The million-dollar question of all people who need to sell their product: how do I get more clients? In this case, you don’t work in a company with a marketing department with creative people presenting different ideas – it’s just you. You need to figure out how to increase your income.
Luckily for you, the Papa Team has some tips for you to solve this question. So, whether you’re just starting out as a freelance graphic designer or have been working for a while and want to find more ways to get clients with your service, this article is here to help.
We’re going to present seven tips on how to get more clients as a freelance graphic designer.
- Create a Website
- Make Sure Your Portfolio Is the Best It Can Be
- Manage Your Personal Brand
- Make Use of Digital Marketing
- Attend Industry Events
- Keep Your LinkedIn Up to Date
- Good Old Word of Mouth
Are you ready to start taking notes?
7 Tips on How To Get More Clients As A Freelance Graphic Designer
Create a Website
If we had to answer the question in the title of this blog with just one topic, this would be it. By creating a website, you can have a range of options. Let’s discuss this below.
The main reason freelance graphic designers have a website is to put together a perfect portfolio with a collection of all the work they have done, showing their skills. So, it’s through your portfolio that you need to show your customers your full potential.
And not only the potential but also your ability to organize things. Catalogue your best works in a clear and organized way, making people fall in love at first sight. If you have an organized website, you can be nominated for various jobs by people who access your site.
In addition to making your skills and work available, creating a website using WordPress can make it perfect for getting clients because you can create an area within the site for customers to contact you, check your price and if you are interested, you can even set up a special shop to sell some products.
WordPress has several free and paid plugins, themes, and templates that you can use to set up your website the way you want. You can add contact forms, allowing your potential customers to interact with you.
You can use a plugin to add a live chat, just like eCommerce companies use to chat with customers. The possibilities are endless when you have a website dedicated to your business. After all, freelancing is your business, so why not organize everything perfectly?
Now you might be thinking, “Okay, creating a website sounds like a great idea, but it also seems expensive, and I have no idea how to create a website.” Rest assured, the two answers to these concerns are: 1) web hosting it’s cheap and 2) it’s very easy to create a website.
You only need to decide two things: the web hosting company you’ll host your website with and the type of plan you want.
As you’re starting out, you won’t need a hosting plan with many features; a cheap and effective shared hosting plan covers your demands. This plan comes with the website builder function, where you simply drag the template you like the most, and your website will be practically ready – all you need to do is add your information.
In the future, when you’re a well-established and highly requested freelancer, you can switch plans and get something more in line with what you need.
Here’s an article on how to define your needs regarding web hosting.
Make Sure Your Portfolio Is the Best It Can Be
Now that you have a website, it’s time to set up your portfolio.
We’ve already mentioned briefly that it’s through your portfolio that you must show your customers your full potential. But how do you build an effective portfolio?
Well, just sloppily throwing up your work isn’t a good idea. The best thing to do is plan ahead.
To create a good portfolio, you need to ask yourself what area you want to work in.
When you leave college or a technical course that allows you to work as a graphic designer, you leave knowing little about everything but with a particular passion for an area you’re more familiar with. Focus on this area.
You can create a specific area within the website with that specialty, showing that it’s in these jobs that you have the greatest skill. You don’t need to forget your other work in other areas. Put them there in a separate tab that talks about your other work and experiences, but focus on what you want to work on and what you’re good at.
Something to keep in mind: at the beginning of a profession, we tend to take “a little of everything” jobs, even to feel what we like to do the most, but try not to embrace the world and focus your portfolio on something you want to work on and pursue.
Of course, you don’t have to deny different jobs that appear for you. After all, it’s your area, and you need the money, but when it comes to your portfolio, stay focused on what you make your mark on.
Quality Is Better Than Quantity
You probably have that favourite baby project, which may not have been perfect but has sentimental value for being the first. But we’re talking here about getting customers and making money online. There are no feelings – just kidding.
It’s great to see professional evolution, especially as graphic designers who have the ability to communicate with people through visuals. However, professionally speaking, it’s not very interesting to show this.
A freelance graphic designer’s portfolio is his showcase.
Your portfolio needs to be a compilation of your best works. Therefore, focus on the quality of the projects and not on putting all the ones you’ve already done. And as you do new projects, you can remove the older ones on your website because your design will evolve over time, you need to renew your projects, and you’re focusing on quality over quantity.
One positive thing about having your own website is that you can add a lot of projects, which is different from sites like Behance, where you have certain limitations.
