Increasing Creativity Part II.
March 21, 2011 § Leave a Comment
If you’ve read Part I, you know that having an online presence is absolutely imperative as a freelancer. Whether you’re searching for full-time jobs in at a brick-and-mortar company or most of your work is done in the virtual realm, you must have a blog, website, flickr account, or the like to show off your work. Most positions won’t even accept your application, resume, and cover letter without a URL (your online address that starts with http://). The following will help you get started in the right direction.
A blog can be very beneficial to you if you just want a place to store your work for free. Especially if you’re a writer, you can gain more credibility by having a blog and by posting your written work on it. You can post music and graphics to your blog as well, so if your creativity has anything to do with music, graphics, or photography, you’re in luck. You can even create video (vlogs, instead of blogs) and slide show feeds that can be easily viewed.
Blogger.com and wordpress.com are the most popular and accepted blogging sites. Tumblr is a newer blog site on the scene that is breaking in the artistic realm for it’s snazzy design and easy-to-use-ability. There are also blog spots that are geared towards more industry specific areas. Blogs can also improve your search-ability on sites like Google and Yahoo!, which can increase your client traffic. So even if you have a website, it’s a great idea to put your “thoughts” on a blog…putting your most recent discoveries and projects is also a great way to gain expertise points in your field. Connecting that blog to your website then streamlines your online presence.
Whether you’re just a DBA (doing business as) or you’re a full-fledged LLC, having a website is a great way to get more clients. First, you have to purchase your chosen web domain name online. The most inexpensive sites to date are godaddy.com (which is PC & Mac compatible) and 1and1.com (which is only PC compatible). They cost about $6.99 per year for a domain name more or less, depending on the extension you choose (.com, .biz, .org, .info, etc.). They also have website builder’s online, which you can place music, video, photo’s, slide shows, and much more on. There’s usually a yearly or monthly fee for web hosting (placing your actual website online) no matter what website builder you choose to use and whether or not you build it yourself or have someone else build it for you. Here’s the solution I’ve come up with:
I currently use WordPress for both my website and my blog, since I don’t have much use for a full-fledged website yet. Although I purchased my domain through godaddy.com, I changed my blog address path (jennylvoe.wordpress.com) to my domain (jennylvoe.com) for $9.95/year. I think it sounds more professional than using the WordPress address. Plus, when I’m ready for a site, I can hire a web designer to create what I want using CSS (a script that can be read by WordPress) and I’ll be able to edit it when I need to without needing a web designer on a consistent basis to make on-going little changes (ie post new blogs, upload new songs, add newer content). It might cost more upfront for the site design (say $3000 or so), but it’ll be easier to edit myself through WordPress.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to have a website available. Even if it doesn’t have a Flash introduction, that’s okay. What you need is the online presence. Keep it simple and up-to-date (no nineties templates, please!) and it will get the job done. You’ll have more clients and a greater flow of traffic if you can give them an address starting with http:// and not just a card with your e-mail and phone number. You can also create a flickr, shutterfly, or tumblr account for website examples or templates, graphics, logos, adverts, photos, videos and much more. Sites like these can enable your customers to view your work easily and even create a host of other items on one website (that you will get paid for).
If you missed it, you must be online. You must be searchable. You must have an online presence. If your clients can type in your name after you’ve given them your business card or they’ve received an e-mail from you and your website is the top hit, your credibility will go up insurmountably. And I can guarantee that your project list will go up insurmountably as well. And increased projects=increase creativity.
(This post is part of Monday Madness: Creative Consulting Tips and Tricks of the Trade. Sign up for the RSS feed to never miss a post!)