It is no mystery that businesses of all sizes are struggling with budgets. The bottom line is always a concern when it comes to setting up a marketing plan. This is especially true for designers operating on a shoestring budget. Here are some inexpensive marketing tips for designers can use to help build their business, boost their internet reputation, and maintain their budget.
Tip #1: Utilize Google’s Features:
Beyond that of just a search engine, Google has many appealing and inexpensive features. The first thing to do is register the business’s name on Google Local, and then set up Google Alerts. That way, each time the business’s name is mentioned online, an alert will be emailed. It’s an inexpensive way of keeping tabs on the conversation surrounding your company and getting involved.
Tip #2: Get Social:
Twitter and Facebook are the obvious choices since they are the biggest social networks in terms of size. However there are a number of smaller social networks growing in popularity including Pinterest, Tumbl and Dribbble. For those who are overwhelmed by the thought of using so many social networks daily, apps like HootSuite allow users to manage multiple networks on one screen. It’s not the number of social networks that you visit, but the depth of your involvement that counts. Regularly engaging with other users and keeping content updated several times daily are paramount. Make sure social sharing buttons are clearly visible on your website for those networks that you regularly frequent.
Tip #3: Start a Blog:
There are many free options for blogging, like Blogger, Weebly and WordPress . Ideally the name of your blog matches the name of your company that in turn corresponds with your domain name. This provides a number of SEO benefits that make the blog easier to find. Keep readers up to date about your activities, promotions, awards, testimonials, new clients, reviews and information relating to your industry. This is also a good place to experiment with giveaways and other efforts to gauge customer interest and encourages frequent visits. Be sure to include a RSS link so visitors can subscribe to the blog and receive immediate updates in their email or on the RSS readers. Building a mailing list so you can keep in touch on a regular basis is also a good idea. Be forewarned that it does take a lot of effort and time to execute this properly.
Tip #4: Create Promotional Videos or Infographics:
Develop a short series of videos to promote your abilities using a service like Animoto. Many professional photographers use this to create interesting videos from still images. Free and premium editions are available. Infographics are a type of viral content cherished among bloggers and a great way to market your service. Providing infographics for one specific field is a great way to leverage the time spent in researching necessary statistics.
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Tip #5: Get Interviewed:
Visit as many websites as possible and make interview requests. Many times bloggers and freelance writers are looking for sources to interview or quote. If you are a qualified expert in your field, get yourself listed on sites like ProfNet and PrNewsWire.com. As you get interviewed by more bloggers, freelance writers and other publications, you build your internet reputation and online marketing platform. As you gain links to these sites, they can be added to the PR/News section of your business’s website.
The Bottom Line:
Building a reputation takes time and commitment; however as a designer you do have an advantage. Designing an up to date website is an excellent springboard for success. When designers create websites that are constantly updated, customers want to come back and see what’s going on. Keep social network feeds running in the sidebars, link blurbs to the videos on each page, and keep recent blog comments where users can easily see how often they are updated. When users see an active site, they are more likely to want to participate and return.