Tips and Considerations for Self-Promotion

The number of freelancers is rising at a really fast pace, and like everything else you need to stand out in order to stay competitive. Standing out is no easy task, your work needs to be attractive to a lot of people, but especially to your clients. Unfortunately, being good is not enough in today’s world, you also need to tell the world you are here and you are capable of good design.

The best designers and developers are the ones we don’t know about, the only difference is that they don’t need, don’t know or don’t care about self-promotion, or promotion at all. But if you value your work, you should value the way you are presenting it to the world. So before you sell a product, you need to sell yourself. Tell them why you deserve to be chosen, why you.

“Self-promotion is the act or practice of promoting one’s own interests, profile, work, etc.”

If this sounds obvious to you, think twice and ask yourself if you are really doing everything you should. Why are you receiving 200 visits / month, when others receive 5000 visits / month with similar work and services? Because they are promoting themselves better.

In this article, I will try to give you some insight about how and where you should promote yourself. Take a look below.


Have an Online Presence

Have an online presence

If you plan to expand your brand and to sell your work, having a professional online presence is mandatory. Building a portfolio is the perfect way to share your experience, knowledge, work and clients, while showing your personality through creativity. Don’t forget to reference your website as much as possible, especially to clients. You can reference it in your email signature, artwork, ads, business cards, etc.

Keep Your Website Updated

Keep your website updated

Content is slightly more important than aesthetics. If your website looks great, but your last post is dated from 2009, your visitor won’t return because he’s not expecting updates in the near future, and he’s right. Ideally it would be great to update your site daily, if you can’t at least try to update it once a week.

Support Good Causes


More and more charities are adopting online media to raise funds for their causes. If you have the time, supporting charitable causes makes the world a better place, and helps you achieve positive feedback, respect, and influential clients. It’s also a lot more fun than regular work.



This is definitely the most important step in the whole process of self-promotion. Actively participating in the community is an opportunity to expand your network of contacts, meet perspective clients, learn new methods, meet agencies and have friendly discussions. Open yourself to others in the business, help people that ask you for advice, and spread the word about your new artwork or website.



Sharing your point of view about the business in general, gives your clients and readers some an idea about your personality and professionalism. New content like  articles, case studies, tutorials, etc,  transforms your website into a place of valuable information, and keeps your visitors coming back. It’s also a place where you can easily promote your most recent work.

Offer Freebies


The best way to let your visitors know how good your work is, is giving it to them for free so they can try it. offering quality freebies like icons, buttons, layouts, brushes, patterns, textures, etc,  increases your self-motivation, respect and more importantly, exposure.

Showcase Your Work

Showcase your work

Personally, I think this should be one of the first things you should do as soon as you launch your website. There are many great showcase galleries out there (especially CSS galleries) with a big impact in your website exposure and evaluation. A gallery can bring you 10 times more visits, and besides they are mainly seen by other professionals, it can be a plus for clients.

Make Sure They Know You Did It

Make sure they know you did it

Simply put, never forget to sign your work. If people like the work, they will try to find out who did it, and they will know it was you. You will start to be asked to do the same kind of work for clients, or “how you did it” questions within the community.



Help, collaborate, share your experience and insights, and answer people and clients even if you don’t have the time to do more work. Giving back inspires others to do the same. You can learn a lot and make great friends within the business, just by sharing your knowledge and experience. It also increases your self-esteem, and keeps people coming back.

Look for Work

Look for work

If you find an opportunity to work with good professionals or big clients, do it. Don’t think twice. It can be a great plus for you and your portfolio. Being a part of great projects or great teams, promotes your expertise and makes it easier to find new jobs and projects to join in the future. So the more experience you have, the more likely is to increase it.










Designers Couch

Designers Couch





Concept Feedback

Concept Feedback

CSS Based


CSS Mania




Folio Focus







Theme Forest






At this point, you should know that building a portfolio is just the beginning, you now need to keep it updated and spread the word. What about starting a blog? or offering freebies? Don’t be afraid of starting new adventures, meeting people, applying for jobs…

Nothing in life is achieved without hard work, so if you want to be a great freelancer, you need to do it right or don’t try it at all.

Ruben D'Oliveira

I am a Portuguese UI/UX designer, visual designer and writer. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology and Multimedia and I'm addicted to web technologies and design. Feel free to check my work on Behance or Dribbble. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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  1. Aniket says

    Thank you Ruben, for such nice tips.
    Really nice links. I been already following some of them. Blogging & writing tutorials for my niche.
    But to get work, surely a good portfolio is a must. Will take that into consideration too.
    Thanx again.

  2. Aaron Cannedy says

    What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Good job.

  3. Kenn says

    Great post Ruben – nice big list.

    That’s seems like a lot of stuff to do to get your name out.


  4. says

    Awesome article!!! Good one for starters, many of this I know but still many of them are added to in now. Thanks for sharing the places links where you can showcase your work, as some of them were new to me!!

  5. Josh says

    good one for starters, manny of this I know but still manny of them are added to in now

  6. Gavin says

    Some really excellent points there. Really wish these kind of posts were available when I first started out.
    Couldn’t agree more with signing your work, so many people forget to mention anywhere that it is from them. I found this out the hard way where I put some work online and put it once on my twitter feed, it got retweeted by a lot of people and made it’s way onto various blogs but because it had been redistributed so many times, my ‘mark’ got lost and it was being showcased but had no recognition to me.

    And excellent post, saved in my bookmarks for sure!

  7. Josh Bedo says

    Great article with a lot of good points, I’ve started doing some of these things recently but I want to start putting out freebies like you posted and start posting tutorials.

  8. Chris says

    This is really a great article, especially the list of sites/resources at the end! Thanks for the great resource!

  9. Tom Ross says

    All great points. I particularly agree with ‘have an online presence’, although in my mind this means just being seen everywhere. If I continually see a name popping up in online discussions, comment threads and guest posts then I tend to assume that this person is pretty prevalent in the community. It’s a powerful tool!

  10. Tony says

    Yo Ruben, great post. Very informative, thank you. I’m aiming for audio freelancing so it’s good to have found a list in order.

  11. says

    Great article, promoting yourself is a must if you ever want to be a full time freelancer, the big ones are; Offer Freebies and networking.

  12. says

    Short and sweet! The one thing I love about the articles posted here are!! They are short yet deliver the whole thing and easy to catch up with!!

    Thanks for sharing the places links where you can showcase your work, as some of them were new to me!!

  13. Dave says

    It’s no secret: to get ahead, you have to promote yourself. But for most people, the thought of promoting themselves is slightly shady. Images of glad-handing insurance salesmen or arrogant know-it-alls run through our heads.

  14. Elaine Jones says

    Ruben thank you, a fantastic article providing valuable information and links.