Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Sign Up

Change of approach.

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by dawnhutchinson, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. dawnhutchinson

    dawnhutchinson New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a bit of advice on where and how to take my business forward. I'm currently freelancing as a 3D designer/animator and find that the vast majority of my work comes through design and production companies who employ my services to create 3D work for their clients. This works fine most of the time but I would like to move my business more towards dealing directly with the clients who require the 3D work.
    As i see it there are 2 main advantages to this...
    1. Cutting out the middle-man means that I can keep the cost compettitive for the client while not underpricing my services as there will be no middle-man 'cut' to add into the mix.
    2. Working directly with the client will make communication and therfore the entire process more efficient as there will be no chain through which it has to pass.
    I also understand that this means i may have to diversify a little to provide a more complete package ie. layout for print, website design, DVD authoring etc.
    The main concern i have is finding and advertising to clients. As a freelancer working through design/production companies I can direct all my marketing at this specific sector, however their clients are infinately varied and could be anything from an international car manufacturer to a small business needing a logo.
    At present I find most of my work by word-of-mouth or small-scale advertising such as mailshots and email. Obviously this isn't going to be at all viable when the target is pretty much anyone, so i'm really looking for advice on methods of advertising.
    I've looked around and the cost of advertising varies tremendously so I don't want to go paying a fortune to advertise in some directory only to find that the free directories get equal response. Also, is it better to go for the 'local' service approach or try to reach further afield? Where/how is best to advertise? Is it better to target a specific industry?

    As you can see i'm completely clueless, so if anyone who has had the patience to read through all this has any opinions or ideas then i would be extremely greatful to hear from them.

  2. FreelanceUK

    FreelanceUK Administrator

    Hi Dawn

    I was waiting to see what other freelancers say has worked for them, but here are some initial thoughts in the meantime..

    The first thing I would say is that if you're going to be working direct with clients is to make sure you get your paperwork sorted as there will be no agency/production companies to protect you from late/non payment. There are plenty of other threads on here discussing the wording of contracts and please do read 'Starting Out' and 'Running Your Business' on Freelance UK.

    You're absolutely right in that a diverse range of companies of different sizes and operating in different sectors will have a need for your services, especially if you diversify into graphic and web design.

    You have several options. One is to talk to different companies locally to see which of your skills they utilise on a freelance (or agency) basis. Do they have a marketing department? Do they need to produce an Annual Report/website/brochures/exhibition graphics? Can you get a copy to see if you could improve on that for less/same costs? What 'pain' can you solve? The obvious one at the moment is helping companies keep their order books turning over by investing wisely in freelance professionals. That's a message we use when we market our freelance directory to companies hiring freelancers. That will build your database of contacts and should give you some idea of demand from different sectors.

    If word of mouth is working for you then ask for referrals. The more you can do to educate clients on what you can do through calling them/direct marketing/PR etc obviously the better. If production and design agencies list their clients then make contact with those companies to see what work they give direct to freelancers.

    The above concentrates on the local geographic area that you choose to service. You could of course cast that net a bit wider but it becomes more time consuming and costly. Online marketing not only gets you found by local clients but those searching for specialist skills in addition. If you do a Google search for "freelance 3d modelling" or "northamptonshire 3d modelling" you'll find members of our directory, Freelance Alliance, popping up. This ensures members are found by clients searching on the web, as well as direct searches on the directory itself.

    I hope that gives you some initial ideas. Please do let us know how you get on.

    Best of luck
    Freelance UK

Share This Page