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OllieMcCarthy says

@MarkDijkstra – +1 Excellent advice.

@Bluz – Elance is a complete waste of time IMO . I’ve had some bad gigs with it when I was starting out

@brainbuzzmedia – In my experience you need to give it time to build up a solid client base. It took me well over a year. My initial strategy was to overshoot expectations. Make sure that your first clients are really really happy with your work and then they will recommend you; it worked for me. If you are having trouble getting your first clients in try seeking out a charity that you know has well connected people involved. Do an amazing job and connect as much as you can with the with the people in the organisation. You are guaranteed work in the future from gigs like this as long as you treat it like a professional gig.

Also you need to build up a network within businesses community. There are a couple of ways of doing this. Cold calling is tough but kinda works; it gets your name out there at the very least. Join local business groups and non-business groups and connect, connect, connect. You never know, that little old lady you just gave your business card to might have a daughter working in a company in need of a website. Embrace the randomness of it all!

As for marketing – MarkDijkstra covered that extremely well. The only thing I would add is to optomise the hell out of your site. I spent months trying to position my portfolio for the number one slot on “web design [mytown]”. This has not only brought in a lot of work but also proves to clients that I understand SEO .

Best of luck.

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readactor says
Elance is a complete waste of time

today yes, in past was a quite good service.

another way – beside those mentioned in thread – to get clients, is to keep your old clients close. make them to come back to you, to become regular clients.

if 75% from your projects are covered from regular clients, then you have a business. otherwise, probably you are just a good fisherman.

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CreativeMilk says
Someone said Testimonies, this is a key factor in my opinion. A lot of clients will ask me about previous work. So I provide them with reliable links, like reviews on my Fanpage on Facebook, or those that I was tagged on with Twitter, or reviews on popular forums like WebHostingTalk.com or etc.

Well this can be of use but sadly a testimonial can be fake(seen a couple of these)

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CreativeMilk says
In my experience you need to give it time to build up a solid client base.

As for marketing – MarkDijkstra covered that extremely well. The only thing I would add is to optomise the hell out of your site. I spent months trying to position my portfolio for the number one slot on “web design [mytown]”. This has not only brought in a lot of work but also proves to clients that I understand SEO .

True, i seen a lot of people that think they will get a lot of work in the first month, sad to say but this is not the reallity. For what i mention earlier, you really need to buildt a good and solid name and a social network, this way clients will find you instead that you have to look for clients.

Yes it is important but to get at the top of google in this profession, well i think that almost iimpossible. I get 90% of my jobs true indirect traffic like(blogs, ThemeForest, gallery’s, forums and so on)

Another good tip that has done wonders for me, is to create a sweet and stunning business card and post a couple of pictures on the web. I have created a nice design thats printed on PVC . This card has been featured on a lot of sites and have stunned the clients that i have given this card to.

the card: http://creattica.com/business-cards/pvc-business-cards-mark-dijkstra/27718

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jeffeatworld says

nice!!!!!!!!!!

It’s a bit of a cliche but the best advice I can give is do some really, really good themes here on Themeforest.

I LOVE UI Designing, so I concentrated on kickass admin skins – it’s worked for me here. I know alot of designers on here try and do a bit of every area, but I honestly prefer doing like app dseigning and things like that so just do what you enjoy.

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EireStudio says

Best advice I can give you is find out your target market. Don’t try and do web design for everybody. Find a niche, such as bands etc etc and do outstanding work for them, word will pass throughout their circle and you will be called upon by their friends.

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OurWebMedia says
Well this can be of use but sadly a testimonial can be fake(seen a couple of these)

Yes, I agree, a lot of people do put up fake testimonies. However, if you use your Facebook Fanpage, reviews left are linked with the account who gave them. Unless the person is going around creating fake accounts to leave themselves made up reviews, you can see that these reviews are indeed legit.

Not all clients will have Facebook, majority of them will however. If they don’t, ask them if there is a social network they do use and have them leave a review within that place. Social Networks are fantastic for reviews, to see both that they are legit and have them also shared amongst their friends when posting that review.

Kind regards, Bryce

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