Gaining clients is probably one of the hardest parts when you’re just getting started as a designer, right?
I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from new designers figuring out how to navigate this new world of business they are in. I love it! I love that so many feel comfortable reaching out to me. Community over competition, right?!!
So, this was my latest:
Do you have any advice for gaining clients or growing your client list?
What you ask is a really great question, and probably one of the hardest parts about starting your own design-related business.
I’d say the very first step is establishing a presence online. People all over the globe are searching for designers so opening yourself up to business world-wide (and not just locally) is important.
Set up a cleanly-designed website that introduces you to potential clients. Write in a voice that sounds like you, so people get a true feel for your personality and how you operate. Include a nice headshot! Showcase work similar to the type of work you’d like to be hired to create. (Don’t try to show every piece in your portfolio.) Within 1-2 minutes on your site, perspective clients need to understand the services you provide, your style and capabilities. Make it EASY. And a place they want to hang out and explore a bit.
Use lots of keywords that people would search for online in your writing. Name all image files with those keywords, as well, to boost organic web traffic.
SHARE THE LOVE
Share your work on Pinterest and Instagram with appropriate keywords and hashtags. And of course… link back to your website!
List your business and business website on directories like Yelp and local Facebook groups. This will help grow your business locally.
Almost 1/2 (YES, HALF!!) of my business is new business gained from web traffic (the other 1/2 is referral and repeat business), and these super simple main points are what works!
I’ve been discovering what it means to be authentic- authentic to myself, authentic in the way I present myself, authentic in how I development my surroundings, authentic in my business. Realizing what makes me unique and being proud to be just that. Choosing not to follow trends, not to just comfortably fit in, not to compare myself to others or doubt what I’ve got going on.
I started Fiona Humberstone’s new book Brand Brilliance the day it arrived at my doorstep and was overjoyed to read this same sentiment in her message. “Celebrate your magic.” “It’s simply a case of celebrating what makes you brilliant and communicating it with flair and intention.” And that wisdom is all before page 18!!
This one is a gem. If you are an entrepreneur at any stage of your business, this book will help. It’s a feel-good read that’s like having your bestie give you a huge pep-talk! (But with business wisdom that channels your efforts with chiseled precision.) You got this! You’re killing it!! (photo cred @thebrand_stylist)
Paintings on serenaandlilly.com are one of my favorite things to oogle. Yeah, I said oogle. That’s one of those words you can casually toss out on a blog and not feel like a total nerd, as you might in casual conversation, right?
I’ve created a fun color palette with web color codes that can be used however you’d like! Just copy and paste the 6-digit code anywhere on a website where you can specify a color for a perfect match. These colors can also be used in a variety of design programs, desktop publishing programs and more.