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Jagella
01-07-2009, 07:06 PM
Today I read what I think may be a little surprising. Cameron S. Foote, president of Creative Business, has this to say about a Web site for a graphic design or communications business:


(A Web site) is an essential element in today's promotional arsenal. But readers should be cautious about relying on it too much. In most cases a Web site serves only as a way for clients to “check out” those with whom they are considering doing business—the virtual equivalent of a portfolio-showing appointment. It is seldom the main reason a client selects a supplier. Moreover, sites that exhibit gratuitous creativity or sport complex technology can easily turn off more clients than they impress. (1)

I believe promotion may require a lot more than a Web site if Foote is correct. Agree? Disagree?

Jagella

(1) Cameron S. Foote, The Business Side of Creativity, (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.; New York; 2006) p. 223-224

orion_joel
01-07-2009, 08:29 PM
I to some extent agree, with that has been said by Foote. However, it depends on the site and what the aim of the site is.

I think the geographic spread of where some companies are getting their clients from now, is leading to a website being essential for potential clients to see an online portfolio. However at the same time, that website needs to sell a potential customer on contact you, unless the site is being used to refer potential customers to view as a portfolio.

One other thought i have on this though is that having a website primarily as a sales tool in the market of web and graphic design, possibly is a little bit off, as the number of businesses in that market all with websites, all trying to get the same customer is going to be a good way to have to many competing in the same place for the same customers.

seolman
01-07-2009, 08:49 PM
In our case the web site is a magnet to lead the person to the sale (thus a marketing tool). It is never the closer. This would not necessarily be true if I was selling books or other merchandise such as is done on Amazon.com. In our case we sell web sites, graphic design, programming services and SEO so we end up closing the sale by phone or email.

How much one depends on the web site is determined by the type of product or service they sell. In some cases it is nothing more than a fancy brochure driving the person to call an 800 number or fill out a contact form. In other cases it is 100% of the sales right through to accepting payment and delivering the product.

billbenson
01-07-2009, 10:01 PM
I suspect the nature of a graphics design business is not necessarily local. By that I mean your customers may be around the country or world.

I would think of it as an online brochure. You still need to close the deal, but it gets you into the short list.

vangogh
01-07-2009, 11:12 PM
Well I think you could say the same about anything along the chain of landing a client. No one thing by itself leads to the sale. For example someone may find my site through a search engine or a link on another site. They may find something I said on this forum and then click to my site. Maybe it's an add that leads them to me or a recommendation from another client.

Once on my site that person might then check out my portfolio or my blog or any of my sales pages to decide whether or not to email or call. After the initial communication my response will play a role as will future back and forths.

If any part of that chain fails in it's job there's no client. So technically you shouldn't rely too much on your website because there are so many other parts you also need to consider. But if the message is to say your website isn't all that important or that you don't need one, then I disagree. It's like saying you don't need to bring your portfolio to an interview since you still need to answer all the questions.

Just to repeat there's a lot of different components to turning a complete stranger into a client. And if any of those components breaks down you end up with no client. So no one component alone closes the deal, but all are essential to closing that deal.

cbscreative
01-08-2009, 02:02 AM
I like the name Creative Business. As I understand the point being made, I agree just like everyone else has said so far. Foote's comment being quoted seems to clearly indicate the web site is important. I suspect the point is that some designers may think if they do a good enough job on their web site, then they should succeed. That is clearly not true, and I think vangogh did a good job illustrating how all things work together.

vangogh
01-08-2009, 02:12 AM
Reading the quote again I would take issue with the following:


Web site serves only as a way for clients to “check out” those with whom they are considering doing business

That might have been true at one time, but today a good website is an interactive environment where site owner and site visitor, designer and client can interact and develop a relationship. For example this very week I'm working on two websites for a company. The sites came about through someone who's been reading my blog for awhile. He commented, I replied. I commented on his blog, he replied. We emailed each other and developed a relationship. He liked my designs and in time contacted me about work.

That's a different model than potential clients 'checking out' my site to decide whether or not to do business with me. The initial visit to my site had nothing to do with business. It was to read something I had written and only months later did business come out of it.

You can much more interactivity on your site than a blog and you can have your site serve other purposes than lead generation for your design services. The snippet of the quote above is really a limited view of what a website is and what it may become.

I still agree with the general point that there's more to the sale than your site. Even in my example the business came about due to more than me having a site. But I thought I would turn the conversation a bit.

Dan Furman
01-08-2009, 06:22 PM
It depends on your business.

