Advertise a freelance/one-person graphic design business?


For 15 years or so, I worked at various graphic design firms as a production artist. Two years ago I left "Design Firm" in "Big City* and started working freelance from home in "Rural Area" about 90 minutes away.

For the last two years I have done well enough with freelance work from two former employers, and a few referrals on the side. I would like to increase this volume. (I do website design/basic programming, corporate ID, basic print design, and proofreading.)

Generally, when you want more work, you advertise for it. What are some successful, reasonably cost-effective methods of advertising I could pursue? I am looking to build business in my area, not in "Big City." I am also a work-at-home-parent, so one of the things I can't do is drive around for hours beating the bushes for work.

(I browsed through marketing and advertising tags here and was completely overwhelmed. I'm trying to break down this task into more manageable chunks. "Redesign my website" is manageable, but time-consuming.)

ETA: no one thinks newspapers or Google Ad words are viable? Just checking.

Marketing Advertising

asked Dec 14 '11 at 04:13
28 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  •,, – Dan 12 years ago

3 Answers


One way to get your name out locally is you could volunteer to do free design work for local charities or charity events which have a high profile in your area in exchange for advertising on their pages or publications.
You could also do search engine optimization on your site and include a lot of the local community names so that you come up in searches for your location + the words graphic designer, etc.

answered Dec 14 '11 at 05:44
Laura Barisonzi
191 points


Find a "pimp."

I have a friend who is an editor/proofreader. Instead of trying to build their own business, they've signed on with a very reputable supplier of such services. That company finds the clients and takes a cut. So you spend time on what you know, your craft, not on selling yourself, which you could either not know or not enjoy doing.

answered Dec 14 '11 at 07:14
Paul Cezanne
649 points
  • I heard it was hard out there for them, though. ;) – Bgad 12 years ago
  • add, this person makes you take a test. A test that something like 98% of the applicants fail. So the chance of a dud is pretty low. So you only need to sell yourself once to the agency. – Paul Cezanne 12 years ago


Definitely get a account and their free ProSite.

Then start using Twitter to post status updates as well as follow users. Also blog constantly.

answered Feb 9 '12 at 04:54
31 points
  • I already have my own site which I coded myself, which is one of the services I offer. Why would I use someone else's code or website? – Bgad 12 years ago
  • First, let me clarify that like the selected answer says using social media in and of itself does not generate business. It can, however, if used properly help you grow a network. Why would you use someone else's website? Simple, their website gets more traffic than yours. That's like saying "I have a sign in front of my business, why would I use somebody else's space to advertise." The answer is because you (hopefully) want to expose yourself to a larger audience. – Casey Kinsey 12 years ago

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