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Freelance Idea Roundup Monday | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Freelance Idea Roundup Monday

Date February 25, 2008


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Every Monday, I’m hoping to put together at least 5 quick freelance business ideas. These are quick ideas with quick descriptions to give you a better idea for your own research efforts.

1. Real Estate Web Designer

The real estate web design niche is maturing with room to grow. Many real estate professionals work solo, performing all the rudimentary jobs that go along with running a business.

Your job is to provide a simple, updateable interface for clients to upload pictures and type descriptions. No need to reinvent the wheel, third party software companies sell real estate applications. You’ll pick up an unlimited reseller license, customize the application for each client, and then incorporate your design.

You’ll need to decide which platform you’re willing to support—Unix/Linux or Windows. I’ve had success with both but Windows based applications are easier to understand, escpecially for newbies. I recommend choosing 1 platform and striving to be an expert in the application you choose.

2. Search Engine Advertising Consultant

While there are many online advertising consultants, search engine advertising consultants are gaining in popularity. According to statistics, more that 60% of all Web traffic begins at a search engine.

The bottom line is that if your clients aren’t taking advantage of search engine advertising, they’re missing potential business. To further niche yourself, focus on a single industry. Do you love bed and breakfasts? Does your city or town have uncharted but worthy tourist exhibits?

The great power behind search engine advertising is speed. If you study each search engine’s guidelines, write clean copy, and follow submission rules, your ads can be online in a matter of hours.

The tools you use will have to measure your clients’ return on investment (ROI) as well as how much it’s costing them to gain each new customer—measured by cost per click (CPC).

Getting into this business isn’t hard, you just need to make sure you understand the terminology better than your clients.

3. Web Graphic Designer

Another option is to concentrate on adding aesthetically pleasing graphic design elements to existing Websites. We’ve all seen the flashing arrows. 

How many times have you seen Microsoft Word clip art showered on a home page? Your job is to reach the small business community as an outside expert to spice up their otherwise boring Websites.

Using the Web is an ideal way to promote your graphic skills. You can post design samples on your own Web site together with customer testimonials. No customers yet? Look for local nonprofit groups, charge a reduced price, and deliver a superior product.

You only need two or three good design samples to satisfy future clients.

What will you be doing?

1 Designing banner ads
2 Scanning and converting photos and technical drawings
3 Designing navigation buttons
4 Designing icons
5 Scanning and converting company logos to digital format
6 Designing computer software splash screens and artwork

4. Website Analysis and Monitoring Service

This service is usually part of a Webmasters duties. Sophisticated tools exist to monitor general site performance as well as advertising results. You add value by being able to interpret and report Website performance results on a consistent basis.

Most hosting companies offer at least basic Website statistics. Most small businesses never look at their performance. How many small companies measure their advertisement successes or failures? Probably very few.

They have neither the know-how or time to learn this skill. This is the perfect alternative for those who may not be interested in designing Websites but prefer the analytical side. This is an excellent add-on to search engine advertising consulting.

 As online ad budgets increase, businesses will want to know their return on investment.

5. Website Statistics Consultant

This service is also a subset of the Webmaster function. You will focus solely on site statistics (i.e. visits, sessions, referral sources).

You might even take it a step further and offer to track online advertisements. Or, offer to help clients use the statistics packages they already have with their hosting companies.

Study your own Web statistics then figure out how to explain it in layman’s terms. Or, learn the commercial packages and write tip sheets that Website owners can download, for a fee of course.

How will you make money? By showing clients the value of measuring their marketing efforts.

If they send out direct mail, how much Website traffic does each mailing generate? How many customers buy something during a promotion period? Is is worth having a Website?

That’s it for roundup Monday. If you have ideas, please send them to me. I’ll research further and provide updates.

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  3. Freelance Idea Roundup Monday - 14 April 2008

3 Responses to “Freelance Idea Roundup Monday”

  1. Eric Hundin said:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Eric Hundin

  2. Chris Moran said:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

  3. Freelance Idea Roundup Monday said:

    […] Erik wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptReal Estate Web Designer. The real estate web design niche is maturing with room to grow. Many real estate professionals work solo, performing all the rudimentary jobs that go along with running a business. … […]

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