I suspect many of us here depend on our websites a great deal. I know I do. A converting website can easily be your most powerful marketing bullet (general "a human closes the sale" point accepted.)

But, say, Pepsi? I'm pretty sure their website is lower on their list of "what marketing works best" than it is mine.

seolman
01-08-2009, 06:48 PM
I'll go along with that Dan. Definitely it's horses for courses. Imagine amazon.com without a web site? But Joe's Barber Shop on Main St. would get by fine with no web presence.

One of the tweeters I follow makes her living 100% on Social Marketing advice. Web presence is everything. It's all about the niche you're in. She must spend at least 8 hours a day twittering - has an enormous following on her Twitter and Blog etc..

It's all about where you find your market and how to keep market share you've captured (that is, if you want to keep it ;)

Jagella
01-08-2009, 07:00 PM
I suspect the nature of a graphics design business is not necessarily local. By that I mean your customers may be around the country or world.

I would think of it as an online brochure. You still need to close the deal, but it gets you into the short list.

That's about right, Bill, but I understand that when it comes to graphic design, aside from online work like Web sites and banner ads, you'll work mostly with local clients face-to-face.

Jagella

Jagella
01-08-2009, 07:06 PM
Once on my site that person might then check out my portfolio or my blog or any of my sales pages to decide whether or not to email or call. After the initial communication my response will play a role as will future back and forths.

Forgive me if I'm being presumptuous, Steve, but I'd say in your case a Web site fills much more of a promotional role than many other businesses including graphic design businesses. For one thing, you offer Web design and development, services that are well suited to being promoted with a Web site. For another thing, you're already succeeding with your site and your business, and who can argue with success?

Jagella

Dan Furman
01-08-2009, 07:08 PM
That's about right, Bill, but I understand that when it comes to graphic design, aside from online work like Web sites and banner ads, you'll work mostly with local clients face-to-face.

Jagella

Really??? I find that very odd, to be honest Jagella. Things like graphics, writing, web design - that's perfect for online work.

Personally, I have one local client. One. Almost ten years doing this stuff, and just once have I worked for anyone face to face (and it was on a trade - my services for Chiropractic - worked out great! :) )

In fact, "local" never even occured to me when I started. I'd starve if I depended on local business.

vangogh
01-08-2009, 08:40 PM
Joe I think web design and graphic design business work much the same way. Same with writing like Dan mentioned. We're all service based businesses and all three of us also happen to be home based. I don't think web design and development is any more natural to have a website than graphic design or writing or a virtual assistant.

As far as any success I've had it wasn't always that way. When I put up my first site I had exactly 1 client. I have more clients now. Some came to me through my site, some came to me through other means.

Local business is something good to focus on, particularly in the beginning, for any services based business. There are some people who insist on working with someone they can physically visit. I have a client who chose to work with me specifically for that reason. Yet we've still never met in person. Like Dan said I would starve if I depended on local business. I do have some local clients, but the majority aren't local.

There's no reason why you can't work your local market, but don't limit yourself. There's no reason why you can't work the global market too.

Jagella
01-09-2009, 12:22 AM
Really??? I find that very odd, to be honest Jagella. Things like graphics, writing, web design - that's perfect for online work.

Sure, Dan, graphics, writing, and Web design are well suited for online work and promotion, but here's what Foote has to say:


What about trying to develop long-distance electronic relationships? In this age of the internet, modems, faxes, and delivery services they're surely possible, but with the few exceptions described below, very little quality (read profitable) work comes this way. For most assignments, clients expect to meet and discuss assignments in person (eye to eye). One exception is illustration, where personal contact is often not necessary. Another is certain editorial projects. And a third is Web design. When a freelance or firm has already worked for a client and is well respected, it is often possible to move to another location and keep the business, but for most graphic designers and copywriters, and for many illustrators, proximity to a client is crucial to obtaining the type of projects that are both stimulating and profitable. (1)

So it seems to me that the kind of work a designer can do profitably over the Internet depends a lot on the kinds of projects offered. Can you imagine, for instance, trying to create a large lobby display for a hotel that's thousands of miles away without being physically present to check the progress of the work? What would you do, have your client photograph the work and email the pictures to you?

Anyway, I'd much prefer to work over the Web. If you lived in Williamsport, you'd rather not work locally either! But I do question if I can succeed that way. Only time will tell.

