How to Attract New Customers as a Freelance Designer

 |  Maksim Voevodin

Tips to Help Freelance Designers Attract New Customers

COVID-19 spared no one; even beginners and experienced freelancers felt the effects of lockdowns and extreme social distancing measures taken to curb the spread of the disease. Although freelancing and remote working skyrocketed during the pandemic, everyone was complaining of a slow period. As we gradually get out of the situation, freelancers are looking for ways to attract new orders.  In this article, you will get to know the tips that you can use to get new customers as a freelance designer.

It's of importance to know that as a freelance designer, you have to hustle to attract new orders. It is something that even the most experienced freelancers grapple with, an attempt to expand the circles to ensure a stable stream of income.

man sitting on sofa while using laptop

Find your niche

This is important for those starting as freelance designers or those struggling to attract new clients. You need to decide on the design services that you can specialize in. Do you focus on websites, infographics, brochures, logos, among others? 

This is a question that you need to ask yourself, as your audiences’ needs differ based on what they are looking for, so your promotional efforts have to vary to attract new orders. Customers are likely to trust a freelance designer specializing in a given area rather than a person who claims to be a jack of all designing gigs.

Understand your target audience

Once you have narrowed it down to a given area, aim at understanding your targeted audience. Planning on attracting new design clients will only yield the required results if you grasp their greatest needs. You can start by writing these needs down; this will inform the overall marketing strategies that you can apply to attract your targeted audience. While it is only you as a freelancer designer who can get into your clients’ heads, here are some tips that can get you started:

  • If you are into logo design, most of your clients will be new to businesses that are perhaps on a tight budget.
  • For freelancer designers in social media graphics, the kind of clients you are targeting will likely be looking for a quick turnaround to keep up with the fast-paced environment of social networking.
  • If you are into printing graphics, your clients will be confident that you can offer work that can be resized into desired prints.

With a clear understanding of your target audience, you will effectively promote your freelance design gig and attract more clients. 

Create a great website

Web design illustration mockup

Now that you have established a niche and identified the needs of your target audience, get down to work and start promoting your design services. In visual arts, you need to show your clients that you can deliver what they need. You have to win their trust and confidence by offering the work style before they can even think of hiring your services. A website is the best tool to deliver this. Build a great website where you showcase what you can offer.

Design a freelance business card

 Although we are in the digital age, some old-school tools are still relevant and effective in delivering the right messages. You may have a fancy website, but there are things it will not deliver. When you meet clients at events, a business card will be the item you give so that they can look at your website later. It is a great way to advertise your graphic design services, so you need to get high-quality and professionally designed freelance business cards. They come in handy when networking at face-to-face events.  

Network and partner with other freelancers 

Aim at collaborating with others and forming great networks. You will either get referrals or incorporated into the projects where your partners need design services. Networking does not always have to be face to face. It can be online, especially during the pandemic. You can attend virtual conferences, industry-specific forums, among other online events. Also, you can step up your activities in networking platforms such as LinkedIn groups, Freelancers Union Hives and the like.

Start co-working

It is similar to in-personal networking, but the main difference is that you will go to a co-working space. Co-working spaces are places where freelancers share a facility, an ideal environment for collaborative work. This environment gives you a chance to meet other people, collaborate, and get work done.

Promote your design services on freelance platforms

 There are several platforms where you can get new clients; freelance platforms top the list. Clients will be looking to outsource the services since they already know skilled and professional services providers can easily be found. Use platforms such as LinkedIn, Upwork, Fiverr, SolidGigs, Legiit and others, to promote your services. Create a portfolio that clients looking for design services will find adequate to make their hiring decisions.

Ask for referrals

Previous studies have found that most customers are willing to refer others for a service they found adequate. Aim at giving your current customers the best so that they would not hesitate to refer others to you. A referral is an effective way to get new clients, it does not cost you anything, and the referred customers already have some confidence in what you offer. You have to provide excellent service and remember to ask them to refer others to you.

Blogging

It is not enough to have a website; you need to create useful content for your target customers. One way of doing it is through blogging. Those who have done it reveal that it has worked wonders. Blogs allow you to engage your current and prospective customers. It is a means to inform them of what you do and a chance to showcase your skills as a professional designer.

two men in suit sitting on sofa

You need to write about topics relevant to design and ensure that the information you want to relay is factual and relevant. To catch the targeted audience's attention, use catchy terms, and at the end of your blog, have a strong call to action where you link visitors with the platform where they can get their needs satisfied.

Write for others

You can post your content on other people’s platforms. When you do this, you are expanding your reach. Creating content for others is similar to putting yourself in front of a crowd in somebody else’s event. Wow the audience with your mastery of the subject, and they will take you as an authority. Apart from writing, you can also offer other types of guest content, including illustrations, videos that have your name in the credits, images that link to your website, infographics and so on.  Just like any content, remember to maintain high levels of quality. SelfCAD is an example of a website that accepts guest writers.

Speak at events or participate in a conference

While events and conferences offer a suitable environment for networking, they are also great places where you can get new orders. With a proper mastery of your professional area, speak in events and conferences where those in attendance qualify as part of the target audience. For example, as a designer, you can offer a talk in a meeting attended by business people. Here, you can provide information on how design services can help their businesses increase sales.  In these talks, you need to give general information without first selling your services. The information that you provide should convince the audience that they require the service. 

This means you spend a considerable time promoting the general service and then enabling yourself as a provider. The trick here is to demonstrate your expertise in your area to have a target audience approach you for more information and even business. Speaking at conferences and events allows you to get a potential client and also a chance to strengthen expertise in your field.

Promotion through social media and emails

By now, you know that online presence is very crucial for your freelancing business. You need to use social media networks to showcase and engage the target audience and clients. On the same note, use emails to reach your prospective clients. Ensure that you remain professional, avoiding situations where the targeted audience may feel spammed.

For the social media content, ensure it is designed so that the target audience feels engaged and compelled to like and share. For the emails, have targeted content sent to a prospective client instead of cold calling. Social media and emails are powerful tools through which a business can engage its target audience. use prudently and you will attract new clients.

All in all, winning new clients is not easy, even for experienced freelancers. Use these tried insights provided by SEOBrotherslv.com and you will see the number of customers patronizing your freelance services increase. We hope you enjoyed and found the article enlightening. Let us know about your queries and suggestions in the comments section below!


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