Top strategies to get Graphic Design Clients Fast

Even established web design agencies need help finding a steady stream of projects! And this is why we will give tips on getting graphic design clients!

Top strategies to get Graphic Design Clients Fast cover

If you are a graphic design business owner or a freelance web designer, you may have already faced the problem of a lack of work. Finding new graphic design clients is typically the most significant concern in any freelancer’s mind. Unfortunately, even established web design agencies sometimes need help finding a steady stream of projects! And this is why we will give tips on getting graphic design clients!

The competition in this market is tough. There are a lot of freelance designers and web designers out there from across the world. However, many freelancers live in countries with a meagre cost of living, so competing on price alone is never enough!

You can be an excellent seasoned freelance graphic designer. But when it comes to selling your services, this requires a different set of skills. And you also need to gain the skills to sell yourself well to find yourself knowing where to begin when looking for new graphic design clients.

Don’t worry if this sounds like you. Because it happens to 70% of those involved in the graphic design business at one time or another.

how to get graphic design clients
Photographer: Studio Republic

How does a new freelance designer with no experience get a design job?

  • Get internships

Gaining an internship at a design studio may allow you to meet experienced designers, which may help you expand your field knowledge. In addition, they may help you by showing you the entire design process for a project and teaching you soft skills, such as how to communicate with clients.

Some internships may require you to work for free, but others will offer compensation. You can search for internships on job boards, such as Indeed and Glassdoor.

  • Pursue volunteer opportunities

Doing design work for free is not an ideal way to start your career. However, pursuing volunteer opportunities can help you gain valuable experience and build your design portfolio. Volunteer work also expands your network of contacts who recommend you to those looking to hire new freelance graphic designers. These projects may be for nonprofit and for-profit organizations, including places like animal shelters and local galleries. Finding volunteer programs for causes that you’re interested in may lead to future projects about which you’re passionate.

Additionally, you can search for volunteer opportunities on job boards such as Indeed and Glassdoor.

  • Look for entry-level jobs.

Entry-level jobs may not be glamorous, but they can allow you to learn about the industry and build your skills. It requires little or no prior experience and taps your graphic design skills to communicate visually with an audience.

Research entry-level positions early in your job search to get a feel for career opportunities that may fit your goals. Then, once you have a few years of experience, you can begin to look for more senior-level positions and earn more.

how to get design clients by networking
Photographer: Christina @ wocintechchat.com
  • Network with other designers

When you’re new to the graphic design industry, finding work on your own can take time and effort. One way to increase your chances of getting more graphic design clients is to network with other designers. You can meet other designers while networking or at a professional event. You can also sell your graphic design services online through social media marketing and forums. When you network with other designers, you can learn about new job opportunities, get advice, and find potential collaborators.

Some designers are reluctant to network because they think it’s self-promotional. However, networking is an essential part of any career and can help you find a job that fits your skills well.

You can also join the Design Community at Design Match, which has a mentorship program for new designers. Design Match also holds a Design Camp for designers to connect and spend a weekend with nature. So if you are a newbie looking for leads, joining the Design Community is perfect!

  • Build your social media presence

An online profile may give you an easy way to forward your design portfolio to potential customers. Presenting your work to the public and collecting feedback may help you understand what your portfolio lacks and give you ideas for improving it. Social media also boost potential employers’ engagement, giving you more opportunities to gain exposure and get more business. Make sure your social media posts are up-to-date and you’re regularly sharing your work.

  • Find freelance work

One way to get graphic design clients fast is to find freelance clients. When you’re first starting, you may need more experience or a portfolio to land a full-time job. However, you can still find paid work as a freelance graphic designer.

Some designers are hesitant to freelance because they’re worried about not getting paid or getting stuck with a problematic client. However, freelancing can be a great way to get experience and build your portfolio. When you’re starting, you can lower your rates to attract clients. Then, as you gain more experience, you can start charging more for your services.

how to get design clients by freelancing
Photographer: Andrew Neel
  • Find a mentor

Finding a mentor enables you to learn from someone experienced in the industry. They can help you work on your portfolio and introduce you to other business contacts to add to your network. They can also provide valuable feedback on your current work and help you keep track of your progress.

You can reach out to designers you admire and ask if they’re willing to meet with you for coffee or lunch. Additionally, you can search for mentors through professional organizations, such as the AIGA.

  • Start working on personal projects.

Working on personal projects that you’re passionate about in your free time may give you the chance to improve your creativity. Personal projects also help you create opportunities through your connections by allowing you to branch out and find more individuals with the same creative energy as you. It also allows you to expand on your current skill set by giving you more general experience in the tools you use. Plus, it’s a great way to show potential employers what you’re capable of.