Jagella

(1) Cameron S. Foote, The Business Side of Creativity, (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.; New York; 2006) p. 215-216.

cbscreative
01-09-2009, 12:38 AM
I would add that most of my work is non-local just like others here, so with what you are seeking to do, Joe, I think the same rule applies.

Marcomguy
01-09-2009, 12:44 AM
There are plenty of writers - successful ones at that - who don't have websites. They're obviously marketing themselves through other means, which are working for them.

My website has been indispensable to my business. People who are referred to me first check out my website. I've gotten appointments and sales from prospects who found me on the web. (In Google, I rank first for the terms "freelance copywriter ct" and "freelance copywriter stamford ct." For the term "copywriter ct," I'm the highest-ranking business website, after a bunch of job sites, an article site and a directory (7th overall).)

Having said that (that my website is indispensable), I should stress that the site is only one component of my marketing. Networking and referrals are the best sources of business. As vangogh said, it all helps close the deal.

Jagella
01-09-2009, 01:22 AM
I would add that most of my work is non-local just like others here, so with what you are seeking to do, Joe, I think the same rule applies.

Do you do much work on printed documents over the Internet, Steve? I'm wondering if that might be the kind of work that clients who prefer to work eye-to-eye like to have done.

I do agree that a lot of graphic design can be done over the Web, of course, but I'm sure a lot of it is much better suited to be done locally. You and some of the other designers here just happen to do the kind of work that's OK for Web clients. I believe that's the solution to this paradox.

Jagella

vangogh
01-09-2009, 01:25 AM
Can you imagine, for instance, trying to create a large lobby display for a hotel that's thousands of miles away without being physically present to check the progress of the work?

That's one very specific job that most graphic designers won't do. But let's assume that's the job you get. You wouldn't be doing most of the work on site. You'd likely do most of the work in your office creating the graphics. Odds are you might not even be setting up the display.

In the situation you're describing a different company would likely be hired to build the display and that company might then hire a graphic designer where needed. The designer wouldn't need to check on the progress of anything other than the graphics which could be delivered in many ways other than in person. I'm not saying you couldn't have a graphic designer in charge of the whole thing flying back and forth across the country, but it's hardly a typical job and it's one that a home based graphic designer would doubtful ever do.

But let's say for a moment that you as a home based graphic designer did get that job. How would you have gotten it. Is there any reason to think you couldn't have gotten it because someone in the hotel found your site and was impressed with your work. Couldn't that person have been a reader of your blog and because of that thought of you when the hotel decided it wanted a new display.

Why would there be any less promotion online or offline to get the job?


with the few exceptions described below, very little quality (read profitable) work comes this way. For most assignments, clients expect to meet and discuss assignments in person (eye to eye)

That sounds less like reality and more like someone who prefers to live in the past. Business (quality businesses too) are being formed now where the employees rarely if ever meet. Nothing can replace a face-to-face meeting, but that doesn't mean you can't build a quality working relationship without seeing someone. Yes some clients will want and expect to meet with you. Many won't care. And if it's that important to get a big project you can travel, meet, and then come home and work. You wouldn't do that for a small project, but for a small project it's unlikely a meeting is necessary.

vangogh
01-09-2009, 01:27 AM
Joe forgetting the lobby display what kind of typical projects do you think you can only do by living near a client?

billbenson
01-09-2009, 11:14 AM
Just one very general comment as well. I'm in a completely different industry but everything I do is online.

A local client is going to be far more time consuming. Travel time, possibly entertaining for a large job; meeting face to face could both be time consuming and the client may try to micromanage you. All of which is far less efficient and will drive your costs up.

I don't know about your industry, but a remote business model may be more profitable.

Jagella
01-09-2009, 11:34 AM
In the situation you're describing a different company would likely be hired to build the display and that company might then hire a graphic designer where needed.

OK, isn't that an example of a designer working locally and physically present at the site at which the work is being done?


But let's say for a moment that you as a home based graphic designer did get that job. How would you have gotten it. Is there any reason to think you couldn't have gotten it because someone in the hotel found your site and was impressed with your work. Couldn't that person have been a reader of your blog and because of that thought of you when the hotel decided it wanted a new display.

Why would there be any less promotion online or offline to get the job?

Sure, a designer could be hired to do work like the lobby display as a result of the hotel management finding the designer's Web site or blog. I'd question if the hotel would rely on a designer who would never be physically present at the work site, though. A lot of such displays may not be flat and have a significant third dimension. If the 3D aspect of the display is important, then a remotely located designer who doesn't see the display beyond photos may not be adequate. In addition, the hotel management might wish to see a prototype of the display, and you'd have a tough time presenting a 3D model of the work over the Web.


