As a designer you are going to need to find clients at some point. It might be when you are a starting off and needing to build a portfolio. It could be you are a freelance graphic designer or Web designer and like and die by your clients. Maybe you are working at an agency and are needing to find new design clients. No matter what your case might be, we are in the same boat. Every graphic designer and web designer want to find d more clients and do better work. there are more ways to finding design clients than there ever have been before. Some are great ways others are going to have lesser results.
The reason a lot of designers have trouble finding design clients is that it takes a lot of time to do it. Also with trying to find clients it can be a lot of work with little results. You can take an hour to three hours to try and find new clients and maybe only get 1-2 responses. This can bring down a lot of designers who are starting up. The thing is though this is how it works and will always work. To find clients you are going to need roll up your sleeves and put in the work. There is not going to be an easy answer in this post. You will not find a get design clients fast and become rich scheme. You will only find tools to help you find clients, take what you learn here and use what works for you.
Calling and emailing local business
This might be one of the most time consuming of all of these ideas you could do. It is also one of the more older forms of finding clients. It can also be scary to some graphic designers and Web designers. You are putting yourself out there and letting people decide if they want to work with you or not. This thing is though this method of finding design clients is not always to get a client locked in and hit the ground working. It is to get in the door and having a meeting with someone who works at the business to get the client locked in. We
When you are doing cold calls no matter if it is email or calling there are some simple rules to follow. You need to make sure that you give more value than you are asking from your potential client. This might seem like a no brainer but some starting off designer think that you can have a portfolio and just ask design clients to work with you. The truth is this not true. When doing cold calls you are taking away from someone’s time. This means that you need to make sure you are giving someone a lot of value and have the ability to fix a problem they might have.
Use social media to reach out
Social media can sometimes be a hard thing for Graphic Designers and Web Designers to figure out how to use. Some of the best ways to reach out with potential design clients. Using social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin can help you find the right people who work for a company and reach out to them. Using Direct Messages or DMs are the best way to do this. Depending on which platforms you are using you might be able to contact a person who is in charge of marketing, or you might just have to contact whoever is operating the social media page. No matter who you find to get in contact to same tips are all the same. You need to bring your “A” game and offer as much value you can to whoever you are communicating with. You need to make sure that the only reason they are going to say no. This is going to be the name of the game for a lot of these ways of finding clients.
Attend network events
Network events are one of the best ways of finding clients. It may also be one of the hardest for people who are more of an introvert. At network events you are going to need to talk to people face to face. Yes this still happens. While you are at a network event you will be talking with owners of businesses in your area. When you attend these events the goal is not to lock down design clients then and there. It is to get in front of decision makers. When in front of them you need to be on your “A” game and make sure you can be more memorable than any other designer at the event.
This is where it comes in handy to offer as much value and maybe offer some free services. Yes free services. Sometimes to get the design clients you want you are going to offer something free to get them in the door. I am not saying that you need give your bread and butter for free. No one should ever do that. You can though give away website evaluations or branding evaluations for free to design clients to help get them in the door and show them the value you bring to the table. Even if they do not work with you after this you have gotten further than most designers would and you should be able to get more than one lead at a network event.
Well this is going to get controversial really quick. A lot of people have mixed feelings about using freelance platforms like Freelancer, Guru, and Upwork. Some people have made entire careers on using these platforms. Some people all think they are destroying the design industry as a whole. There are arguments for both sides, but that is a topic for another post. If you are starting off and do not have much experience with working clients. The reason this is a good place to start building a portfolio and getting working exp with clients is because this is a race to the bottom. People from other countries than America will quote prices that are so low it does not make sense for experienced designers. It does make sense though if you are just starting off and are not comfortable with charging a lot for your work or do not have enough of a body of work to show yet. The only downside to using freelance platforms to find design clients is that they can lock all communication on the platforms. This can make it really hard to get repeat clients which is the best way to keep consistent income.
Communicate with your design clients
The best way to find design clients is to check in with the clients you have worked with in the past. Think of it this way the best way to get more business is to work with the design clients you have already worked with. A lot designers forget about the building a relationship part of the design process. They will go looking for design clients and then move on to the next one. Eventually run out of steam due to not having any repeat business.
Not every client will become a repeat design client or be a good repeat client. You want to keep some of your bigger design clients or your “blue chip” clients. These are some of the best and biggest of your design clients that you should keep and work on having a long term relationship with. To do this will take some time and a lot of work. If you are good at it though and take the time to do it you will have clients who not only enjoy working with you but also start getting repeat clients.
Conclusion about getting design clients
There are so many more ways to find design clients these are just some of the best ways to do it. I would not recommend only doing one of these ways to find clients. I would recommend using more than one or all of them to find your design clients. I would also recommend to try other things that are not on this list and find what works best for you to find design clients.