Cute, Illustrated GIFs Got This Graphic Designer 9 New Clients & 10,000 Project Views
Many freelance creatives are reluctant to market themselves. To inspire and encourage, I share cases of successful self-promotion done by and for freelance creatives. First out, Marta Berzina, a Latvian freelance graphic designer.
In late May 2015 Marta did her first attempt ever to promote herself. To showcase her creative skills, she made a set of cute, animated GIFs, which she then published on her online portfolios and emailed to potential design clients. Did it work? Well, her promo went viral and her freelance career got off to a flying start!
Below is one of the illustrated GIFs Marta used in her self-promotion. Click it to check out the rest on Behance.
Marta, Who Did You Target With Your Self-Promotion?
Actually, I didn’t target anyone special. A few months ago I was working in a small design agency, but sadly we had some financial difficulties and most of the staff had to leave.
So I decided to go freelance and create something I love and see if anyone would respond.
What Was Your Goal?
My goal was to be true to myself and create a promo I really liked. And not something I think “I should”.
Also, I wanted to create something I could send to potential clients who might enjoy the style I’m working in.
Did the Project Get You Any New Clients?
Yes, most of my current clients found me through this promo. So far, I’ve done character & icon design. I’m also discussing a few motion graphics projects.
In the last two months, I’ve won 9 new paying clients thanks to this promotion:
- 6 new paying clients (who contacted me after seeing my work online)
- 3 new paying clients (who I first emailed the GIFs to)
Half of the new clients are other web/graphic design agencies. They use me as a subcontractor. The rest are end clients. The new clients are from the USA, UK, United Arab Emirates and from my native country Latvia.
It might become more, I have sent proposals to three other potential clients. They also made contact after spotting my work online.
In addition, I have had a few other inquiries that I either fizzled out or I turned down.
Do You Have an Idea How This Happened?
Design Taxi featured my GIFs in their news article “Graphic Designer Creates Cute Illustrated GIFs To Showcase Her Creative Skills“.
I believe that article helped a great deal.
It was shared a lot!
According to Buzzsumo, the article was shared almost 800 times. That’s a big viral effect!
I asked Dorothy Tan, freelance writer & editor at DesignTAXI, how she found Marta:
I stumbled upon Marta’s work on Behance on a routine browse and really liked the way she is promoting herself. Mostly, we decided to run the story because we think that our readers would enjoy her project as well. […] We are constantly on the look for good creative work that would interest our audience.
DesignTaxi has more than 400.000+ Twitter followers. They started the sharing “frenzy” by promoting their article about Marta (June, 9+13).
This was their original tweet:
— TAXI (@designtaxi) June 10, 2015
In addition, Marta’s self-promo was published on Creative Market. That post was shared a fair amount too.
How Many Viewed Your Online Portfolio?
Before this, few people were viewing my Behance portfolio. I wasn’t very active.
But thanks to this promo, in just one month I’ve reached 10,000 project views on Behance. I didn`t even think that was possible.
I’m very grateful for anyone who shared my self-promo on social media or on their website.
How Much Did the Promo Cost You?
It took me about a week to make it from scratch.
Finally, What Did You Learn?
For me, this project was a bold move. It was the first time I ever promoted myself.
I learnt I can trust my gut and creativity. You should always do what you love.
For more marketing ideas for freelance creatives, check out 18+ Marketing Ideas Actually Used by Freelance Creatives!