Portfolios, Blogs, and Word of Mouth

12:13 PM

Last week was quite an encouraging week. H.B. (mentor) and I are on quite a roll. Our weekly meetings are progressing very well, and last week I presented him with a revised marketing strategy that focuses primarily on social media marketing. Have you read my "huge" revelation?

Although not fully launched, I started taking inventory of my social media channels to see what could be improved thus far. I concluded that I must have two separate Twitter accounts; one for my creative outlet blog/adventures and the other for my freelance work. I also concluded that more how-to's and tutorials are the way to go because it's precisely the type of information I like to share. Can I tell you what a difference these small adjustments have made?

Within a week of making a few simple and focused changes, the rate of new followers of my blog has notably increased, and I was contacted by a company inquiring if I’d like to host a giveaway. This is for my personal blog. On the professional side, I was invited to join an online community, Forrst (more on how fantastic this has been to come soon) strictly for designers and developers. Now, I don't know how much of this to attribute directly to the changes that I am gradually making, but I am a firm believer that activity begets activity, and strategized activity begets real results. So here are a few things that I'm working on this week to get going.

Currently I'm working on a mini-makeover of my website. I've streamlined my service offerings (design, development, and marketing strategies), made a few cosmetic changes here and there, and I am going to do a major redesign of my portfolio. Why?

My website is the beginning and end of my marketing initiative. I want it to be my 24/7 workhorse; providing visitors with enough information about me, my services and style, to incite a call/inquiry. As I work from home, my website is my store front/office. Since I have an insanely limited marketing budget, my website serves as my trade show booth, billboard, brochure, etc. I'm sure you get the point. Most importantly, my website will house my portfolio, giving visitors a glimpse of my design and development capabilities. Needless to say, I want this page to be special. Any ideas?

I'd love to get feedback on the changes I've made to my website so far. I do want to add a few dynamic elements like a feed of my latest blog post in the footer section, and perhaps some looping images.

Going Deeper
I've been studying my blog posts and the ones that have gotten the most visits. So, I'm brainstorming more tutorials, more tips, more lessons learned - the things that apparently readers are interested in. It makes sense since many of us are looking for inspiration, creativity and insight. So why is it important for me to work on my blog?

I started this blog to gather perspective, good information, real information, new techniques and strategies for business success, as well as solutions for my particular services in marketing, design and development. It made sense to me to share this information and these solutions as I go along. I want my website to be concise and to the point, but I want my blog to go a bit deeper than that.

Admittedly, I know that Facebook will play a major role in my strategy, but I am still brainstorming on how to really work this tool, other than getting people to like my Facebook page. I have to say that I really enjoy Twitter. Twitter appeals to me because of its concise and to-the-point nature. I get links to really useful information from those that I follow. I give my followers and blog readers just the right amount of attention by sharing links to information that I find useful, helpful, or interesting, and simply letting them know when I've posted something new for them to see what I'm up to.

Facebook pages are more detailed than Twitter. You can include videos, photos, and longer descriptions of your products, services, or whatever you are sharing with your Facebook followers. It can even include testimonials for others to see.

On Twitter you can promote products/services/value propositions on an individual level, in short messages that followers are more likely to read. These messages can link back to your website and/or blog, be liked on your Facebook page, or just incite a direct exchange with someone who may or may not be following you, yet.

I strongly believe that blogging and social networking will help me grow my freelance business, open doors for me, and help me to gradually incorporate more traditional marketing mediums that I am eager to pursue as my marketing budget grows.

Do you have a strategy for your niche, product or service? Has social media marketing worked for you? Share.

Happy freelancing!

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