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Creating & Managing Content, Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

Getting your work online: A guide for freelancers

In the fast-evolving digital landscape, freelancers in creative fields such as graphic design, interior design, and fashion design are finding immense opportunities to showcase their talent online.

You probably already know the importance of having an online presence for your work. But it’s about more than just having any old website. Building a strong online presence expands your reach and opens doors to potential clients and collaborations. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to get your work online and shine in the competitive design world.

1. Create a stunning portfolio website

Your portfolio is your digital storefront, and first impressions matter. Invest time in creating a visually appealing and user-friendly website that reflects your design aesthetics. Choose a clean layout, showcase high-quality images of your work, and provide concise descriptions for each project. Platforms like WordPress and Site Maker offer easy-to-use templates for designers with various customization options. You can also use website builders that are offered as part of a hosting plan, meaning everything can be managed in one easy place. At Namecheap, customers get the use of a Free Website Builder with all Shared Hosting plans. 

For more information on creating a killer website, check out some of our other blog posts, like 6 Core Elements for a Perfect Website that Converts or 6 AI Assistants for your Website Design Process.

2. Optimize for search engines (SEO)

Make sure your portfolio is discoverable by potential clients. Optimize your website for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords related to your design niche. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, be sure to include more than just ‘Graphic Design,’ but use other keywords like ‘Logo Design,’ ‘Branding,’ or ‘Digital Art.’ Use descriptive titles and alt tags for images, and include a detailed “About Me” section with your skills, experience, and design philosophy. This will not only enhance your visibility on search engines but also give visitors insight into your personality and approach to design.

Get more tips and tricks on SEO by checking out our related Guru Guide, SEO made easy.

Social media phone app

3. Build a social media presence

In the design world, visuals speak louder than words. Leverage social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Behance to showcase your work. Regularly update your profiles with your latest projects, design inspirations, and behind-the-scenes glimpses. Engage with your audience, participate in design communities, and use relevant hashtags to widen your reach.

4. Look into online marketplaces

Consider joining online design marketplaces that cater specifically to freelancers. Platforms like Dribbble, Etsy, and 99designs provide opportunities to showcase your work, connect with clients, and even participate in design contests. Be active in these communities to build your network and gain exposure.

5. Participate in blogging and other forms of content creation

Share your expertise and insights by starting a design-focused blog or sharing videos of you completing your work online. Write about design trends, share case studies of your projects, and offer valuable tips for aspiring designers. Regularly creating content not only positions you as an authority in your field but also helps drive traffic to your website. Consider guest posting on other design blogs or design influencers to expand your reach. 

Hedgehog choosing a domain

Choose a domain that gets your profession

In the world of freelancing, your domain name is more than just a web address — it’s an extension of your professional identity. Choosing a domain that resonates with your profession is a crucial step in building a strong online presence. 

Your domain name is often the first thing a potential client sees. A unique, relevant domain name can make a strong first impression and set you apart from competitors.

Opt for a domain that is easy to remember. Clients and collaborators should be able to recall your website effortlessly. Avoid complex or lengthy domain names that may be prone to misspelling. Keep it concise, relevant, and aligned with your design style.

Brand identity and recognition

A distinctive domain name reinforces your brand identity, making it easier for clients to remember and refer to others. Ensure consistency between your domain name and other aspects of your branding, such as your logo, color scheme, and design aesthetics. This cohesiveness reinforces your brand and leaves a lasting impression.

For example, a .design domain instantly tells visitors to your website that you are a designer. Take the domain positive.design, for instance. A strategic design agency, Positive.Design offers expertise in UX/UI design, market research, and design leadership. And having worked with big brands like BBC, Nike, and Johnson & Johnson, Positive.Design’s first impression is just that: positive.

Meanwhile, InteriorSolutions.design’s website name is as clean as the interiors they design. By choosing keywords that accurately reflect what they do, Interior Solutions’ brand expectations are showcased even before a customer hits their website.

Future-proof your brand

As your career evolves, your domain should grow with you. Choose a domain name that allows for scalability and flexibility. Avoid overly trendy terms that might become outdated, and opt for a timeless name that can withstand changing design trends.

Ecomm.design is a great example of a brand that has been future-proofed. Ecomm, short for eCommerce, is a website that’s entirely devoted to eCommerce Website Design and offers templates and tools to help customers design and build their eCommerce website. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales accounted for nearly 15% of all retail sales in Q3, 2023 – and continue to grow. By using a keyword paired with .design, Ecomm.design has a name that will last a lifetime.

Building a strong freelance business involves many steps

Establishing a strong online presence is crucial for freelancers, regardless of industry. By following these steps, you’ll not only showcase your work to a global audience but also position yourself for success in the competitive world of freelance. Whether you’re a seasoned graphic designer or a budding fashion design protegee, choosing the right domain name can significantly impact how you are perceived online. In a world where the internet is the primary tool for discovery, let’s make sure your website is saying exactly what you want it to. So, take the leap, get creative, and let your designs shine online with a personalized .design domain.

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Kristin Johnson avatar

Kristin Johnson

Kristin Johnson is the Head of Global Marketing and Brand for Registry Services, overseeing the go-to market strategy for top-level domains (TLDs) including brand positioning and international marketing initiatives. Kristin has over 15 years marketing experience and specializes in digital media, helping brands build data-first strategies to realize their goals. More articles written by Kristin.

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