I was happy to find this forum and have enjoyed browsing through some of the threads. It seems there's a sincere effort being made to offer help and suggestions to other designers, so I thought I'd ask for some opinions.
I am a stay at home mom of an almost 2 year old child. I have been doing freelance web and graphic design projects off and on for many years. I have, as we all have I'm sure, experienced a serious drop off in clients due to the economy and am really needing to bring in some more work. I'm just not sure what's the best way to go about it.
I live in a small-ish town, so lots of the local businesses feel they have no need for a home on the web. Others have already got a web site they are content with at this time. I feel I need to make more of an effort to get my services out there on a broader scale and I am making it a serious new years resolution to do so. Here are some of my ideas.
1. Concentrate on certain categories.... hair salons, dentists, musicians, etc.
2. Create a cover letter to send along with my business card
3. Set weekly goals of # of businesses or individuals to contact with my offer.
I think these steps would help in getting my name out there, but I'm not sure what to include in my mailings. Do I need a brochure? Do I need to create a comp site for each category I target so prospective businesses can see a mockup idea of say, a classy and professional site for a salon? One of my biggest struggles is how to approach businesses whose sites are awful. Obviously you can't tell someone flat out "your web site sucks." How do you present your ideas for redesign in a friendly, respectful way?
I'd be very interested to hear if anyone has feedback to share about these ideas. I truly enjoy design. I just want to utilize my time wisely and generate some business.
Thank you all for your time and consideration.