I’m Presentation Designer with the main focus on Pitch Decks (investor decks) working on a freelance basis. My prime source for finding new clients was Upwork, but recently I’ve decided to “quit it”. So I’ve created a personal website with landing page where I describe and show samples of my service. Now, the question is how do I promote my website to find new clients?=). I’m thinking about Paid Ad and perhaps Medium (want to write a few interesting articles on pitch deck design). Do you think writing cold emails directly to venture funds and startup incubators can also help?
Upwork is a terrible idea. Everyone there is broke. They're struggling to find clients themselves, and have no money left over after they possibly keep their heads above water to invest in your services.
Find a better class of freelancer for your clientele.
I don't think the startup/VC people are going to care, even though your idea makes some sense (in that helping their fundees market better = more customers = faster payback/growth), because people don't connect the dots.
You should niche down, not be 'for everyone', and focus on one kind of customer for now. Eg. Ghostwriters. You can always branch out later. But to keep yourself sane, it's a good idea to learn one niche and work it over and over again, quickly re-using what you've learned, rather than having to slowly learn a new niche with every new customer.
Good marketers do this: a bizdev pro who helps plumbers uses their experience about that industry repeatedly, getting through the projects with ease, rather than the grinding of gears trying to learn, say, the landscaping, then the homebuilding, then the paving industries.
I haven't seen your financial info but I doubt you're in a position to go after paid advertising yet. You need at least US $3000 to literally throw away and not be crippled by the loss of in order to be able to risk on paid ads and 'figure it out' as you go.
Pick a niche, market yourself as the clear and obvious choice to help them get more and larger clients, and repeat, repeat, repeat. Do not reinvent the wheel. Do not look for 'challenges'. Look for work that is easy for you. Otherwise, you will exhaust and frustrate yourself.
Might be time to go get a Dan S. Kennedy book on your marketing plan...if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get it for $0.
This, by the way, is the #1 thing I see missing from service providers and their marketing plan: FOCUS.
You might want to start with former clients who are happy with your work. Let them know that you are freelancing and available for hire. Offer them a discount on your services if they refer a new client to you.
You could also ask former clients for a recommendation that you can post to your website. If you are designing pitch decks, is there a way you can find out what your conversion rate is? "XX% of my clients landed the investor using my deck." Concrete proof of your talent will help people trust you, and want to pay what you are asking.
Facebook ads are an inexpensive way to get your product/services in front of a very specific group of people. You can invest as much or as little as you want to, and they have pretty good analytics so you can track effectiveness.
Finally... have you created a pitch deck for yourself? Maybe this is a no-brainer, but often as professionals we forget to take advantage of our own talents. If nothing else, creating that pitch deck will help you articulate and get specific about what you are offering to your clients.
Good luck! I'm happy to help you brainstorm about what makes you unique and helps you stand out in a crowded field.
First, I would do some keyword analysis on Google Adwords and see which keywords people are using to search for info on pitch decks.
Create a slideshare showing your pitch deck design process along with a couple of samples for current or past clients and include a testimonial for each. Optimize your slideshare page for the keywords you found on the Google keyword tool. Then head over to the Hoth linkbuilding service and buy their cheapest service to post links back to your slideshare url.
Also create a Youtube channel and take your slideshare and make a video out of it. Optimize the video for the same keywords and buy links to point to that as well. Cross link the youtube and the slideshare pages.
Do a search on LinkedIn for "entrepreneuer" and send out a few inmails to offer your service. Post an article on LinkedIn about your service. Post on Medium. Post here on Clarity. These are all venues that will have the people who most need your service.
My take would be to think about your marketing maths.
How many clients do you need? How much do they pay? How do you create repeat business (otherwise you are in real trouble!).
Forget your website. That is a support tool to demo what you can do. It's a myth to even think that someone will be rummaging around Google, find your site and go, "Wow! I must buy that". Nonsense.
Get thee to #Startup Events. Get networking. Go to all and any #tech events in your area.
Demonstrate clearly your value. "This is what they had. This is what I did. They raised $XXX,XXX.00 in seed funding." -> Get a client Quote/Testimonial.
Contact all the Acceleraters and Incubators, startup work spaces and get known. Go to every startup business event in a 20mile radius. Get people liking you. Then you will get business.
However, I strongly recommend you set out on your journey to create a method to get REPEATABLE business. Otherwise you are wasting your time chasing and chasing and chasing your next job on a hamster wheel of doom. Get your business model sorted. My thinking is that, if you are out and about talking to enough people about it, then they will probably end up giving you ideas and giving you the inspiration to work out how to pivot/augment your offering so that it has viable commercial legs. So...go for it. But please don't expect your website to magically deliver you clients.
Contact me directly if you need any further help.
I'd recommend a lean approach. Do not pay anything for advertising until you leverage your network and learn how to organically grow your potential clients through common social media platforms like Facebook. Once you've organically attracted leads to your landing page through your personal brand influence (often involving posts, ideas, lifestyle, project stories, and overall brand story) you can leverage your strengths into advertising campaigns that will have a higher success rate for converting leads (around your strengths). Where and how to advertise is the next question. The first question is, what makes your value proposition special enough that you can earn business from your service and sustain organic growth? The second question is how to extend your marketing into a strategy that involves greater risk to pickup greater work.