Home » Business Basics » 5 Ways to Get New Graphic Design Clients
You did everything by the book. You earned your degree in graphic design and you honed your skills through years of practice. You created a stunning portfolio, joined relevant online groups, and connected with other professionals in your industry. But somehow, getting those first few freelance graphic design clients is still proving to be a challenge.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Freelancing is a competitive industry and it can be difficult to stand out from the rest. Countless graphic designers are struggling to attract new clients and grow their businesses.
So, what can you do that you haven’t read about before or done already?
Here are five effective strategies to help you get new graphic design clients:
Most graphic designers only use a fraction of their personal network and social media connections when looking for new clients. Your personal network is one of your biggest assets when it comes to finding new freelance graphic design clients. Ask your family and friends if they know anyone who is looking for a graphic designer. Chances are, someone they know is in need of your services.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your networking approach either. It’s always important to be proactive and think outside the box when it comes to finding new clients. If you know someone who is planning a wedding, offer to design their invitations. Or if you have a friend who owns a small business, see if they need help with their branding or marketing materials.
Social media is a powerful tool that graphic designers can use to attract new clients. Platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are great for connecting with potential customers and promoting your work. The key is to be active and engage with your audience regularly.
Post interesting graphic design content, share your thoughts and insights on relevant industry news and always remember: quality is more important than quantity. You don’t need to be active on every single platform and you don’t need to be constantly posting new content to see results. Just make sure that the content you do post is interesting and engaging.
There are dozens of online job boards that graphic designers can use to find new work. Job boards help streamline the freelancing process by connecting designers with clients who are actively looking for graphic design services. Freelance graphic designers can create a profile on these sites, showcase examples of their work, and apply for relevant graphic design jobs that fit their skills and interests.
Some of the most popular freelance job sites for graphic designers include:
Teaching graphic design workshops is another great way to attract new clients. But how? If you’re spending your time teaching a workshop, you’re not spending that time working on projects and generating revenue, right? Wrong.
This is where the power of word-of-mouth comes into play. By teaching a workshop, you’re not only providing valuable information to your students, but you’re also giving them something to talk about. When they return to their workplaces or chat with their friends, they’ll be sure to mention that they took a graphic design workshop from a local designer who is killing it in the industry. This type of exposure can result in new leads and referrals for your business.
Guest blogging is a great way to get your name out there and attract new graphic design clients. When you guest blog on another site, you get to share your insights and expertise with a new audience, while also promoting your graphic design services.
In addition to guest blogging, you can also submit articles to online publications, trade magazines, and other industry-related sites. This is a great way to build your brand and show potential clients that you’re an authority in your field. The more your reputation as an expert graphic designer grows, the easier it will be to attract new clients.
Seasoned graphic designers will tell you that filling your pipeline with a steady stream of clients is not easy – and not because of the reason you think. Once you get your first few clients, your day is spent working IN your business instead of ON your business. This limits the amount of time you have to market and sell your services, which in turn makes it harder to get more clients.
You’ll quickly find yourself in a repeating pattern of feast or famine, where you’re either working on too many projects at once and struggling to keep up, or spending all of your time responding to open job postings and writing proposals to refill your pipeline. There are only so many hours in the day, and if you’re not careful, this vicious cycle will continue until you burnout.
So what’s the solution? There are three strategies you can implement to break this cycle and create a more stable and sustainable graphic design business.
The key to breaking this pattern is to outsource or delegate some of your work. Find another freelance graphic designer who can help you with specific tasks or projects, so you can focus your time on tasks that only you can do. Tasks such as communicating directly with clients, writing proposals, or completing design work that is unique to your style should be handled by you – not outsourced.
Other basic tasks such as graphic design research, file management, preparing final files for print, or creating templates can be easily delegated to a competent freelancer who is skilled in those areas. By outsourcing or delegating some of your work, you can free up your time to focus on selling and marketing your services – which is the key to attracting new graphic design clients without feeling overwhelmed.
If you’re not ready to outsource your design work just yet, you can save time by hiring a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is an online professional who can help you with a variety of tasks, such as administrative work, bookkeeping, email management, social media marketing, project management, or customer service.
By hiring a virtual assistant, you can take some of the tasks off your plate that are eating up your time and preventing you from focusing on revenue-generating activities. This will free up your time so you can focus on graphic design projects, networking, and marketing your business – all of which are essential for attracting new clients.
A third option is to outsource your marketing and sales efforts to someone else. This could be a sales and marketing consultant, a virtual assistant, or even a professional marketing or sales agency. The key is to find someone who can help you generate leads and close sales, so you can focus your time on designing great work for your clients.
For example, a successful concept and cover artist once shared a story about how he partnered with a close associate to help him with his marketing and sales. In this arrangement, his associate handled all of the marketing and sales activities, including all of the client communication, proposal writing, and project management.
This allowed the artist to focus his time on creating great artwork without having to worry about the business side of things. With both partners focused on parts of the business they were good at, they were able to attract new clients and grow their business and scale it much faster than if they had tried to do everything on their own.
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