A friend of mine is a web graphics designer. Having spent more than a year chasing down clients on freelance sites she asked me recently how she could stand out from the rest. She said there are just too many graphics artists fighting for the same clients. And she didn’t want to come down in price just to compete.
My answer was: “Don’t be everything to everyone, just be one thing to some people.”
That’s right, pick a niche. This could work in almost all fields of freelance.
1 Wow the Clients and They’ll Want You to Do More
The rest of this article is fictional. I won’t provide the exact advice that I gave her. I’ll choose a different niche for this example, but in general, the rest is very similar to what I suggested that she do.
Let’s say you’re very good at designing the graphics needed for social channels. You know… the canvas images and profile photos. People want a uniform look, one that matches their web site. Well, provide that very distinct service. Make that your niche.
2 First, Setup Your Homepage and Blog
Use WordPress, it’s easy and free (and robust). On your homepage talk about the service you intend to provide. Give it a name. Of the top of my head, I’m thinking… “Affordable Social Profile Graphic Package.” Although that’s a tad lame you get the idea. Put your creative genius to work.
On the page say: “Hey, I’m Roberto and I am a bad ass at making all the social graphics. I will make stunning graphics for your Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,” and so on…
And of course, make sure that your web site is aesthetically pleasing. It will be judged. Get some help with all of the “codey stuff” if it’s not your thing. And don’t assume it’ll look the same in all browsers. We’re getting closer (thanks HTML5) but we’re not there yet.
Provide your contact info and if you can manage it, have a live chat window, or a way to see if you’re online with Skype perhaps.
For more content on the home page write out a little handy guide for the “do it yourselfers.” Give all details about the dimensions for the images, etc. This will have multi benefit. It will:
- a) provide keywords (in a natural way) that people will be searching for, like “how to create images for my Facebook page.” When they find your site they might just opt to pay for your package.
- b) provide awesome content that people would want to share.
- c) show people you know what you are doing.
Remember, your aim is to help people get those graphics on their social sites. Even if it means showing them how to do it themselves.
Like Ma$e said: “I wanna see you happy, even if it’s not with me.”
Help people and you will be rewarded.
3 Make the Process Very Simple
The top part of the homepage (above the fold) should be very clear on what you are offering and exactly how to contact you (in whatever ways you are comfortable with). Make the price known and provide the exact information that the customer would want (without overwhelm).
Link to your own social pages so they can see samples of your work (and perhaps follow you while they are there).
Maybe say: Buy now and link me to your web site and I will match the look and feel for your social graphics. I will contact you after the first one is complete to see if we’re heading in the right direction.
Also, offer a 10% discount if they buy immediately. Then just set a cookie so that on subsequent visits the price is no longer discounted. There are lots of ways to do this.
Stay focused on the “full package” but tell them to contact you if they want a smaller order.
4 Offer an Upgrade with an Immediate Discount if Accepted
In this case you can offer them an upgrade to the main package. Maybe make this a “one time offer” or even just a “one time offer at this price.”
Tell them you will setup the accounts for them and install the graphics. Say, it’ll cost you $47 if you upgrade now, $100 if you decide to upgrade later on. Something like that. Or maybe set a monthly cost and tell them you will provide new images for every holiday. I’d pay for that.
You can offer the upgrade on the same page, or as part of the checkout process, or after a successful purchase. It would be worth split testing to see which works the best. I think OptimzePress is a good theme for WordPress that could help you with the checkout process and one time offers.
It might be nice to offer the scheduling of a join.me session so the customer can watch you work. In this case voyeurism can be your friend. It might just close the sale.
5 Consider Fiverr as a Free Way to Promote Your Business
You can create an account on Fiverr and offer a gig to create one very specific image. Something that’s maybe worth about $20 or $25 to you but understand you will only get around $4. So, in that sense it’s not free.
But, you can promote your graphics business at the same time. Even choose a very unique, but semi-related niche, for your Fiverr channel to stand out.
You can also of course drive traffic from paid and organic search. You can attach a blog to your site (use Yoast’s SEO plugin to help you target some long tails) and bring in some organic traffic. Provide valuable content and always close off telling people (in some way) about your Affordable Social Profile Graphic Package.
Perhaps you don’t want to be pigeon holed as the “social graphics guy (or gal)” and that’s fine. My guess is that once you WOW your clients they will contact you for all their graphics work.
Just know your limitations and expand your network to fulfill needs that you cannot do directly. Make yourself the go to person for graphics work if that’s your passion.
Start here: NameCheap.com… then: BlueHost.com… then here: WordPress.org