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    7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 21, 2007 8:35 PM by WEBillions

    Getting My Name Out?

    GFX Reb0rn Newbie
      I am in the process of starting up a Graphic Design Service and I am looking for ways to get my name out to the public. I am currently doing free services for some non-profit groups that I am personally close with in hopes of getting my work out into the public and viewed so I can begin to do more paid work. However, My question is, is doing free work damaging the future of my business or is it really helping it? Are there better ways to get my name out like advertising?
        • Re: Getting My Name Out?
          DomainDiva Ranger
          The problem with 'free work' is that everyone will then expect your work to be free. I would advise asking your non profit clients NOT to tell people that you are designing 'pro bono' for them.

          People that use FEDEx Kinkos or other copy services often have design needs and are willing to pay. If you are university trained, you can also speak to your department chair and your instructor(s) about opportunities. Small businesses that do not have large design budgets will contact schools and put notices up.

          What you need is work...getting your name out will follow.
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Getting My Name Out?
              GFX Reb0rn Newbie
              Thanks For Your Input and I understand that free work is risky. I do not have any school behind me for graphics and I am currently looking into a few choices. However I do have a lot of skill in the area of Graphics after doing apprenticeships with a few local pros. Thanks for the advice on FedEx Kinkos! I have a few of those around my area so I will se about advertising in those areas!
              • Re: Getting My Name Out?
                WEBillions Adventurer
                I disagree. I don't think free work is bad. You don't expect to pay nothing to your lawyer and they might do things pro bono. In fact, I think the fact that you've done free work for the things you feel passionately about is great and will help you. The main thing is does is develop your portfolio, which is the most important thing. Definitely, setup up a website with as much of your own professional-looking artwork as you can fit, and not look bad of course.

                Though, for those few people that might feel like they should be getting a better deal, maybe you can throw in a little bonus. If you make them a logo, for example, you can also send them a few variants. Whatever.

                Any promotions you can think of that might get local businesses excited?

                Good luck!
              • Re: Getting My Name Out?
                LUCKIEST Guide
                Best of luck in starting up your new Design Service.
                Did you write a BUSINESS PLAN?? A document explaining in detail your plans to
                develop a successful business. Part of the plan should also be MARKETING your services.
                Free service is a great way of getting your name out to the public. Hopefully, you will get
                publicity and recognition for the work performed.
                Maybe you can even get a local newspaper reporter to write an article about your work.
                My belief is that everything comes full circle. You do good deeds today and good
                deeds come back to you.
                  • Re: Getting My Name Out?
                    GFX Reb0rn Newbie
                    Thanks Very Much for your encouragent And I have NOT yet started a business plan. I know that is an important part of getting started and I am going to be doing that this week! And I have a friend who is an editor for a newspaper in my City so I will certainly talk to him and see if he can help me out at all! Thanks again!
                  • Re: Getting My Name Out?
                    Lighthouse24 Ranger

                    The very first thing I want to see when I consider contracting work to a graphic artist is a portfolio -- i.e., examples of the artist's work. I want to see that he/she has technical experience at creating the specific piece I need, and I want to know that we have a somewhat compatible sense of style. Do you have a website (there was no link in your profile), and does your website show samples of your work? If not, use the free work you're doing now to build a good on-line portfolio (so yes, that work really is helping you). It doesn't do much good to get the word out if a potential customer hears about you and then "walks away" thinking that you're too inexperienced.

                    What pieces do you have the most experience with (i.e., print ads, websites, brochures, menus, catalog sheets, book covers)? You might best get started by focusing on one of those, and thinking in terms of who needs that type of work, and how/where you might best reach them. For example, print-on-demand is revolutionizing the book industry. Almost anyone with a computer can write and publish a book now, have it printed for a reasonable price, and sell it on-line. But most wannabe authors know nothing about book layouts, illustrations, and cover designs. We do judge a book by its cover, and print houses won't accept work that doesn't conform to their technical specs -- so many self-publishing authors find themselves in urgent need of a graphic artist. They search the web for someone in their area. If this was your target market, however, you wouldn't wait for them to come to you. You'd discover that most metro areas have monthly meetings and fairs for self-publishers, and by attending one of those (portfolio in hand) to meet potential clients, you'd probably leave with new projects that same day. That's just one example, but you might think in those terms relative to whatever your design specialty is.

                    Good luck with your new endeavor!
                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Getting My Name Out?
                      score81 Adventurer

                      Following are my suggestions:

                      1. Get Chamber of Commerce membership.
                      2. Introduce your businessto all local member of chambers.
                      3. Be part of chamber monthly meeting group for networking.
                      4. Prepare eail flyer and send to all chamber member.
                      5. If chamber publish monthly newsletter put your ad in that paper.