The #1 question I get from freelancers everywhere is centered around finding new clients. So, I decided to compile a list of the best, tried-and-tested strategies to help you find new clients.
Update your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is the most overlooked platform when it comes to generating leads and finding clients. It’s the most used social platform amongst Fortune 500 companies. So, it makes sense that this is where you need to be spending a lot of your networking time.
Establish your expertise by using the content platform. Creating “How to” and “List” posts perform the best on the platform. Not only do you make important business connections but LinkedIn has extensive job listings too.
Need help updating your profile, click here:
Get on Behance
Behance is a platform for creatives that forms part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s a job site that lets you add your portfolio. A place where graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, and other creatives find work.
Building a professional portfolio gives an image of who you are. That’s why you only publish your best work for employers to see and delete any projects that you feel would not be the best indication of what you do any longer.
Join curated galleries so that schools and organizations can feature your work.
And use the statistics function to get a better idea about how many views your work has. This gives you the upper-hand on how to improve things and make necessary changes.
Need help getting on Bēhance, click here:
Ask for Referrals
Getting referrals (hyperlink to article #10) from current clients is the most cost-effective and easy way to get new clients. 78% of B2B marketers say that referrals generate good or excellent leads.
But what does this mean for you?
Referrals come with a lot of trust as your current client has already shown your new prospect that you’re competent.
Your new prospect is already qualified because your current client knows what their problem is and that you’re the best person to solve it.
Graphic Designers often get the referral generating process wrong. So, to get a simple solution for asking for referrals, click here:
Build a website
Visual appeal can be assessed in about 50 milliseconds. That’s why having a great-looking website is paramount.
Having a website allows you to grab the attention of prospects, build trust as it increases the perceived (and actual ) value of your design business.
Having a website enhances brand recognition by establishing your brand identity. It increases client retention and sets you apart from your competitors.
But, it’s also an opportunity to show prospects what you can do.
Need help building a website, click here:
Get business cards and use them to engage with others.
Business cards are affordable and versatile. Because they’re a convenient way to show prospects what you can do, it becomes a valuable marketing asset.
Plus, they never stop working for you.
Want some great examples of effective card design, click here:
Join Social Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn
Social media’s far-reaching capabilities allow you to tap into markets that you’d not have been able to reach any other way.
Engage in Facebook and LinkedIn groups to build relationships, generate leads, and land clients.
Offline groups like Meetup, 1Million Cups
Offline communities are just as important as online communities. While online communities are more convenient, you risk losing that personal touch – which is vital to building long-term relationships.
Building offline communities allow you to gain access to people that might not spend a lot of time online or organizations that want to start using online mediums as part of the marketing strategy.
This gives you a chance to show you’re an expert with your graphic design work aligned to web specs.
Getting your offline and online communities to talk to each other, lets you build a brand that is holistic.
Professional organizations like AIGA, AAF
Being a member of AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) gives you the opportunity to find jobs, enjoy discounts to events, and enter competitions.
The opportunity to be recognized with an AIGA Fellow Award means that you can land high-quality clients and charge better rates.
Local Business Networks like chambers and civic organizations
Joining your local business chamber and civic organizations provides you with networking opportunities. Meeting other business owners means that you market your business to prospects.
Mentoring groups are places where you can learn from industry experts and teach other graphic designers your skills too.
It’s a superb way of harnessing collaborations on projects and landing new clients.
Freelance Marketing FB Group (free)
This free Facebook group is targeted at numerous creatives to learn marketing strategies. You have access to coaching, mentoring, and strategizing to easily scale your business.
IGNITE Freelance Business Academy
The IGNITE Freelance Business Academy is dedicated to helping graphic designers and web designers launch and grow a profitable freelance business. IGNITE is a private coaching group. Enrollment is limited. Click here for more information.
The focus is on enhancing the business side of your brand. From teaching you how to find customers and pricing your product correctly to teaching you to manage your taxes efficiently.
Freelance Biz Bootcamp (course coming soon)
Invest in a good camera and carry it with you.
Having a good camera on hand means that you’ll be able to capture inspiration and resources at the right time. You never know when that perfect moment presents itself. Regardless, even if all you have is your phone, it’s important to remember that best camera to use is the one that you have with you.
Read these 10 books
One of the personality traits of successful people is reading books. Dedicating some time every day to reading expands your knowledge, which you can use in your business.
“Leaders are readers”
Knowing how to navigate your business (and your personal life) relies a lot on how much reading you do.
Start collecting these books to be successful.
- E-myth Revisited – Michael Gerber
- Creative Strategy and the Business of Design – Douglas Davis
- Start With Why – Simon Sinek
- Rocket Fuel – Mark Winters
- Atomic Habits – James Clear
- Building a Story Brand – Donald Miller
- Profit First – Mike Michalowicz
- The Win Without Pitching Manifesto – Blair Enns
- The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
- Called to Create – Jordan Raynor
- The Go-Giver – John David Mann
Here are some bonus books, too!
- You Ask, They Answer – Marcus Sheridan
- Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
- 7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness – Jim Rohn
- Influence the Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini
- Zag by Marty Neumeier
- Show Your Work – Austin Kleon
- To Sell Is Human – Daniel Pink
- Power of Self Confidence – Brian Tracy
Subscribe/listen to these 10 podcasts
Listening to podcasts about business, graphic design, and any other topic relevant to you; gives you access to industry leaders. Learning their thought process, their strategies and implementing their tips; helps your business scale.
Here’s a list of my favorite podcasts:
- Marketing For Freelancers
- Radio Lab
- TED Radio Hour
- Start Up
- The Futur
- Marketing Your Business
- Mind Your Business
- On The Media
- Story Corp
Watch these 10 videos
As in the case with podcasts; connecting with industry leaders is a convenient way to learn business growth.
- Make Something Every day—Seth Godin
- How to speak so people want to listen—Julian Treasure
- Everything is a Remix—Kirby Ferguson
- Best Marketing Strategy Ever! Steve Jobs Think Different
- Body language, the power is in the palm of your hands—Allan Pease
- 12 Lesson Steve Jobs Taught Guy Kawasaki
- How Great Leaders inspire action—Simon Sinek
- Best methods to build rapport—Tony Robbins
- Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques—Matt Abrahams
- The Happy Secret to Better Work—Shawn Achor
Use these strategies to overcome the #1 problem that freelance graphic designers face.
Take the time to incorporate these habits to land your dream clients easier and effectively.
To be successful; emulate what successful people do. Networking, learning through reading every day, and establishing your branding, means that your business scales consistently.