Freelance design is hard. People have this incredible misconception that it is easy and like a 24/7-365 vacation, but it really isn't. It requires skills of various fields. It requires the ability to persevere through pretty much anything. Most of all, it requires determination, organization, and dedication!
One of the biggest challenges I had was finding new clients. I still struggle with this now a days. As you build up your name and portfolio, having clients come to you may become a common thing, but in the mean time, here are some tips to help you find new clients.
Having a presence on the web is the best way to open up opportunities for yourself. Work to build up your marketing efforts and have a presence on the web. Take time to fill out your profile and make it easy for a client to find you on any social network or website you are featured on. This has led to a ton of new emails, fans, and friends for me. Never turn down the opportunity to help build your web presence. Whether that be through networking, social media, or blogging always try to do your best to help build this up. It will get your work noticed, I promise.
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By building relationships with my clients, I was able to double or even triple the amount of projects I got. Through emailing a client and checking up on them I got a few new jobs. Remember to keep your clients informed and keep in contact with them every once in a while. This is a great way to get more jobs from them.
By working hard to please clients you can get referrals through them. Try to make a client end a job by being ecstatic about the process. You know that feeling you get when you find an amazing new product or service and just want to share it with all your friends? Well, treat your design work the same way. Make the client feel the need to share it with his friends thus increasing your chances of new clients through referrals.
The final method I have used to get new clients is by reaching out to new companies. Sometimes a company doesn't realize they need something done until you tell them. Obviously don't be rude or obnoxious. Simply send these companies an email offering some free design consulting, and then after the consulting offer to redesign things for them for a fee. This opens so many doors. If you can prove your worth by offering your expertise through some short, free consultancy sessions, you will easily land a job working for this client.
You may be thinking, why in the world would I ever offer my services free. I do not encourage actual design work be done free. I am simply saying that by offering a free consulting period, you can basically tell a client their issues with their designs and then offer to fix them for a price. Sort of like an extended sales pitch with the added free tips. This is not working for free and if you are unwilling to do something like this, at least when first starting out, then you may struggle to get clients.
The UltraLinx Newsletter
Tips & tricks for freelance designers along with updates on freebies, new products, and the upcoming UltraLinx Design & Resource Store, all in one tidy Newsletter!