Getting Graphic Design Clients: How I Get & Keep Them

You want to hire a graphic designer, but you don’t know how and where to go. There are many options out there. 

You could find one on Fiverr, Upwork, or Elance and hope for the best; ask friends if they know any designers, or you could even just wait until your project gets too big and then find someone who specializes in print design (or whatever kind of design is needed). But what if there was another option? What if there was a way for you to get great work at competitive prices without having to leave your house? 

Well, I have good news: there is! In this article, I’m going to show you different ways that you can get graphic design clients without ever having to leave your home no more cold calling anyone because honestly who wants that?

How to Get Your First Graphic Design Clients – YouTube
Effective Networking: Learn strategies to network and connect with potential clients within the graphic design industry.
Showcasing Your Portfolio: Discover the importance of a strong portfolio and how to effectively showcase your skills and previous work.
Client Retention Techniques: Understand methods to keep clients engaged and satisfied to build long-term relationships.
Value-Oriented Communication: Explore how to communicate value to clients and articulate the benefits of your design services.
Continuous Learning: Embrace ongoing learning and adaptability to stay relevant in a dynamic graphic design landscape.

Make A Great Portfolio On Your Website

If you want to get clients, it’s best to have a great portfolio. Your website’s portfolio will likely be the first impression a potential client has of your design skills and style. Make sure that the work you put in online is your best work, as well as showcasing your best design skills. Your website’s home page should be easy to navigate so that viewers can easily find what they’re looking for.

When you’re starting with little knowledge, hiring a freelance designer might seem daunting. Our guide provides valuable insights on making the right choice and creating a successful collaboration from scratch.

Have Something To Show

When a client asks for your portfolio, you have to have at least a few designs ready to show them (and hopefully, more than a few). You must have some of your best work in the portfolio so that when clients ask for it, they’re not disappointed by what they see. But don’t overwhelm them with all of your work! 

Only share what you think is best and leave out the rest you don’t want to overwhelm or confuse your clients with too much information or options right off the bat.

Be Active Online

These days, it’s essential to be active online. As a designer, you need to spend time engaging with people on social media, online forums, blogs, and newsletters. You also need to be part of groups and communities.

That’s where I come in. I’m active in several communities that are perfect for designers and I can help you find them too!

To begin with: don’t just post about your design work or portfolio (that’s boring). Instead share articles that interest you from the field or industry in which you work (e.g., web design) and engage with fellow members by commenting on their posts as well as creating conversations related to your interests within the group/community itself (e.g., politics vs graphic design). While these may all sound like similar things they’re not! 

Each one requires different skillsets so try them all out first before deciding where best fits for getting clients down pat.”

Be Active In A Person

Once you’ve found the right event, it’s time to start meeting people in person. Here are some tips:

  • Bring business cards. You know the drill and this is an important step that can’t be overlooked. If you don’t have them yet, get some today!
  • Find a quiet corner and use your phone to set reminders for yourself before each session so that you don’t forget what happened during them later on. This is also a good way to keep track of contact information and details about how they work or how they’re connected (more on this later).
  • Take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram by posting photos from events so that more people will see them when they search for similar groups online; then, look for opportunities where those same folks might attend so that you can meet them again face-to-face instead of just online! When does someone ask about those photos later on? Just remind yourself “Oh yeah…I was there!”

Misconceptions about working in design agencies can hinder your decisions. Discover the truth behind these myths and explore the reality of agency work in our article about top misconceptions about working for a design agency.

Help Other People Out

The best way to get clients is by helping out other people in your industry, and then letting your work speak for itself through referrals from others. This means learning new skills and trying things that you might not be comfortable with at first, but trust me you’ll thank yourself later!

If you don’t have any clients yet, take the time to build relationships with other designers and do some free work for them (or offer them a discount if you’re charging per hour). You never know where those connections could lead in the future!

Establish Yourself As An Expert In A Niche Graphic Design Field

This is one of the most important steps in building your online presence and clientele. The best way to do this is to focus on one specific area, such as logo design or web design, and then work hard at becoming known as the best person to hire for that particular service. If you’re a designer who creates logos, then make sure that everyone knows how good you are at it!

To accomplish this, there are three things that you should do:

Make sure that all of your marketing materials reflect both the niche focus of your business and its professionalism (more on this later). If a client searches for a “logo designer” but doesn’t find any results from people with poor websites filled with stock photos, they will assume that no one in their market offers these services professionally and they won’t hire anyone who does not look professional either!

Connect with other designers within your niche by commenting on their blog posts or social media profiles; sharing articles related to graphic design; engaging in conversations about current trends and hot topics facing our industry; etc.

So that when people search online for anything related specifically to what YOU do best…they’ll find YOU first! This step alone will help keep those potential clients coming back again soon enough just because they know how awesomely helpful you’ll be if/when needed 😉

Leverage social media sites like Facebook where people tend to spend more time than anywhere else online nowadays (and where everybody else seems more interested in talking about themselves anyway ;)) so go ahead and get started now while still learning everything else.

