Hi Stephanie. Many good tips here. Make sure you become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, especially if you live in a smaller town. Be active, volunteer and join a committee. I have gained several clients that found me because they wanted to support local businesses. Key is meeting new people and getting your name out. Referrals are especially great, so ask current clients. Best of luck!
Networking (both offline and online). Linkedin.com and Meetup.com are 2 great online sites for networking. Check out speakers bureaus and chambers of commerce for offline networking opportunities
Share your work through social networks that you're already active, e.g. Facebook - expand on that by getting more active on visual sites like Pinterest.
Monetize with sites like Etsy or connect with folks who can use your designs for products, i.e. promo shop that makes mugs, pens, etc. for local businesses.
Key question - where are *your* ideal customers looking for you? (this implies getting clear on who the are and understanding what they want..)
Find out when your local Chamber of Commerce is holding exhibit shows and offer to give a free talk to participants on setting up a quality table. They'll likely need signs, brochures and the like.
Good Morning Stephanie
There is a company who let's you network through great deals in marketing and promotional work it is call Pungra. With Pungra you can add advertise for free, make deals, swap services and more.
I would check them out if I were you, I advertise on our Radio Network and have made deals and sales from this site. http://www.pungra.com/
Hi Stephanie, I love your site very creative. Gives me a good sense of who you are personally. People are more likely to hire someone they like. I have a quick suggestion. Position your client as a local celebrity, make your work with clients make them feel special thereby by default building yourself an incredible brand & reputation. Give your clients more than just graphics - give them an experience.
1. Create a "Rejuvenate Your Brand Summer Give-Away" - contact local business and media that you are running a local community contest and you are going to re-brand a company - you can choose a non-profit, a start-up, general business or even better select a niche (hair salons, restaurants, service providers etc)
Have all inquiries register on your email list. In the registration process have them answer a few demographics questions and why they got into business for example. Make your selection, do the work and have a "dramatic unveiling" in September. Perhaps a meet and greet at the local winner's business. All summer document the rebrand journey on all social media platforms and build the hype to the unveiling.
In the meantime, you also have a new database of prospects that you can contact with "Although you were not selected as a winner, I love your business so I would like to offer you the same experience at a "deep discounted rate"..." The businesses will feel like they still walk away as winners so they will hire you.
Be sure to get your local media involved! I would suggest selecting a company that has a great backstory - like a much deserving charitable organization. Please PM me if you would like to discuss further.
Wishing you an unlimited ideal buyers who are excited about working with you & willing to pay your fees.
I hope you are well.
I know that a freelance graphic design friend of mine has done very well from going to business networking meetings/groups. As long as you are chatty and prepared to put yourself out there, I'm sure you would get business from this.
You can find freelance writers in your area on LinkedIn and see if they will agree to refer you to their clients or work with you directly when there's a design element to their projects. I'm a freelance writer and can vouch for the fact that I've referred graphic designers who approached me that way.
Hope that helps, and good luck!
Advertise on elance.com, odesk.com or fiver.com
Ask current and past clients for referrals.
Join the mosaicHub Marketplace as someone else mentioned.
Attend networking events to help advertise your services.
Cold call local businesses.
Do free presentations of an hour for business clubs and show the members the advantages and the impact of your work. Make sure to get their emailaddresses.