How to Gain Clients and Grow Your Client List

how to gain clients and grow your client list

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.

ONLINE PRESENCE

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.

KEYWORDS

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!

ONLINE DIRECTORIES

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!

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A Journey of Authenticity: The Brand Brilliance Book

Brand Brilliance Book

Has anyone else been on this journey recently?

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)

Avoiding Burnout: 7 Ideas for Happier Workdays (an excerpt from Operation Happiness: Kristi Ling)

Operation Happiness is an incredible quick read written by Kristi Ling that everyone should pick up. She outlines some amazingly simple life changes that help you learn to choose happiness and cultivate it as you would a skill.  What changes does she recommend? Change your view, change your mornings, create new habits. That’s it! READ IT! This book is amazing.

Operation Happiness, Kristi Ling

I’ve chosen to highlight an article from the end of the book (her 30 days of positive life lessons) on avoiding work burnout.  I think work fatigue is an issue for everyone from time to time and this advice is inspiring. I happened to read this on just the right day and it was exactly what I needed!

….

“We’ve all been there: that feeling of being overwhelmed and mentally exhausted from ever-growing lists of tasks, messages, and e-mails demanding our energy and attention.

The drive for fifty-hour-plus workweeks, combined with technological advances that keep our mental gears constantly turning, has resulted in millions of over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived, burned-out employees and business owners who dream about moving to an island to work at a seaside mai tai bar.

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So, You Want to Turn your Creativity into a Business?

artist_in_the_studio_watercolor_and_brush

You’ll obviously need creativity and the inclination to turn that into a business, so let’s just say you’ve already got that in the bag. What next? What do you do? How do you become great?

 

An incredible illustrator asked me this recently: How do you do it? How do you turn your artistry into a business and make it successful? So I am sharing with you what I shared with him.

 

This is so easy, it’s mind-blowing. Are you ready?

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