Joe forgetting the lobby display what kind of typical projects do you think you can only do by living near a client?

Another example of work better done locally might be the design of a point of purchase display (POP). Some designers create prototypes of these displays embellished with the graphics the designer created. Presenting this kind of design to a client would probably be best done in person.

So Steve, I don't know if we really disagree. We're just talking about different kinds of work. I should reiterate that I'd prefer doing work over the Internet rather than deal with my local business climate which is not good. Williamsport has a slow economy, a shrinking population, and problems with crime. However, I still may end up working locally. If it works out that way, then I wouldn't complain too much.

I plan to start a thread about these issues on the Business Planning section.

Jagella

vangogh
01-09-2009, 01:42 PM
I don't think the graphic designer really needs to be physically present for the display. The graphic designer wouldn't be building the display or designing everything that goes into the display. The graphic designer would more likely be creating parts of a display coordinated by someone else. But I would think creating the display for a hotel lobby would be a pretty big job that paid well. There's no reason someone couldn't take a flight, meet the client, see the lobby, and then go back to the office to work. That's not affordable on a small job, but it's easily built into the price of a large job.

I think the hotel lobby is a very specific project. Sure I agree being able to physically see the lobby is going to help and you're right the client may very well want someone to see the lobby. But again the job is likely big enough to justify a flight and the project really isn't typical of the kind of thing a home based graphic designer would be doing.

Imagine for a moment than a company hired me to build them an intranet. I could still do most of the work from my home office and if they IT department at the company allowed me access to their intranet over an internet connection, technically I would never need to go in to their offices to build their intranet, but of course I would want to go in and meet the people get a feel for the company and employees.

But again it's not a typical job for me or most web designers. It's also a project that would likely be large enough to justify the expense of flying into whatever city or country the company was located in for those days and weeks when it's necessary or desired.

I think the issue is less that you have to be physically close to the client as it is that you need to be able to get to the client when you need to. Hotels wanting new lobby displays and large companies wanting an intranet aren't small projects. People do travel for a time to the location and then go back to the office to work or even stay on location for the duration of the project. But there's no reason why the need to live near the location full time.

Your second example is a better one and certainly more realistic. A small retail store might want to hire someone locally and sure you might be more likely to get the job if you lived near the store. But consider that there are lots of stores. You may not get the local job in California, but the designer in California isn't getting the local store job in Pennsylvania. Still there are stores in both places and more than enough work for both of you.

I agree we're not really disagreeing here. This is more of a fun debate for me. I think many businesses would do well to market both locally and globally. All I'm really saying is you don't have to choose the local market. I have some local clients who absolutely chose me because I'm local and I have clients who aren't local who are simply interested that I can get the job done. I think it's the same in graphic design. Some projects will lend themselves to being local and some it won't matter. As the graphic designer you can take either or both kind of projects, but you aren't limited to having to work locally.

Dan Furman
01-09-2009, 03:55 PM
Sure, Dan, graphics, writing, and Web design are well suited for online work and promotion, but here's what Foote has to say:

What about trying to develop long-distance electronic relationships? In this age of the internet, modems, faxes, and delivery services they're surely possible, but with the few exceptions described below, very little quality (read profitable) work comes this way.


I'll stop right there - why are you giving any weight to what this guy says? This sounds like it was written in 1996 (modems? faxes?)

Let me tell you about electronic relationships. Not only do I run 80% of my business without ever speaking to anyone, I even got a book published - sent the proposal, negotiated the contracts, sent the manuscript, did all the editing, etc etc - without ever once speaking to anyone. It was all done via e-mail. Me sending a cold proposal via snail mail, a few e-mails, some fed-exing of the contracts, a few more e-mails, and presto, there's my book, on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. Not one word ever spoken between myself and the publisher. True story.

You know Roger Ebert (the movie guy)... he lost his ability to speak a few years ago. Death for a guy like him, right? Not only is he thriving, he runs one of the most respected (and most read) blogs on the internet.

I do business right now with several people in the UK, a company in China, etc. They all found my website and e-mailed me. I e-mailed back, and we're off.

E-mail and the web are powerful beyond comprehension. My type of business simply wasn't possible fifteen years ago. Now I feel like the sky is truly the limit.

Dan Furman
01-09-2009, 04:10 PM
Another example of work better done locally might be the design of a point of purchase display (POP). Some designers create prototypes of these displays embellished with the graphics the designer created. Presenting this kind of design to a client would probably be best done in person.

