At various point of running our businesses as designers we need to find ways of attracting new clients. This could be because we’re having a dry period, recently after we’ve started up the business, – or because we have spare time due to loosing current projects. The reasons for needing new clients can be many and the ways to get more of them are numerous.
In this article we’ll give you some simple ideas on what you can do. There are tips here for both freelancers and business owners.
Most ways of getting new clients are logical and sound very easy to master, but actually remembering when important can be a challenge. In this article we’ll have a look at some tips that can help you succeed a bit better with this part of your business. You may have thought of some of this already, but I’m sure this also can be a valuable reminder.
Let’s have a look!
Put your focus on the local community
The internet has given us all a much bigger stage where we can work as creatives. This often leaves us overlooking some of the possibilities that can be hidden in our local area. If you need new clients – why don’t you try to have a look at local companies and offer your services in your area? Ways to do this can be talking to friends, advertising in local newspapers and magazines and attending conferences related to your niche. Many times these can be easier to get a good relationship to as they are closer, speak your language and so on.
Go meet potential clients in person when possible
If you’re working to get new clients within a reasonable distance, you should definitely consider giving them a visit. Most companies receive a lot of phone calls and emails daily, so it can be hard for you to stand out from everyone else. By meeting them in person you’ll get to hand out your business card, have a chat with them and show them your face. This counts more than most people think. Just give it a try, and you may be in for a surprise.
Use your online contacts
We all have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more these days. But are we using social media well enough to promote our business and services? For many of us this is something we can improve upon. Something as easy as sharing our portfolio with more people, telling that we’re available for projects and so on. And it’s definitely allowed to market your business online to friends as long as you’re not overdoing it. Unless your online contacts know what you’re doing and that you’re available for projects, they wont hire you or recommend you to their friends/other contacts.
Design contests and crowd-sourcing
Taking part og design contests or crowdsourcing projects is a great way to get some experience and also get your name out there. As they’re always popular and only one winner, this is not a stable way of making an income, but if you have some spare time on your hands it can be a nice alternative. The designs you submit can be made part of your portfolio and help you attract new potential clients from all over the community.
Offering something cheap/for free
Depending on what you offer, there can be a lot of competition. One good way to have new clients give you an important first chance is by offering something cheap or for free. Then they get the chance to see what you can offer without taking too big risks. Then they will come back again later if they are happy. Examples of how to do this; offering a free amount of business-cards for client that order something, free logo design when someone’s buying a web design, free photo-retouching, contests and giveaways on your website and so on. It’s all about getting clients to notice you and using your creativity to make it happen.
Advertising is underestimated these days. Many seem to think that all of their money should be spent on business-cards or the website. Both are very important, but never forget that advertising can be very powerful. Ads in local newspapers (online or offline), websites that have the type of visitors you’d want as customers or maybe getting an ad in a niche magazine? It’s a great way to reach new clients and stand out a bit.
Doing your best
Last, but not least, you have to do an excellent job with the projects you’re getting. Word of mouth is many times more powerful than any other way of trying to attract new clients. Do your best to give your existing clients excellent service and end results that they just love. If this means spending an extra hour once or twice, I can assure you that it’ll be well worth it.
Getting some new clients doesn’t have to require any “magic”. Often times you’ll see that a traditional down-to-earth approach can give great results. A key is being able to remember what one can do, plus focusing on that without trying to do too much all at once. If you’re just sitting there, you’re letting luck decide what happens. By trying out some of these methods, you’re definitely raising your chance of succeeding. That’s many times what it’s all about: taking action.
We hope these tips can be a bit useful to you and wish you the best of luck!