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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    Right now I'm in the process of completely reworking my design business, in a few months going to come out with a whole new website, new image, new advertising in an effort to bring in more business and perhaps be able to hire on a few extra people.

    Any tips on promoting design sites in particular? I am totally against any link exchanges as I don't want to pollute my design site (personal pet peeve) but am looking more for advice on buying permenant links (in marketable places) and how to find these places.

    Also any other methods for promoting in real life.

    I'm sure I've heard a lot of the advice, but no harm in giving it again, better to have too much advice than not enough.

    As an added bonus, the person with the best answer will get 5 TD
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site

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  3. #2
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    You get what you pay for. Advertise on Google, and don't underestimate advertising via print media (magazines, newspapers, etc.). To quote Chief Wiggum, "you gotta spend money to make money, Lou."
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
    Site of the Month contest: submit your site or vote for the winner!

  4. #3
    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    Actually I'm more leaning towards print media (thinking of taking out ads in local newspapers - any experiences with this?) because I want to attract more of a local audience than a global one.

    Also not afraid of spending money, I'm making enough off of something that started out as something I did because I was bored that it's more than worth it for me to put some money into it... But I also need to get my page ranked a bit higher. Right now it ranks rediculously high (1-3) for my targeted keywords, but the new version of my website will not be as SEOed for reasons pertaining to design over optimization, and although css tries hard to alieviate these pains, it just can't do what I want it to do while maintaining the same SEO level.
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site

  5. #4
    Senior Member [Li] Brad's Avatar
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    About newspaper ads: it depends on the area where you live I think. At least where I live, I can't see more than 30,000 people actually buying and reading the paper, 10,000 of them probably don't own a computer, and it's a toss up for the rest; many have no use for any design services, some don't have an internet connection, and others may be happy with what they have or leery about spending money in that area.

    [Li] Brad
    "Art strives for form, and hopes for beauty." - George Bellows

  6. #5
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    I can refer you to a site called www.imagestories.com. I kow the guy who is a site webmaster. Maybe he will help you with some site promotion in his community.

    Regards
    D.

  7. #6
    Senior Member sarab's Avatar
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    I read some interesting stuff about promoting locally-based businesses with a variety of approaches at this URL:

    http://localbiz.sitesell.com/turbo-sales.html

    It didn't really apply to what I'm trying to do, but sounds like it might appeal to you.

    Hope it helps, and if I win your prize, please give it to an animal charity and let me know which one. :classic:

    Sara
    ...............................................
    My best pal's site: Algarve Beach Life :ichatcool:

  8. #7
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    "Hope it helps, and if I win your prize, please give it to an animal charity and let me know which one. "

    What? TD being used at an animal shelter?

  9. #8
    Senior Member splufdaddy's Avatar
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    Sarab, read about Turtle Dollars here. TD are WDF's currency, not real money (unfortunately for Transio).

  10. #9
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Ok, well I've had a little experience in print media, so I'll tell you what I know.

    Starting with placement, don't do newspapers. Newspapers target the general public, and to get a decent sized color ad in a newspaper is expensive (if possible at all) and not very effective. If your local paper has a weekly color business publication within it, use that. Otherwise, look for smaller magazines that target your market. Don't necessarily focus only on local advertising, as web design is not something necessarily locally sought after. Don't go for design publications, as those are mostly read by designers, not administrative-types. Right now, I'm designing an ad for my company in a magazine called "Latin Trade" - a very specialized small-scale publication for American corporations that deal with Latin America. Since those corporations are our market, this magazine is perfect for us!

    Next is the strategy. You have to sit down and develop an advertising / copy strategy for your company. It's not as difficult as it might sound. Just come up with some key words that define the personality you want your company to reflect. Some examples: "smart, young, confident, cutting-edge." Then, take those words and develop an advertising strategy around them. For instance: "We make your company look smarter through technology."

    Finally is design. You have to create a series of ads that use your strategy to communicate your message creatively to your customer. Make ads that are 1) noticeable, 2) witty or clever, 3) interesting, and 4) full of good copy. Your message should sell your company like a well rehearsed pitch. Make sure it's not too broad, though. You might want a few ads to pitch a few messages. #1 could be designed to sell people who wouldn't normally use web design services. #2 could sell people who already have a design but aren't happy with it. #3 could be to sell people who are looking to make more money with their site through SEO. And so on... There are a million ways to create your ad... for inspiration, I suggest you buy a book on print advertising. I always suggest "Ogilvy on Advertising" or "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This".

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Now, for MARKETING.

    A lot of people confuse marketing and advertising. They're not really the same thing. Some of what I discussed above falls into the marketing realm as well... the whole strategy has some overlap. Most important in marketing, though, is getting your name around. Business cards and a ton of confidence are your best friend. Everywhere you go, you have to be selling yourself. Introduce yourself to complete strangers at parties, business events, at school, etc. Ask them what they do. Tell them what you do (e.g. "I build websites that help small businesses make more money"). Give them your card. Call people you've met and ask them if they're interested in getting that website project going yet. Always be "on".

    Also, your best friend in the world - viral marketing. Viral marketing is basically when people like something so much they pass it along to people they know so they can share in the pleasure of it. You can achieve viral marketing by 1) making your customers so happy that they become your best PR people, or 2) making a website for yourself or a client that's so cutting-edge that people pass the link around to friends just to see how cool it is. #2 is the 2Advanced way to market yourself. It's not so easy, because there's a lot of luck involved. I suggest that you go the #1 route. Treat your customers like your business depended upon their 100% satisfaction. It'll do wonders for you.

    So that's that.... hope it's some help. :-D

  11. #10
    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    THANK YOU!!

    Exactly what I was looking for (although I feel guilty giving you the TD's)

    That helps a bunch... definatley be using some of those strategies once my redesign is up (ugh... I hate that it's taking so long - but I'm striving for best possible, not just there)

    Oh, and for anyone else reading this topic - the last point that transio brought up can't be stressed enough... I've gotten rediculous amounts of business from one community service project. I offered (years ago) to design a website for a local non-profit as part of my school's community service requirement. Later on they asked me to design them a better (more complex) site for $$, and as a result I've gotten a lot of jobs from them referring me to other people. Granted I didn't end up making a ton of money on that job because I was meeting with them so much - but they liked that I put that kind of effort into it and of course told their friends
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site


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