I think the differences here are more of a matter of perception than anything, Joe. In simple terms, you really aren't "thinking big" (which is ok - I'm not criticizing - I'm just making an observation). This is evidenced by you saying POP displays done locally... I used to work in retail, and I've also done marketing / POP copywriting for large companies - when I think "POP Display", I think one of two things: Manufacturer/Distributor, or Retail Chain. Neither one is going to limit their talent pool to just the local area. In fact, I'll bet anything most retail chains (etc) don't use a local guy at all - they use some agency in NY, etc.

But I don't think you are talking about those big boys when you talk POP display - you're talking more "local store", aren't you? So, if that's what you see yourself doing, making graphics for local clients, etc, then yes, the local aspect is going to be much bigger for you. And again, that's fine if that's what you want to do.

vangogh
01-09-2009, 04:25 PM
Funny Dan. I thought the same thing when I read fax and modems, but I think Joe's first post mentioned this is from 2006.

That's how I feel about the local POP too. I think we're all kind of arguing the same points and the difference is really in th specific projects. For some a local designer will probably be more desired, for other projects the key will be who's the best or who has the right reputation. Sometimes people choose a designer just because you can get free marketing from picking a famous design firm.

The basic problem I have with the original quote is it seems to imply all or most graphic design projects need to be local. That's simply not true. Some? Yes. But some is a far cry from most or all. A graphic designer can build a thriving business without every having a local client. That same designer can build an equally thriving business working for all local clients or having a mix of local and global.

Dan Furman
01-09-2009, 04:52 PM
I just wrote a post in the "managing your business" forum that's related to the turn this discussion took. Thought it might be interesting for those who are still reading.

Local vs national-my story (http://www.small-business-forum.net/managing-your-business/842-local-vs-national-my-story.html)

Dan Furman
01-09-2009, 04:54 PM
Funny Dan. I thought the same thing when I read fax and modems, but I think Joe's first post mentioned this is from 2006.

Could be an updated edition of the book, perhaps. I just can't see anyone "in the know" using that kind of example in 2006.

SteveC
01-09-2009, 05:04 PM
Something else to consider is this... an awful lot of graphic designers work for Advertising Agencies... in that the Agencies gain the clients and handle all client contact and the graphic designer follows a brief and can to all intense and purpose be based anywhere.

Graphic Designers are generally selected by simply looking at their website and on it their portfollio... and if this is of a sufficent quality they will gain work from that Agency... this has gone on for many, many years.

As to ourselves... we have a client based drawn from more countries than I care to mention, in fact some of our largest clients are based in the States...

cbscreative
01-09-2009, 05:16 PM
Since DSL and cable actually use modems, the term is not really outdated. For what it's worth (another expression meaning useless trivia), the word modem was coined for what it does: modulate and demodulate. Now if you win the jackpot on a game show for knowing that, please remember to share your winnings with me.

What this really comes down to is what you want, because you really do get to control it. If you believe you need local business, then you will get primarily that. If you believe you can make it work remotely, then that is what will happen. This may see, over simplified, but it is mostly true.

To answer your other question about printing, Joe, there is no need to be physically present for a printing job. You may need to inquire about printing requirements for a particular printer, but there is no need to be local. Since we were discussing CS4 in another thread, you may be interested in knowing a new feature with InDesign. You can set up "profiles" that automatically check your files before submitting them. For example, you most likely would not want anything below 300 dpi, so the profile would flag your file if you had a low res object so you wouldn't accidently submit it for production that way.

Dan Furman
01-09-2009, 05:22 PM
Since DSL and cable actually use modems, the term is not really outdated.

Please refrain from bringing facts into this discussion :)



What this really comes down to is what you want, because you really do get to control it. If you believe you need local business, then you will get primarily that. If you believe you can make it work remotely, then that is what will happen. This may see, over simplified, but it is mostly true.


Yup - I totally agree. It's perception.

vangogh
01-09-2009, 06:39 PM
Good points everyone. I agree completely about the perception. I've found not just in business, but life in general that the biggest limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves. If you believe in yourself and believe something can be done, you can usually find a way to make it happen.

If you believe the opposite then you'll find a way to prove it couldn't be done.

Jagella
01-09-2009, 06:58 PM
I don't think the graphic designer really needs to be physically present for the display.

A lot of all this may boil down to the personal preferences of the hotel managers and the designer. I think I'd like to be able to check the progress of my work by visiting the site.