  • Take online courses

Plenty of online courses can help you improve your skills and expand your knowledge base. These courses can be a great way to learn new techniques, software, and processes. Many of these courses also come with certificates that you can add to your portfolio, making you more attractive to potential customers.

Some online course providers that offer graphic design courses include Coursera, Skillshare, and Udemy.

  • Join design competitions

Competitions are great ways to get your work noticed by prospective clients. They can also help you build your portfolio and improve your graphic design skills. Additionally, many competitions come with prizes that can be used to further your education or buy new equipment.

Some well-known design competitions include the Adobe Creative Jam, AIGA Student Competition, and the Cannes Young Lions Competition.

design competitions
Photographer: Ian Schneider
  • Learn the tiny video magic technique

The tiny video magic technique is a fantastic way to get more graphic design clients without an enormous budget in a very short period. You can use this method to create really small GIFs or videos (10 seconds max) that show off your design skills in a fun and engaging way. Watch Design Clubs’ 90-minute workshop to learn about the tiny video magic technique that brought one freelance graphic designer over 40k in less than two months.

You can then post these on your social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, or Dribbble. Posting is a great way to see your work seen by prospective clients and can also help you build a following of people who appreciate your work.

What are the usual problems a freelance graphic designer encounters?

A freelance graphic designer’s most common problem is the need for a consistent workflow. There will always be times when you have more work than you can handle, and there will also be times when you need help finding enough projects to keep yourself busy. The key is finding a way to even out the peaks and troughs in your workflow so that you always have a steady stream of work.

Another common problem is pricing yourself too low. When you’re starting, it’s tempting to undercut your competitors to win work. However, this is a race to the bottom that you’ll never win. Not only will you end up working for less than you’re worth, but you’ll also develop a reputation as a “cheap” designer, making it harder to win higher-paying work in the future.

Finally, many designers struggle with scope creep. Scope creep is when a client asks for additional work outside the area initially agreed upon, often leaving designers feeling like they’ve been taken advantage of.

graphic designer problems
Photographer: Tim Gouw

What are the tips for freelance graphic designers to get clients?

There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re always busy with work:

Get involved in the design community.

One of the best ways to find work is to get involved in the design community. There are many online and offline communities that you can join, and getting involved in these can help you build your direct network, learn about new opportunities, and find freelance clients.

You can join the Design Community at Design Match to connect with other designers and improve your chances of finding work.

Stay active on freelance job boards.

There are several great job boards for designers, including Behance, Dribbble, and Upwork. Make sure you’re active on these platforms so that prospective clients can easily find you when searching for designers.

Or you can sign-up to Design Match and get matched to design clients that fit your design style, budget, and location.

how to get design clients job boards
Photographer: The Jopwell Collection

Keep your portfolio up-to-date.

Your graphic design portfolio is one of the essential tools for winning new design clients, so ensure it’s always up-to-date with your latest graphic design work. When prospective design clients like what they see in your graphic designs, they’re much more likely to reach out to you about working together.

Ensure you also have an up-to-date resume and list of references you can send to possible design clients.

Keep your website up-to-date.

In addition to your portfolio, your company website is another excellent way to show off your work and attract new design clients. Make sure your site is easy to navigate, looks professional, and contains all the information design clients might need, such as your contact information, rates, and a list of your graphic design services.

Your website can also serve as your portfolio, so if clients can see how functional and clean your website is, they’ll be more likely to trust you with their project.

Blog about your work

Writing articles is a great way to attract new clients and show off your expertise. When you write an interesting article about topics related to your work, potential design clients will see that you’re an expert in your specific industry and are more likely to reach out to you when they need help with a graphic design project.

Plus, if you include a link to your portfolio or website in your blog posts, readers can quickly check out your work and get in touch with you if they’re interested in working together.

speak at design events
Photographer: Product School

Speak at design events

Design events are a great way to meet other graphic designers and build business relationships. They’re also a great way to attract new clients. When you speak at design events, you have the opportunity to showcase your graphic design work and show prospective design clients what you’re capable of. In addition, it would offer new clients that you are an expert in specific industries and makes them want to work with you on their projects.

Make sure you have a professional headshot, business cards, and an up-to-date graphic design business portfolio for new clients at these events.

Get featured in design publications.

Getting featured in design publications is a great way to attract more clients and show off your work. When potential design clients see that you’ve been featured in a reputable magazine while working with established brands, they’ll be more likely to reach out to you and offer new business.