Organize Your Projects to Guide Your Future Customers in the Best Way
Regardless of whether you’ve done a branding project, packaging, a social media post or any other work, you need to identify that work. Assume that a client is a layperson and explain what that is.
What the customer asked for, what you did, and what techniques you used. List all.
In addition to letting the client know what he is reading, he can already have an idea that you are a fully organized, explanatory professional who’s dedicated to that project.
If you just put your work on your website without any sort of separation or explanation, your work could be frowned upon, and you could lose that potential client.
Something you can also do, as a freelance graphic designer, is separate projects by relevance. After all, every project is important, but they’re always the biggest ones that stand out.
Build your portfolio by following these tips, and you’ll see great-paying job opportunities popping up.
Manage Your Personal Brand
As Jeff Bozos said, “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Who are you, what do you have to offer, and what do you want to be remembered for? That’s what personal branding is all about. Do you want people to talk badly about you or your work when you’re not in the room?
You need to work to project that image to your audience:
- Create good storytelling: Tell your story, but do it in a genuine way. Your art, your design, needs to contain traces of your history. Don’t create a character, don’t make up stories, and be yourself. With this, you’ll create personal identification, and people will follow and admire your work.
- Be active on any social network: Assume who you are and project that identity into what you do. Don’t be afraid to be different. It’s better than just staying in the middle ground and not connecting meaningfully with anyone, or in this case, your audience.
Remember, personal branding is used to create presence and authority. Do you want people who need a freelancer graphic designer for a certain type of job to Google you and only read negative or positive things?
Being a freelance graphic designer is protecting your brand, protecting your business.
Make Use of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is an indispensable investment in most companies around the world. You’re not a company but a freelancer who needs clients. Therefore, you need to focus on that, more specifically, in content creation.
Maybe you don’t have a clue about writing content, but designers should create content to demonstrate expertise.
Most clients hiring your service won’t know anything about graphic design or related subjects. You can write subjects about something you understand a lot, for example, 10 reasons why you should invest in your visual identity.
Some companies may come across this content and understand that they need to invest in it. And since this content will be on your website, your portfolio will be one click away, and if you’re an expert in this area, a job opportunity will appear for you without any “effort.”
You can also write guides on how to use graphic design tools. They’re frequently asked questions that appear on Google, and your content may appear, thereby answering them. Just download a Yoast SEO WordPress plugin, check if everything is optimized, and your content can appear in the top positions on Google.
If you’re unsure about the content and don’t think it turned out well, ask a friend, family member or professional colleague to help you.
You won’t write long content or write every day or every week. You’ll only keep your site with enough content for people to understand you know what you’re talking about.
Attend Industry Events
Events are an excellent way to meet people and have job opportunities. Online events or MeetUps are included in this, but it’s better if it’s in person.
We know that the world is completely digital nowadays, and almost everyone has a cell phone and social networks, but it’s always good to leave a business card with all your information prepared and deliver it to people that you meet.
Keep Your LinkedIn Up to Date
LinkedIn is the perfect social network for you to get hired as a freelance graphic designer. Make your profile attractive to talent scouts and people from your area.
On LinkedIn, you can see who has been looking at your profile, and you should not miss the opportunity to talk to them, especially if they’re from human resources. If they land on your profile, it usually means they’re looking for people with your skills.
Leave your bio very detailed. However, don’t write an essay in it, only the pertinent information. Don’t forget to put some portfolios and links to your beautiful website with all your works and experiences.
Something to keep in mind:
- Don’t be afraid to connect with people and send a message – LinkedIn is for networking.
- Ask for recommendations from friends and former co-workers. Ask them to tell you what you bring to a project, your skills and what you’re like as a person.
- Sharing updates from your portfolio is important to engage with the public. Sometimes your work can go viral, and countless opportunities can appear.
- You can always update your free LinkedIn account to a premium one and get access to new platform features that will help you get more opportunities.
Good Old Word of Mouth
All the tips mentioned here are a must-follow, but we all know that the good old indication is always welcome.
Tell your friends and family that you’ve created a website, that you’re active on social media about your business, and that you’re dedicated to getting more clients.
Sometimes a good referral from a friend who knows how good your work trumps any online search.
Rendering the Tips
Were you already doing at least some of what was said here? Sometimes freelancers, and not just graphic designers, think the search for a job should be constant. They think that if they don’t search, they won’t find anything and, consequently, won’t make money.
Don’t take this the wrong way; being proactive and chasing opportunities is admirable and necessary, but you can make your life easier if you keep your garden well-tended.
Create your website, organize your portfolio, and use all the tips placed here, and the bees will come to you.