But again the job is likely big enough to justify a flight and the project really isn't typical of the kind of thing a home based graphic designer would be doing.

I don't think I'd attempt a project that big unless it was located nearby (within 50 miles of my home).


As the graphic designer you can take either or both kind of projects, but you aren't limited to having to work locally.

That's good to hear, but I think I should plan my business to offer products that are better suited for nonlocal clients.

Jagella

vangogh
01-09-2009, 07:42 PM
A lot of all this may boil down to the personal preferences of the hotel managers and the designer.

Absolutely. There are definitely clients who want to hire someone local and there are definitely service providers who prefer to work with local clients. What most of us are saying though is there are equally (if not more) of the opposite.

You might not want to fly to the hotel (neither would I), but that doesn't mean it can't be done. SteveC mentioned it a few posts back, but the hotel lobby situation you described is more likely to be done by an advertising agency or some larger company. And those larger companies will probably fly people out on a regular basis to meet with the clients and check progress.

With your business you don't even have to tailor things for people geographically. I don't. I simply try to do my job as best as I can. If someone locally calls me great. If someone a few thousand miles calls me that's great too.

Jagella
01-10-2009, 12:02 AM
If you believe in yourself and believe something can be done, you can usually find a way to make it happen.

http://www.infomercial-hell.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/vu_yacht_1.jpg

Great, Steve. I'll invite you to sail on my yacht with those 20 beautiful women in swimsuits as soon as I make it happen.

Jagella

Jagella
01-10-2009, 12:08 AM
Since we were discussing CS4 in another thread, you may be interested in knowing a new feature with InDesign. You can set up "profiles" that automatically check your files before submitting them. For example, you most likely would not want anything below 300 dpi, so the profile would flag your file if you had a low res object so you wouldn't accidently submit it for production that way.

Steve, I believe InDesign CS3 can do the same thing. It's called “preflighting.” Is that what you're referring to?

Jagella

cbscreative
01-10-2009, 03:59 PM
Yes, Joe, you're right. As I understand the difference between CS3 and CS4, the new version is more automated. While CS3 has the capability, you must manually run the preflight. I'm not sure about the option differences or ability to provide suggested fixes with CS3. The CS4 alerts you automatically and you can "drill down" right to the specific problem.

Since this thread is more about web design, I will mention that I am currently test driving the new Dreamweaver. It's the one new version I was most skeptical about. I have mixed feelings on the Insert panel being moved to the side, and there are a few other things that require getting used to, but overall, I really like it. One of my favorite features I noticed right away is that it opens all files associated with the open web page automatically (external CSS, scripts, etc.). You can instantly locate any piece of code you need which really speeds any troubleshooting, or makes it easier to change things. This new feature called Code Navigator is really cool for speeding workflow.

The Live Preview feature is nice too. It instantly mimics the page in a real browser to reduce the time spent browser testing. There are a lot of things I have not had time to explore, but I am really liking it so far. I've not had any "bugs" so far either. I intend to test some other products before taking the plunge into an upgrade.

Blessed
01-10-2009, 05:43 PM
That's about right, Bill, but I understand that when it comes to graphic design, aside from online work like Web sites and banner ads, you'll work mostly with local clients face-to-face.

Jagella

OK - I've been away from the site for a few days and haven't finished reading this whole thread yet... so maybe I'm premature in throwing in my two cents here but

For me - 90% of my Graphic Design work is with local clients I've met face-to-face, 5% is with local clients I've never met only communicated on the phone or by email with and the other 5% are clients all across the USA who I've never met and primarily communicate with by email with some phone time. However... a good friend of mine does about 25% of his business with local clients he's met face to face, about 25% with local people he's never met and the rest are clients all across the world that he does work for. His portfolio is on a few different sites where he can bid on jobs, he has a myspace page and a blog (just for illustrations, and a just-for-fun thing) however he started building this client base while he was still in school and got a lot of his networking started then. He used to also have a web page, but I believe that he closed that down.

OK, off to read the next three pages of posts.

Blessed
01-10-2009, 05:50 PM
Good points everyone. I agree completely about the perception. I've found not just in business, but life in general that the biggest limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves. If you believe in yourself and believe something can be done, you can usually find a way to make it happen.

If you believe the opposite then you'll find a way to prove it couldn't be done.

OK - I'm almost to the end of the thread but I want to completely agree with this statement - our biggest limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves or allow others to impose on us.