To get featured in design publications, make sure you have active social media marketing and reach out to editors of these publications with samples of your graphic design work.

design publications
Photographer: Blair Fraser

Reach out to past clients

Check your client list, and contact your first few clients about new projects. If you’ve worked with clients in the past and they were happy with your work, they will most likely give you repeat business.

Collaborate with other designers

Collaborating with other designers is a great way to attract new clients. For example, when you collaborate with a graphic designer, you have the opportunity to showcase your graphic design work to their network of graphic design clients. Plus, if you do a good job working together, the graphic designer may be more likely to recommend you to a new client.

When you collaborate, make sure you have a contract outlining each person’s responsibilities and compensation. This strategy will help avoid any disagreements down the road.

Ask for recommendations

If you’ve worked with past clients and they were happy with your work, ask them to write a positive review or recommend you to their network of friends and colleagues. These recommendations can go a long way in helping you attract new clients. Sometimes word of mouth is one of the most effective strategies to get new graphic design clients.

You can also provide an official referral program to your current clients, where they receive a discount or other incentive for referring you to new clients. But always make sure to do an excellent job for your current clients, so they’re more likely to refer you to other graphic design clients.

When you ask for recommendations, include a link to your portfolio or website so new graphic design clients can quickly check out your work.

Enter Design Contests

Design contests are a great way to attract new clients and show off your graphic design work. When you enter a design contest, you have the opportunity to showcase your work to a broader audience and potentially get noticed.

Make sure to do your research before entering any design contests. Some may be scams, and others may not be worth your time. Only enter games you’re confident you can win, which will give you exposure to the type of new business you want to work with.

The most significant advantage of participating in this program is the potential client pool will be looking for a new graphic designer. You can get your information from a colleague or someone who can directly contact you. The designers who entered the competition could use this as a self-evaluation and the opportunity to grow.

design contests
Photographer: Marvin Meyer

Don’t underestimate the power of a follow-up.

Follow up afterward if you’ve met with a prospective client or had calls with them. The follow-up shows that you’re interested in working with them and are serious about their project.

When you follow up, include your contact information and a link to your portfolio or website. This will make it easy for new graphic design clients to contact you about working together.

Feel free to reach out to potential graphic design clients multiple times through cold emailing. If they don’t respond to your first email, try reaching out again a week or two later. And if you still don’t hear back from them, move on to the next client.

Be clear on your value proposition.

When you’re reaching out to graphic design clients through cold calls, be clear on what you can offer them. What makes you unique? Why should they work with you over other graphic designers?

Your value proposition is your unique selling point. It sets you apart from other designers and shows clients why they should choose your business over others.

Make sure your value proposition is clear and concise. And make sure you can back it up with examples of your work.

Go where graphic design clients already are

There are many places where potential graphic design clients congregate online. These include design-focused forums, Facebook groups, and online directories.

Spend time researching where your target clients hang out online and ensure you’re active in these communities. These communities will help you attract the attention of new graphic design clients and show them that you have the know-how about creating content.

Make sure you’re active in these communities and providing value. Don’t just spam these groups with links to your portfolio or website. Instead, contribute to the conversation and provide helpful advice about effective strategies and resources.

Graphic design clients congregate offline as well as on the web. You can check if the graphic designers in your area attend monthly Chamber of Commerce meetings. Or is there any ideal coworking space where you can hold local mixers where many designers get together? Almost every town is likely to see designers who congregate or connect. Attending some of these will get you started with your graphic design business.

Sign Up to get matched with a potential client at Design Match

If you need help finding clients, you can sign up for Design Match’s design matchmaking service. Our services connect designers with potential clients looking for help with their projects.

Designers under Design Match get to keep 100% of their salary as we match designers with the clients of their choice. In addition, we give designers the flexibility to choose their preferred time and rate. So a Design Match graphic designer will be happy working, making their clients happy too!

designer matching at Design Match
Photographer: Christina @ wocintechchat.com

What do graphic design clients want?

When trying to attract potential clients, it’s essential to understand what they’re looking for. So what are their needs and wants?

Many graphic design clients are looking for designers who can help them with specific projects. Others may be looking for ongoing help with their design needs. And some clients may be looking for someone to help them with a one-time project.

Knowing what a client is looking for will help you attract the correct type of clients. It will also help you be more prepared when pitching your services to potential clients.

When you understand what a client wants, you can position yourself as the graphic design artist who can best meet their needs. When you place yourself, you will stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting a new client.

How can I attract people to my design?

There are a few key things you can do to attract people to your design:

1. Use strong visuals. Visual designs are a designer’s most significant piece of work. Use high-quality images that accurately reflect your work and attract the attention of potential clients.

