The internet presents a lot of moneymaking opportunities. You can earn money selling products to customers on marketplaces and e-commerce websites. You can generate revenue by actively blogging and sharing your expertise, and then placing ads on the blog. You can also connect with potential clients and sell services to customers from around the world.
If you are a designer trying to do the latter, digital marketing is the best instrument to use. By marketing yourself online, you will not only boost your profile as a designer but also gain the ability to be seen by potential clients everywhere. The more exposure you generate, the more chances you have at winning some of the best projects on the market.
Digital marketing doesn’t have to be particularly complex. In fact, it can be very easy when you know exactly how to market your design services – and yourself as a designer – online. To help you get started, here are the best expert tips to follow.
Start with a Strong Portfolio
It is not a secret that clients choose the designers they work with based on portfolios. This is something you are already familiar with as a designer; you usually present a portfolio of your work when pitching for a project or engaging a new potential client. The only difference is that you now need to make your portfolio available online.
Creating a portfolio website is easy. Choose a platform that works best for you, select a portfolio template that suits your personal brand nicely, and start uploading artworks to the portfolio. Organize the portfolio so that different types of potential clients can see what they want to see. The rest is easy from there.
Sticking with established portfolio platforms is the way to go for two reasons. First of all, you don’t have to go through the hassle of developing a new website from the ground up. The initial setup process can be completed in a few minutes. On top of that, you also don’t need to worry about maintaining the site’s codes and can instead focus on improving your portfolio over time.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Creating your own portfolio website is the perfect start because you also secure your own domain name in the process. This means you can use @yourcompanyname.com email addresses for formal communications with potential clients. You can also create and use email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org to better manage your social media profiles.
That’s the next thing you need to do to establish a strong online presence; creating social media profiles. Since you want to market design services, the two must-use social media sites are Instagram and LinkedIn. Set up Twitter and Facebook accounts as additional instruments for digital marketing.
Make sure the social media pages you create also follow the same branding characteristics as your main portfolio website. You want visitors to get the same feel when visiting these different pages. Integrate branding elements to your social media pages and don’t forget to add catchy, compelling descriptions to better establish yourself as a creative designer.
Setting up the social media pages is only the beginning. To really take advantage of social media, you need to tell a compelling story using the tools available to you. That brings us to our next tip, which is….
Tell Your Story from a Personal Point of View
Rather than approaching digital marketing as a way to sell design services, you need to build your online presence around telling stories that the audience will love. Storytelling has always been a big part of marketing, and it is even more so in the case of digital marketing.
Your portfolio website, for example, should do more than just showcase your best work. It needs to also display your stories from each project or work. Share your emotions when working on the designs, tell stories about your interactions with the client, and let the viewers – potential clients – connect with you on a more personal level.
The same can be said for social media pages. Remember that each social media site has unique characteristics and features. Posting long articles on Instagram is certainly not how you want to use the social media site; you want to take advantage of Instagram’s visual (multimedia) approach to really gain the exposure you need. The long articles are best used on LinkedIn or Facebook.
Up until this point, we discussed how you can get your best work and your stories out there. Of course, those steps are only one part of a complex equation. The next challenge to tackle is engaging the audience and interacting with them directly.
Once again, social media is the best instrument to use. The social media platforms we have today allow professionals and businesses to interact with their audience directly. You too can start amassing a large and loyal group of viewers and clients by actively engaging the audience as you utilize social media.
Your online portfolio can also be optimized for higher engagement. Allowing users to share pages from your portfolio to their social media profiles, for instance, can further expand your reach. Adding a contact form and responding to the enquiries you receive – even when they are not always business enquiries – are also the kind of steps you want to take to boost engagement.
Gain Traction Early
Digital marketing allows you to reach thousands – even millions – of potential customers generically. There are so many things you can do on social media, optimizations you can apply to your online portfolio website, and other digital marketing instruments to add to your online efforts, and they all lead to bigger exposure for your design service.
Still, doing everything organically isn’t always the fastest way to the minds of potential clients. In order to start getting orders and requests right away, you also have to be willing to invest in advertising and paid campaigns. These campaigns are designed to boost other digital marketing instruments and to allow you to gain traction early in the game.
Using paid ads on LinkedIn, for example, you can direct traffic to the articles you wrote or the online portfolio site itself. Since LinkedIn is filled with professionals and decision makers, the chances of getting orders and connecting with clients are high. On Instagram, promoting the merchandises you design and directing customers to the Shop section of your site work really well too.
Evaluate and Improve
Digital marketing is never a one-time thing. You cannot expect to get more businesses with only one campaign in the beginning of your online life. It is a continuous effort; one that requires you to evaluate the existing campaigns and make the necessary adjustments to make them even more effective.
That last part is the key here. Everything from the online portfolio you created on platforms like Format.com to your social media pages need to be evaluated regularly. The more you learn about them, the more you will know how to improve your online presence, and the more potential clients you will be able to reach in return.
Combined, these expert tips will help you create a strong online presence and allow you to start marketing your design services to customers around the world. It won’t be long before you are overwhelmed by the exposure and interest you receive after a successful digital marketing campaign.