Graphic Design Business 101: Use this 6-step freelance blueprint to find new clients easily

Feb 16, 2020 | Graphic Design Business 101, Finding Clients, Marketing | 0 comments

blueprint

Finding new clients for your graphic design business is difficult and daunting. It’s almost impossible if you’re targeting the wrong group and you’re doing it without a strategy. Think of it this way; it’s like trying to fish without the proper rod and bait! You probably won’t succeed without the right combination of tools and strategies, and you’ll end up with a feeling that you’ve failed. 

This 6-step blueprint gives you all the directions that you need to make your business a success and distinguishes you between a pro and an amateur. 

When dealing with prospects online –  decide on the type of customer that you want to work with, before anything else.

No matter how great your service is, and although it can be catered to the entire B2B & B2C industry in need of marketing and branding, it’s essential that you position it only to a particular type of client or business.

Here’s the 6-step blueprint. Remember to print this out and use it as a checklist whenever you need clients

Step #1: Know what type of fish you want to catch (your ideal customer)

Always set yourself apart from your competitors. Focus on narrowing your niche and target a particular type of business, with a specific branding and marketing need. But you need to get to know them first. 

Here are a few simple questions to help you define your ideal dream customer. Ask them directly if you’re unable to get all the questions answered through their online presence. 

  • For how long have they been in business?
  • How often do they post new content to their blog, and how often do they update their social media channels?
  • How deep is their email & marketing funnel?
  • What type of offline & online marketing materials are they’re using?
  • What is it that they’re missing from their marketing approach and materials?

Only approximately 10% of graphic designers take this approach. When you do so, you’re ahead of 90% of your competition and you have a much higher chance of landing your dream clients.

Step #2: Know what type of bait that fish is attracted to (pain points, goals & struggles)

It’s not enough to identify the right type of client, you need to know the particular type of pain point and the struggles that they’re faced with. Doing so means that you help them reach their specific outcomes, faster and easier than they could do it on their own.

Businesses are run to make a profit, so if you offer the right type of “bait” (like for e.g., a discovery call or a free PDF report or webinar referring to their particular problem, and how you can help them fix that at a fraction of the cost)… they’ll bite. The key is to provide real value and show them that their goals are valuable to you. 

Step #3: Know where your specific fish lives (online mediums – social media, forums, etc).

Beyond the standard local networking events, and tradeshows, use the digital realm to catch your dream clients. 

Use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube to find your ideal client. Leveraging the right platform for you is important. 

Be aware of how you approach prospects, as this affects their decision to work with you. 

Step #4: Present your bait where the fish are

Not all prospects & clients prefer email, Facebook or Instagram; you may find that some dream clients are easier to spot and engage with on LinkedIn. Or you’ll find that some prefer Twitter. The IT and blogging industries tend to gravitate more towards Twitter. 

While you’ll find that if your target market is older than 24 years old, then you might find your dream client on Facebook. Depending on your niche market, decide on the best place you’ll engage with your audience. 

[LINK: Forbes website]

It’s important that you stay ahead of things. Answer questions and conversations, sooner rather than later. 

Create a fill-in-the-blanks template with the most frequently asked questions; whenever somebody enquires about a topic within your expertise and subjects of interest. Copy and paste the info, yet,  customize it so that the answer is relevant to individual questions.

Entice your client by using these offers:

  • A lead magnet/opt-in (like a webinar) speaking about the most pressing business and marketing challenges that your prospects have. Show them how your service comes into play, as the ideal fit, and at the right time. 
  • Offering a free demo of your service helps them decide if you’re a perfect fit for what they need. 
  • A 30-minute monthly discovery call to the first 3-5 prospects for a limited time. 

To make this work for you, have leads complete a quiz to pre-qualify the right client. Do this, so that you don’t spend too much time on the wrong prospects. 

  • Running a giveaway helps you build a targeted prospects list.

Step #5: Keep the fish on the line, be patient.

Not all dream prospects will convert into customers FAST. Some may need more time and could even be too busy or too involved in their personal life. Don’t rush the process as finding the right client for you takes time. 

Continue to provide value, while building strong one-on-one relationships and trust.

Step #6: Land the fish (caching!)

Now that you have a few qualified leads, present your custom-tailored offer to them. 

Remind them about the value that you provide beyond the graphic design package and the materials in itself.

Explain how your offers help them save more hours in a day, reduce their cost, lowers any risk, improves ROI, and expands & enhance their marketing. Go on to show them how they’re beating their competitors, and attracting more and clients.

It’s time to close the deal.

Sometimes you may need more than social media and email. A lot of decision-makers still prefer a phone call or an in-person meeting. Do what you need to do in order to close the deal. Especially if you like the client, and you envision working with them for a long time.Get rid of frustrations and feelings of failure by implementing this 6-step blueprint. This system helps you build relationships, generate qualified leads, and land new clients. The key is to start doing this immediately and remain consistent. Having this printed out where you can see it reminds you to take those daily steps to land your next big fish. 

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