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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I am trying to promote my Web design business. Since my intent is to keep my full-time job and freelance during my free-time, I don't need a flood of prospects, but I'd like to get a few projects here and there.

    What approach have you taken to promote your freelance business? Is it worth it to pay for classified ads? Have you had any success paying for listings on Quest or other yellow page services? What about pay-per-click search engines? In a nutshell, what does a person need to do to get their name out there?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
    Joanne Glasspoole
    www.glasspoole.com

  2. #2
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Word of Mouth

    Do a couple of small websites for organizations or small businesses in your area. If they're happy with your services, they'll instinctively refer you to anyone who happens to notice their site, and want a similar one. Put a link to your site at the bottom of the sites you design. You might also like to include your name and/or email address.

    Business Cards

    Print up three or four sheets at first. Ask if you can leave a few at local establishments (i.e. dentist/doctor offices, bakeries, pet shops..) This helps spread the news of your business, and helps businesses connect with you.

    Search Engines

    Consider trying GoTo for directed traffic... getting listed in the search engines (especially Yahoo) should be one of your first goals (but not necessarily the most important). They'll bring you a substantial amount of traffic, but getting listed under terms like "website design" will put your site 500th out of 1 million, no matter how much you tweak it Try more creative terms like "quality web design"

    Good luck!





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  3. #3
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Sparkie has given you good advice, and I totally agree. Word of mouth is the most important thing. Do a few freebies to build up a portfolio, and try and make your sites cover as wide a variety as possible, for example, don't doo all schools, or all doctors. (Unless you can corner the doctor's market in your area!) I wouldn't even consider trying to start charging until you ahve 3/4 sites under your belt. As a prospective client I woudl nto pay anything to anyone unless tehy can prove to me (via a porfolio) that they caqn produce what I am paying for!

  4. #4
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    Thanks to all for the excellent advice. I agree with doing freebies to build one's portfolio, and I am doing that. I just don't want to be doing freebies forever. How many quality projects do you think a designer should have in their portfolio to be marketable?

    I also paid my $199 last night for Yahoo's Business Express. I was hesitant at first, but I've been reading a lot of recommendations that the $199 is worth it. We'll see what happens -- I'm crossing my fingers that Yahoo's response will be positive.

    Tomorrow afternoon I'll be working on my reciprocal links.

    I know that promote, promote, promote is the key and that it takes a lot of work and patience...I guess I'm on the right track :-)
    Joanne Glasspoole
    www.glasspoole.com

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Yeah and please do me a Free site.
    Hehe.

  6. #6
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    Hi there,

    Very good promotion tool is link exchange with sites of similar content. Visit some of the directories like http://www.dmoz.org and see is anyone interested. That is no-cost but effective way of promotion.

    Sincerely,
    Kanazir Predrag
    kanazirp@2net.co.yu
    http://www.bizwhat.com
    BizWhat - Are You eMaking Money?

  7. #7
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    I dont know about the $199 yahoo listing...SitePoint noted in a previous newsletter that they had some terrible experiences with it - not getting listed at all or getting listed in the completely wrong category. I wouldn't recommend it at all..but since you've done it, I hope you have better luck! I think its moreso the opinions and bias of the Yahoo editors though...




  8. #8
    ********* Addict jaiem's Avatar
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    People I've spoken to who've had thier web design or hosting businesses listed with Yahoo (paid the $199) on the whole find it isn't the pot of gold they thought it wouild be.
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  9. #9
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    Yeah, I'll probably regret it when I get my credit card bill next month :-) Too late now, though.
    Joanne Glasspoole
    www.glasspoole.com

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Well, guys, last night when I read my e-mail I was ecstatic to receive an e-mail from Yahoo! that my site had been accepted. I'll let you know if the $199 was worth it in a few months.

    Does anyone know if once a site is accepted into Yahoo! if it's only listed for a specific period of time or "forever"? Just curious.
    Joanne Glasspoole
    www.glasspoole.com

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    First, Congratulations,

    Second, you are there forever...

    All the best
    Kanazir Predrag
    kanazirp@2net.co.yu
    http://www.bizwhat.com
    BizWhat - Are You eMaking Money?

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    First, Congratulations,

    Second, you are there forever...

    All the best
    Kanazir Predrag
    kanazirp@2net.co.yu
    http://www.bizwhat.com
    BizWhat - Are You eMaking Money?

  13. #13
    ********* Addict jaiem's Avatar
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    I thought once there you were in for good. But lately I've red posts from people who have paid the $199, go in, then were dropped a few weeks later. No explanation and no appeal!
    Ocean View Host - Affordable web hosting plans for any business.
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    Quality People Providing A Quality Service!


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