August 17, 2010
Often when freelancers initially branch off on their own, they may have at least one client already lined up. Perhaps it’s a former employer, or a contact who will be giving them the majority of their businesses. However, relying on just one or two big clients is risky because when that client’s business slows, or they outsource their work to another provider, the freelancer is left without a significant portion of their cash flow. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. You should always be working on building your client base.
It’s wise for all freelancers to carry professionally printed business cards with them everywhere they go. Freelancers from dog walkers to graphic designers never know when the opportunity to network with potential clients will present itself. The business card design should communicate a message about the product, service or offerings. The design for the business card should be thought out in advance. It will be referenced long after it is handed out. It should look professional and be descriptive of the business. The front of the business card is great for the contact information, and a logo, but don’t forget the back of the business card. This is a great spot that can be used for listing specialties that are offered, placing a small map, or describing services that can help to differentiate from other freelancers.
Another great affordable way freelancers can spread the word on their offerings is to use printed flyers. Professionally printed flyers can be printed quickly and are extremely cost effective. Marketing with flyers allows for targeting specific areas, such as an office park, or a nearby neighborhood. They can be distributed as simply as hiring a high school student to walk the territory, or they can be mailed to selected zip codes. Flyers are usually large enough to include an attention grabbing graphic and a headline. Freelancers should take advantage of this space. The body of the flyer should include additional information on what the freelancer is offering. A method of contact should be effortless to find and in appear in an easy to read font.
Both business cards and flyers are tools every freelancer should incorporate into their marketing arsenal. They are simple to carry and can be handed out when least expected. Used properly, both can provide big returns.