So I’m a freelancer…where should I advertise my services? There are so many options available. I could advertise in the newspapers or in industry magazines, on TV (if I win the lottery), on radio or online. These are the main avenues that I could go down. So lets rule some of these out straight away. TV is far too expensive and usually only big name, already successful companies go down this route to market their products or services. Next are newspapers and magazines. While it might help to get your name out there in the beginning, I don’t think that it’s viable finance wise or otherwise to advertise in newspapers and other publications on an ongoing basis. This is from a starting out point of view; if you have the money TV advertising is probably the best way to go. So that leaves radio and web advertising…which of these is more accessible and more viable for my business? Before we go any further we should decide what exactly, as a freelancer, I want to get out of my advertising investment. Some questions you should ask yourself before deciding the best advertising route include: Who are my target audience/potential clients and Where do they go for news/industry info/in general? How many people do I want to reach with this ad? How much can I spend on advertising on a monthly basis? What is my main selling point? If your potential customers are living in a small geographical location, and they possibly all listen to the nearby local/regional radio station then a radio ad is probably your best choice. In relation to the cost of a radio ad, this can vary wildly. It really depends on what you’re looking for in an ad, and what resources you need to create an effective finished product. Things you need to budget for include: A production company Studio recording time Voiceover artists A copywriter Music If you are the creative type you can write the ad yourself to save some money! But if you doubt your ability at all in this area then it’s probably best to leave it to the professionals. Getting your name out there is so important that it must be done right. Some radio stations will create an ad for you, supplying all of the above items for a pre-set price. The creation of an ad for radio could cost anything from €300 to €1000+. If you think you would be interested in promoting yourself in this way, contact some radio stations and get some quotes for ad production. You can view rate cards on most radio stations websites too. Shop around and find the most competitive price! Talk to the production team and find out if radio advertising suits your product/service. If your potential customers are dispersed throughout a large geographical area and spend some/a lot of time browsing the Internet, then web advertising may be suitable for you. There are so many options for advertising online that there is not enough space in this article to discuss them all… First of all, if you feel that a large number of your potential clients spend time browsing the web you should have a website. If someone hears your name and might be even remotely interested in using your services one of the first places they will go to is the Internet. They will lose interest quickly if they do not find you there. Setting up a website can be straightforward enough. Even setting up a blog on wordpress.com or blogger.com would be a good start and a good way to start promoting your business. Although, there isn’t much point in doing this if no one knows your doing it, so get social networking as well. Set up a professional Facebook page, a twitter account etc, and starting letting people know that your business exists. Another way to market your business online is by advertising with Google. Google Adwords is an advertising system that allows businesses to bid in order to have their ads shown on relevant websites. You, as a business, allocate tag words to your ad and you specify how much you will pay Google each time someone clicks on your ad. That way each time a web page is opened the business with the most relevant ad that has the highest per-click bid will have their ad on that page. An ad will only appear on relevant websites and a fee is paid to Google only when someone clicks on your ad. There are a million other ways to advertise on the web, these are just some ideas to get you thinking about the best route for your business! Research all avenues that interest you to find out the most viable option for your business. The most important thing to do when advertising in any medium is to stand out. There is no point in putting up an identical ad to your competitors, as you are not giving the client a reason to choose you. Have your own angle on things, a unique one where possible! Whether you decide to advertise on the radio, or to setup your own website and start marketing yourself online, be sure to let people know what you are doing. Word of mouth is extremely important to any advertising campaign however big or small. Tell your friends and colleagues and get them to pass it on. And don’t forget to stand out, be different even in a very small way to catch the attention of potential clients. Where do you advertise your services and what works well for you?