Join Communities For Finding Jobs

Joining communities that are relevant to your niche can be a great way to find work. You don’t want to go in there and simply post “Looking for work, who has some?” People will not be interested in helping you out if they think you’ll just leave as soon as you get paid and people will not hire someone who doesn’t seem dedicated. 

Be helpful and engage with others in the community first, then when it’s time for them to hire someone (if they haven’t already), they’ll come looking for you!

Before diving into client interactions, it’s essential to gather information. Our article offers 14 tips to consider before conducting a survey, ensuring that your research process is well-prepared and effective.

Tweak Sites That Already Work For You

Make sure your portfolio is up-to-date. It’s important to have a portfolio that showcases the best of your work and gives an overall idea of what kind of graphic design you specialize in. If you’re looking for freelance or contract work, make sure it’s easy for potential clients to find your website from a quick Google search.

Use keywords effectively. Be strategic about how you use keywords on sites like Behance, Dribbble, and other creative communities (like Smashing Magazine) so that people searching for designers will come across your profile first and hopefully hire you!

Try Sites You Haven’t Tried Before

Be on the lookout. You can never be too sure of where your next client will come from, so keep an eye out for new opportunities. Be willing to try new sites or platforms you haven’t tried before these may turn into great sources of business. You can even try reaching out to potential clients on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook groups. I’ve had some great experiences with this method, so don’t rule it out!

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Work From Your Existing Contacts

If you do freelance and have a clientele, consider sending out an email letting them know about any upcoming projects you may be working on. Say something like: “I hope this email finds you well! 

I wanted to let you know that I recently designed a website for [INSERT CLIENT NAME HERE]. They were very happy with the results and asked me to design another site for them – this time for their sister company, [INSERT NEW CLIENT NAME HERE]. If there is anything specific that catches your eye on my portfolio page or if there is anything else I can help with, please don’t hesitate to reach out at [YOUR CONTACT INFO]”

The key here is not only being confident in asking for work but also giving them a good reason why they should hire you! Make it obvious why others (clients) have chosen to work with you in the past and why they should do so again in future projects.

Listen To Feedback And Then Make Changes If Necessary

The single most important thing in getting graphic design clients and keeping them for life is being able to take constructive criticism. The only way you’ll be able to do this is by listening. 

You have to be willing to hear what doesn’t work with your design and look at it from another point of view. You also have to recognize that there are going to be people who will not like what you’re doing, no matter how good or bad their reasons may be. And then finally, when someone has given you feedback, don’t get defensive! Just listen!

Marketing research plays a crucial role in business success. Explore the various types of research methodologies and their significance in our guide on 16 types of marketing research and why you need them.

Don’t Ask Someone How Much They Think Your Services Are Worth

When someone asks you how much your services are worth, don’t be shy about telling them exactly what they are worth and why their business should pay that much. You should always make sure your pricing is reasonable, but also don’t undervalue yourself or your work. 

If a client asks how much something will cost before they even want to hire you, emphasize the value of having a designer create solutions for them (not just doing stuff in Photoshop). Be confident in what you charge and explain why it’s worth the price.

If you are charging a lot of money, it may be helpful to explain that particular client needs more than just a website or logo design: they need an expert who can help them achieve their goals through creative solutions tailored specifically for their needs.

Have A System In Place For Follow-Up Or Reminders

At the end of the day, it’s up to you how you want to follow up with your client you could send them a nice email thanking them for their time and reiterating how much you love their business or product. You could call them (after doing some research on what their preferred communication method is). 

Or you could send a letter. We recently worked with a client who sent us an actual handwritten thank you note after our first meeting. It was so thoughtful and unexpected. This is why I always keep Post-it notes around my office they are perfect for jotting down quick reminders about things like sending follow-ups or reminders if clients don’t get back to me right away.*

Don’t Just Network One-On-One With People

Host events, or go to events, where you can meet multiple people in a short period who may be able to help you or hire you later on

As you’re going through your network and making connections, don’t just stick to the one-on-one approach. It’s a lot easier to meet multiple people in a short period if you host events or go to events where there are lots of people who might be able to help you or hire you later on.

If you have existing clients, colleagues, and friends who know how great your work is (and are willing to vouch for it), consider holding an event for them so that they can introduce their contacts/friends/family members who might be looking for graphic design work too! 

I organized such an event recently with some friends from high school it was called “The Graphic Design Party.” I invited my customers along with other designers in town that I knew were interested in getting more clients

Plus some web developers because we do web development as well and everyone came out of this event feeling good about themselves: customers got some new business leads from their peers; other designers got new customers; web developers got new projects they liked working on!

Send Thank-You Notes And Treat Others With Kindness

You might be wondering, “Why would I want to do that?” There are a few reasons. 

First and foremost, it’s just polite. Your client probably took the time to read your proposal (and perhaps even respond with one of their own). It shows that you are not only interested in working together but also value their opinion, which is important for building trust and establishing rapport.

