OVERWHELMED. CONFUSED. FRUSTRATED.
These were the exact three words that described how I felt when I wanted to compete with other freelance graphic designers online. I saw how together they all looked and I had no clue where to start. I was also unsure of how to find and book clients.
I tried interacting in LinkedIn Groups. Meh. That fell flat.
Then I tried Facebook Groups. No. Not for me. It helped me find experts to hire, but no clients that didn't want a deal. (That may just be me being a novice!) I thought I would find my target audience if I interacted in groups where they hung out.
I changed my tactics and looked to using what I call PLACEHOLDERS.
Placeholders are the branded graphics that hold your place online, WHILE you design, blog and socialize online.
This post will show you exactly how to do this with three easy steps. Why do graphics work so well?
A variety of graphics build trust. But, to do this, you have to be consistent in delivering branded posts. To get started:
Step 1 | Create Branded Templates
My Go to: Canva, a free resource that has templates in the exact sizes you need for each social media platform.
Canva offers images for quite a small amount. $1! Some are even free.
But, to go beyond Canva, my trick is to invest in styled stock photography. You don't need a lot, just a bundle or subscription that will give you variety to choose from.
You can store these in Drop Box or Creative Cloud to save space and easily upload your favorites into this app. If you are great behind the camera, I suggest taking some flat lay photography of a desk set-up. Recently, I bought a canon T-6 on Amazon. It was an amazing deal! I have been learning how to use it by taking shots of office supplies, succulents, pretty note pads, pens and anything with a pretty + practical touch, all placed on a piece of white foam core.
If that is out of your budget, you can easily use your phone and do the same thing. I like using my own photos now, with a mix of styled stock that fits my brand's style. It is nice to have both to choose from.
Chiatra from Pink Pot Design has great tips for taking photos with your phone, if you want to learn more! The link above is for instagram flat lays, but the tips can be used when shooting for other platforms.
Choose Social Media Templates in Canva.
*SIDE NOTE: I LOVE Instagram, by the way, because it is such a powerful, visual app. This is where I found my "tribe" of like-minded, creative mom-bosses and found success growing my business. It is different for everyone. Create plug-and-play templates for your favorite social media platforms and see which one performs best for you.
Here's where to start:
Step 2 | Create different topics + themes, plug them into graphics
Choose a template for one platform or just social media templates like I stated above.
Upload photos or purchase credits from Canva and upload those.
Curate quotes, tips, and blog post titles and customize the templates.
- What does this mean? Well, it means to carve out time to collect quotes, tips and to grab your favorite blog post titles. You can use Trello to house this valuable info until you need it.
- Create a graphic that says: "Booking Open for (name a month)" To make it enticing, use words that will inspire the viewer to take action, in a way that sounds like you and injects your personality into it.
- Create a testimonial graphic and change them out with different kind words from happy clients.
Step 3 | Create a Social Media Schedule using your branded Graphics
To make sure your social media marketing is consistent, scheduling is a must. What it really does, is that it helps you to be strategic and not leave much up to chance. This next step is covered in my March blog post, where I list all of the scheduling apps that are the top ones used by other successful freelance graphic designers.
My favorite is SmarterQue! I have tried Buffer and Hootsuite, and they just don't offer the recycling of evergreen content like SmarterQue does.
What is Evergreen and how does it work?
"Evergreen content is anything which isn't time-specific, meaning you can post it again days or weeks later and still reap the benefits. Simple and mighty, SmarterQueue's Evergreen recycling lets you share, re-share and share again. As only 4% of your followers ever see your posts within the first 30 minutes, Evergreen gets more mileage out of each update. After your post is published, it then goes to the bottom of the queue. Once all your new or one-time scheduled posts have been published, your Evergreen posts are then posted again, and again, and again. This can continue forever, so your queue never runs out." ~SmarterQue
Make it Happen
By doing the above you will reach your target audience and will easily fly above your small town to anywhere in the world!
Freelance graphic designers and home based businesses aren't trained in marketing their businesses online, but not being social online isn't doing your business any good right?
- Strategize: Plan what your themes are, how many slots you want to book in a month, and gather up testimonials.
- Create your PLACEHOLDERS to reduce the worry of where and when your next client is coming from.
- Schedule like a pro so you can get back to designing!
>>Use my referral link and get 30 days FREE SmarterQue by clicking here!
Once you are signed up with SmarterQue, you are ready for my FREE Social Strategy Workbook to end Feast or Famine Syndrome once and for all! Click the link below and get instant access. See you on the other side. You will not be sorry!