The graphic design market keeps growing globally – its size in the US alone reached over $13 billion in 2020. And the tendency is here to stay.
At the same time, over 4 out of 5 small businesses underline the importance of graphic design to successful company operation online.
What are we driving at? Graphic designers are in big demand these days. But that also means that more and more aspiring designers are entering the scene, driving the professional competition up. As a graphic designer, what can you do to up your game and find top clients easier and faster? We have 6 excellent tips for you to ace your job hunting practices:
Your portfolio should speak louder than anything you might tell a prospective client about yourself. This is literally the reflection of your talent, experience, and expertise. Make sure to create a graphic design portfolio that not only shows your skills but also communicates your authenticity as a designer and attracts potential clients’ attention.
Here are a few steps you can take to make your graphic design portfolio go from good to great:
Image source: https://letasobierajski.com/.
If you want to be effective at finding graphic design clients, you need to know who to target. Depending on your niche, style, and experience, you’ll want to reach a specific type of client who is likely to be interested in your services.
You can start by analyzing your current clientele and outlining their common characteristics. Pay attention to:
This information will help you create an ideal client persona – who do you want to target and reach with your work? The more you know about your target audience, the better you will be able to cater to their needs. When you design for a specific audience, you can focus your graphic design work on more well-defined approaches and tools, including the right fonts, images, layouts, and other elements.
Besides, you’ll be more time-effective with your client search – you will have a better understanding of what kind of prospective clients are interested in your design.
Don’t forget to tap into the social and professional circles you’re part of if you want to find new graphic design clients. Word of mouth is still very powerful when it comes to looking for designer gigs and projects.
The best way to do that is to start with your personal network – it proves to be a valuable asset when it comes to job search. Simply ask your family and friends if they know people/companies looking for graphic design services.
On top of that, if you’re already part of a graphic design community – either locally or online – leverage your connections. For example, you can collaborate with other graphic designers on a project or task. It will not only add another page to your portfolio – you can reach new potential clients through your colleagues/collaborators’ circles.
And of course, do your research on offline and online networking events for graphic designers you can attend to meet like-minded professionals and potential clients.
You can consider such events as:
Image source: https://max.adobe.com/.
Another highly effective way to improve your search for new clients as a graphic designer is to leverage social proof.
People tend to make decisions based on the opinions of others – it gives us a sense of reliability and safety when making a choice. And your potential clients are no exception to this psychological principle. That’s why it’s in your best interest to show them that your previous clients have had positive experiences working with you.
To take advantage of social proof, provide testimonials from your past clients. If you can, ask your previous clients to leave you a positive review/testimonial that would outline your skills and strengths. This is a great addition to your portfolio and CV.
Image source: https://www.heybattabatta.com/testimonials.
Pro-tip: If you have a bit of extra budget to spend, you can up your social proof game with the help of influencer marketing. Collaborate with an influencer who will promote your graphic design work and services to their social media audiences. This will significantly expand your reach and attract new clients.
Explore the local influencer community to leverage this option. For example, check out the best New York influencers to collaborate with here.
Sometimes, finding new clients for your graphic design is simply about choosing the new places to conduct your search.
And that’s where freelance job search platforms can open vast career opportunities for you. It pays to try out several different platforms to find the one (or several ones) that suits you best.
When choosing the freelance job search platform, consider the following:
Take a look at this comprehensive list of the platforms where you can find graphic design jobs here.
Finally, it’s useful to learn a thing or two about self-promotion on social media.
There are plenty of social media platforms where you can market yourself as a graphic designer. Apart from the traditional Facebook, think about these options:
As you can see, finding new clients as a graphic designer boils down to self-marketing to the right audience, leveraging the right resources, and effective networking.
Combine these tips for a more efficient client search and remember to keep improving your professional skills. Graphic design is to remain essential to virtually every business niche – you’re sure to find clients if you have expertise and quality to offer.
About The Author :
David Morneau is the co-founder and CEO of inBeat, a hybrid micro-influencer marketing SAAS/agency that helps brands scale their marketing efforts. He has helped over 200 DTC brands to date. Follow him on LinkedIn & Twitter for more tips.
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