2. Use a compelling headline. Your headline should be clear, concise, and attention-grabbing. It should explain what you do and why someone should hire you.

3. Use social media. Make sure you’re using social media to promote your work. Post stories of your designs on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms as social proof of your know-how. And make sure you’re using hashtags so people can easily find your work.

4. Use email marketing. Email marketing can be a great way to promote your work. Send out weekly or monthly newsletters with your latest work. And make sure to include links back to your graphic design website or blog.

5. Use SEO. Make sure your website or blog is optimized for search engines. Your optimized blog will help people find your work when they’re searching for it online.

How do graphic designers pitch themselves?

If you want to attract potential clients, you need to be able to sell your own business. Selling your business means being able to pitch yourself in a way that is both convincing and compelling.

Your pitch should be clear, concise, and direct. And it should explain what you can offer potential clients and assure clients that you can help them meet their needs.

Tailor your pitch to each client. So take the time to research each potential client and their specific needs.

Participating in design contests is a great way to practice your pitching skills. These contests will allow you to explain your design process and approach to potential clients. And if you win, you’ll have the bonus of a great portfolio piece.

Where are graphic designers most demanded?

There is high demand for graphic designers in many industries. However, some industries are more demanding than others. Here are a few of the most demanding industries for graphic designers:

Advertising

Most companies, like advertising agencies, always need talented graphic designers. If you’re looking for a fast-paced environment and lots of variety in your work, advertising is a great industry to consider. A logo designer is most needed in advertising companies where creating templates is one of the tasks.

advertising
Photographer: Eleni Afiontzi

Fashion

The fashion industry is another great option for graphic designers. If you’re interested in working with established brands and staying up-to-date on the latest trends, and creating content for the fashion industry is something you should consider.

Technology

Technology companies are always in need of talented graphic designers. If you’re interested in working with cutting-edge technologies and staying at the forefront of the latest technology trends, the technology works perfectly for you!

Publishing

Publishing companies are another great option for graphic designers. If you’re interested in working with a variety of different projects and being on your feet creating templates for books, the publishing industry is for you.

Entertainment

The entertainment industry is another great option for graphic designers. If you like working in a fast-paced sector, creating 3D animations and effects for movies, video games, and television shows, then the entertainment industry is for you!

These are just a few of the most demanding industries for graphic designers. Many other sectors are also in need of talented designers. So, if you’re interested in working in a specific industry, research the companies within that industry to see if there’s a demand for graphic designers.

designers in entertainment
Photographer: mahmoud azmy

How do freelancers keep clients?

There are a few key things you can do to keep your clients:

1. Build strong relationships.

Make sure you’re building solid relationships with your clients. Get to know them and their needs. And make sure you’re consistently delivering quality work. Remember that word of mouth can build you up and destroy you if your graphic design client is unsatisfied with your work.

2. Be responsive.

Make sure you’re responsive to your clients’ needs. If they need something, ensure you get it to them as quickly as possible. Because there is one thing clients hate, and that is when they need something done, and the graphic designer is missing in action.

3. Be flexible.

Be flexible with your clients. If they need something outside your work scope, be willing to do it. Your willingness will show them that you’re invested in their project and willing to go the extra mile to get the job done.

4. Be professional.

Make sure you’re consistently professional with your clients. Professionalism means being on time, meeting deadlines, and respecting their time and budget.

5. Go above and beyond.

Make sure you’re always going above and beyond for your clients. Going above and beyond means going the extra mile to ensure their project is successful.

Following these simple tips can build strong relationships with your clients and keep them returning for more.

Photographer: Lala Azizli

How do freelance graphic designers charge their clients?

There are a few different ways you can charge your clients:

1. Hourly rate.

You can charge your clients an hourly rate for your work, wherein freelance designers use a tracker to track hours worked.

2. Project rate.

You can also charge your clients a project rate where clients pay you per project finished.

3. Retainer fee.

You can also charge your clients a monthly retainer fee so they can call you anytime they need designs to be made.

4. Commission.

You can also charge your clients a commission for the sale of a design or project you have done for them.

5. Royalties.

Royalty rate over gross sales is about 10% to 25% profit margin based on industry, higher in sectors where the intellectual property is significantly more complicated and less in more straightforward creative work.

How many clients should you have as a freelancer?

If you’re just starting as a freelancer, you might want to start with just a few clients. This strategy will help you get some experience under your belt and build up your portfolio.

As you get more experience, you can start taking on more clients. And if you have a lot of experience, you should focus on just a few high-paying clients.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how many clients you want to take on. Just make sure you can deliver quality work to all your clients.

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