A Secret Way to Find Hordes of New Design Customers Through eBay!

Many designers think of eBay only as a way to buy and sell stuff. But it can be a powerful lead-generation machine for your design business as well. How? Read on.

Why use eBay? Because eBay is absolutely huge. It has over 200,000,000 registered users, with 40,000 new registrations every day. And, on average, it processes more searches per day than Google.

You can take advantage of this astonishing power to build your design business quickly! A key to doing it is to understand the difference between Google searches and eBay searches: eBay is all about BUYERS and not general information seekers.

How does this apply to your marketing/graphic design niche? Many prospective clients use eBay to find services. These services include many you currently offer (or can easily add): logo design, business card design, brochure design, and so on. So your eBay presence would tie-in with this need.

You start by offering some type of graphics-related product. (I’ll explain in a moment.) You can then sell your design services to the customers you attract.

How do you tap into this network of buyers? Offer a low-cost, attention-getting informational report as a PDF file. Charging from $.99 to $5.99 seems about right. The low price grabs the prospect and pulls him in. Then, in the report itself, you include a pitch for your services … with a discount for first-time clients.

A few ideas for report subjects: “The 7 Deadliest Sins to Avoid When Designing Your Logo,” “10 Radical Time-Saving Photoshop Tips,” or “6 Questions You Must Ask Before You Hire a Graphic Designer.”

Of course, if, in addition to design services, you sell items like T-shirts or prints … use those to attract potential clients. The customers you attract with either an informational report or a physical product will be high quality leads for your services.

Once a customer has bought from you, you must nurture the relationship outside of eBay. By delivering what you promise – promptly and professionally – you convert them from being an eBay customer into being your client.

An important consideration: Do you have a system in place to handle new leads? Once you deliver the product they ordered … what will your next contact with them be? Will it be a postcard, a phone call, or a personal letter? Can you sign them up for your e-newsletter? Put them into your hopper and communicate with them regularly (At least once per month.)

Does this eBay marketing strategy work? You bet it does. The first time I used it, I posted a free report I’d written. I had over 20 quick inquiries … and landed three design jobs (one that turned into a long-term client). And, so far, I have only scratched its surface.

The eBay-marketing strategy is a very successful, and not too difficult, one to add to your current bag of self-marketing tricks. But it’s not intended to replace your other efforts to find new clients. Use it in addition to what you’re already doing, and you’ll build your design business – and your success – faster than you thought possible.

[Ed note: Doug Farrick has over 20 years of experience in the design business, the last five owning a successful design firm. Since selling it in 2007, he founded TheDesignersInnerCircle.com – a resource center for graphic designers. Subscribe to his “Designers Inner Circle – Tip of the Week” at thedesignersinnercirclereport.com]

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Published: April 24, 2008

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