Secondly, handwritten notes can get lost over email. You might send an email thinking it was a good idea at the time but never hear back from them again because they never saw it! Also, consider this: if someone has gone so far as to create an account on your website and contact you directly about working together and then again when making payment

They likely care about how much work goes into running your business (i.e., spending hours creating proposals instead of just sending generic messages). They’ve put themselves out there by asking questions or finding ways around obstacles; now is when those efforts should be rewarded!

Marketing research doesn’t always yield expected results. Learn how to enhance your strategies and conduct more effective research with insights from our article on why marketing research doesn’t always work and how to do it better.

Final Thoughts 

Before we wrap up, I want to offer a few more insights on the topic of getting and keeping clients as graphic designers.

Don’t forget to follow up with people who don’t reply right away! You may have a great idea for them, but if they never hear from you again or get back in touch with your proposal or email, they’ll quickly assume that you aren’t interested in working with them after all.

Finally, get organized; Make sure that every lead has their folder so that everything is easy to find later on (and when it comes time to send out proposals). Also, include any notes about conversations during meetings or emails sent between parties so there’s no confusion about anything down the line when someone needs something specific done for their project (or whatever).

Further Reading

How to Get Graphic Design Clients: Tips and Strategies Short Description: Discover valuable tips and effective strategies for acquiring graphic design clients to boost your freelance career.

How to Get Graphic Design Clients: A Comprehensive Guide Short Description: Dive into a comprehensive guide that provides insights and step-by-step methods to attract and retain graphic design clients.

How to Get Clients as a Freelance Graphic Designer Short Description: Learn from real experiences as a freelance graphic designer and explore practical ways to secure clients and build your business.

People Also Ask

What Is A Graphic Designer?

A graphic designer is someone who uses design to visually communicate information and ideas. They use a variety of skills, including illustration, typography, layout, and visual communication. Graphic designers create logos, advertisements, brochures, and websites (among many other things).

How Do I Become A Graphic Designer?

Every student has their path to becoming a professional graphic designer but learning is the main step to take when you want to become a great graphic designer.

Learn about design theory by reading books on the topic or taking classes if possible! This will help you understand the basics of what goes into good design work and give you an idea of how long it takes for even simple projects like posters etc.

A lot depends on how much time you spend practicing each day/week as well as what kind of work you’re doing (i.e., logo designs vs web page layouts).  

You’ll also need some technical skills like knowing Adobe Illustrator inside out so if possible take classes in this program at your local community college or university level where they will teach beginners all about using its toolsets effectively while providing helpful feedback along the way!

How Do I Get Clients For My Graphic Design Business?

The first step is to ask yourself what kind of client you want. If you’re already working with a few clients and looking to expand, it’s important to think about the types of projects that are most likely to appeal to those clients. If you have a portfolio full of work in one particular style or genre, that style or genre might be where your focus should lie when looking for new opportunities.

If you aren’t currently working with any clients or if this is all brand new territory for you, then don’t worry about choosing just one thing start broadly by reaching out to everyone from small businesses (restaurants and cafes) to large brands (like Google). 

If nothing else, it will help build up your client base while giving you more options later on down the road when it comes time to decide who exactly fits best into what category (and whether there should even be categories at all!).

How Do I Handle The Slow Times?

You need to be prepared and have a plan for when you’re not booked. Having no clients is like being in a desert with no water, so you need to always have water with you (your website) and remember that even if it’s hot outside, there’s always some shade nearby.

How Do I Handle The Busy Times?

When things are busy for me, I try not to bite off more than I can chew. If work comes in faster than expected, I limit my availability accordingly so that my client doesn’t feel rushed or neglected during their project process.

What Tips Would You Give Someone Looking For Their First Graphic Design Job Or Freelance Opportunity Online?

Be one step ahead of everyone else by creating an online portfolio (and blog) before posting any jobs on sites like Behance or LinkedIn. This way potential clients will know who they’re dealing with right away instead of having them go through pages upon pages looking at all sorts of portfolios before finding yours.

Also keep track of where your leads come from so that way when someone asks about your rates you’ll already know what kind of budget they’re working with and how much time each job will take up per day/week/monthly basis etc., which makes it easier for both parties involved because ultimately everyone needs more money but nobody wants too much overhead either.”

What Are Some Ways To Get Graphic Design Clients?

No one way works for everyone. You need to find out what works for you and your business model. Here are some ideas:

Start networking with other freelancers in your area (online or in-person). You can find them on LinkedIn, Facebook groups like the Freelance Designers’ Network, Meetup events at local co-working spaces such as Indy Hall, or even just asking around at a local coffee shop during their open mic night. 

Ask these people if they know anyone who needs their help with graphic design work; if so (and it’s worth their time), pass along your portfolio link & contact info. This takes time but will pay off once you start getting repeat clientele out of this strategy alone.

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