Make your work into beautiful marketing materials

Jun 23, 2015

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

Many freelancers do work that isn’t visual: you’re a writer, strategist, or consultant, for example. Yet, you understand that having a beautiful website that presents your work in a clear, visually aesthetic way is imperative for winning new clients. So what do you do?

1. Make sure you have an organized and accessible archive:

Check out this article we wrote here about creating a visual archive of your past work. Your archive can include writing samples, magazine and blog post clippings, white papers, case studies, charts, and graphs - whatever form your work takes!

2. Assess what you have:

If you are a writer whose work gets published in magazines, a big part of the visual presentation has been taken care of for you! Scan the article in its published format and add it as a pdf or jpeg on your site.

If your work exists only as text on the page, think about if there’s a way to present it visually. You could hire a designer to help you come up with an arresting template, or you could create a case study that describes your process and results. Check out some of our case studies here for inspiration.

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3. Determine your overall look:

Your website determines how your visual style comes across to your ideal clients. If you don’t have a clue what your visual style is or how you should convey it to appeal to your industry, here are some tips to help you figure it out:

  • List 5 websites, Instagram feeds, or Pinterest boards that appeal to you. Go with your gut reaction, but keep your type of business and audience in mind.
  • List your current 3 favorite colors.
  • What are 3 words that you would use to describe your current visual style? (If you feel like you don’t have one, think about the way your apartment is decorated, your wardrobe, or your jewelry collection).
  • What are 3 words to describe what you’d like your visual style to be?
  • Set up a private Pinterest board. Take 30 minutes, and spend that time pinning to the board. Go to your usual websites and just pin things that stand out to you. (If you don’t want to use Pinterest, you can also gather images in a folder on your desktop, or cut images out of magazines.)

Next, look at all of the images and information you’ve collected. What do they have in common? Are there types of images you keep coming back to or repeating?

Take those as a jumping-off point to start to develop your own visual style. You can take your visual research to your designer when you update your website or, if you’re doing it yourself, take those visual cues into account when choosing a new color palette, photographs, or graphic elements.

4. Get creative with the kind of visual information you are presenting on your site:

Do you offer a unique service or totally amazing process? Let your audience know what it is! We always recommend sharing how you work via images or a video in order to make sure that your services stand out from the rest and show how your process adds value to your final product.

Looking for feedback on your newly minted marketing materials? **Post your portfolio, website, or resume in this peer review Hive. **

Kind Aesthetic is a creative agency run by Sara Jones and Andrea Wenglowskyj that works with artists, creative entrepreneurs, small businesses and organizations who need genuine storytelling and beautiful marketing materials that are fresh, exciting, and engage their audience. We work with clients either through the DELVE Toolkit, a unique, affordable, one-on-one consulting program for individuals who want to hone their own skills, or through our more extensive, bespoke Kind Aesthetic services that provide clients with a stunning visual and emotional representation of their ideas to share with the world. Sign up for the Kind Aesthetic mailing list to get more tips and advice delivered straight to your inbox.