc’ and I’d prefer to make my own judgements on this kind of thing through having a call with them.

    I also ask other marketing consultants for recommendations. So you could contact consultants and showcase your work (along with agencies of course, if you’re not doing this already).

    I ask marketers I know if they have any friends who are designers.
    For half the week I work in a large marketing team, and someone always has a friend who is a good designer. The benefit of doing it this way it that I can trust them a bit more because we have a common friend/colleague.

    My clients have mentioned that they look locally when looking for a designer, because they want to be able to call/meet with them. And a couple have mentioned 99designs.com as well.

    Hope that is some help! On that note, I think the quality of your work is right up there. I’d be interested to know your rates. Flick me an email at [email protected].

    Jared
    _____________________________________
    http://www.payasyougomarketingmanagers.com.au

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