The process of finding and being selected for freelance graphic design jobs can be unnerving for designers, regardless of skillset. You’ll be happy to know, though, that it doesn’t have to be much of a difficult process at all.
First, if you want this to be as pain free as possible, there are some crucial steps that you need to consider for getting clients and building your freelancing business:
- Build and frequently update your website so that you are advertising the most up to date work for clients to see.
- Craft professional, yet transparent relationship with your clients that’s rooted in mutual respect.
- Advertise your design services through social networking and word of mouth.
1. Create Your Website Portfolio
If you’re a web designer, it most important that you have your own portfolio website. In fact, this is the first step that you need to do.
This website will serve as your “Home Base” so to speak. It will have all your projects in one space so that your prospective and current clients can see your work.
After you’ve created your portfolio site, then you can feel free to share it on all of your social media channels or online spaces that you frequent.
A general rule of thumb is to not have any of your work older than 6 months on your website. Keep your site up to date and fresh with new content.
2. Keep Sharpening Your Skills
Although you most likely have experience in web design, it helps to keep crafting your skill.
Think about it, in the design space, you are constantly collaborating with clients who all have different taste. One of them may throw a curve ball your way and ask you to create a unique webpage layout with a newly released software that you’ve never used before.
So, if you think you need to consistently learn new skills in order to stay ahead of your clients, you’re absolutely right!
YouTube and even social media sites like TikTok provide free resources for designers. Invest in taking online design courses as well.
3. Promote And Advertise Your Design Work
Once you’ve created your portfolio site, you now need to get yourself out there for the world to see! In this case, social media sites will be your best friend.
Instagram is a perfect medium to visually highlight your work and services that you offer. YouTube will give you the opportunity to vlog, which is video blogging, and walk your audience through your design process in real time. Make sure to link your portfolio and blog from your YouTube channel so that potential clients can be directed straight to your website.
On your blog, have a dedicated section where you talk about all the perks that people stand to benefit from if they come to you for web design services and why your services differ from other freelancers. If you have been freelancing quite a while and have gained a solid clientele base, mention that as well to add credibility to your work.
4. Form Solid Relationships With Your Clients
Once you’ve gained clients, one of the best things you can do for them is to understand their work and what they need out of your designs. On the flip side, your clients need to also understand your work and what they can expect from you as a result.
In order for your clients to interact with you and stay up to date on what you’re working on, consider creating an official design profile on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, having these official pages also makes your business appear more legitimate.
5. Keep It Professional
Although it’s great to interact with your clients on a one-on-one basis through messaging or over the phone, it’s important not to get too casual with your clients.
Always make sure that you have maintain a professional relationship. Being friendly, kind, and approachable is one thing, but the interactions with your clients should remain about business. If you share too much with your clients, it can have the potential to backfire and interfere with the success of your business.
Though this past year has halted a lot of in-person events, one of the biggest ways to find clients is to go out and meet people.
You don’t even have to sign up for some exclusive design events, either. There are quite a few non-design places to start meeting people, such as Meetup groups, cafes, Slack groups, or a friend’s party. When you’re socializing at these events and people ask what you do, simply tell people you’re a web designer and watch what happens next. Everyone could benefit from a website, or knows someone who does.
There are many people who prefer to hire people they already know and have a somewhat of a relationship with, so going out to mingle and socialize and make friends who may need your expertise in the future can be one of the keys to your success in the design industry.
7. Follow-up With Clients
This is one of those things that often fall through the cracks with freelancers. Whether you’ve just sent a prospective client a proposal or if you’ve just completed a project and haven’t heard back from your client, follow-ups are a must.
Sending follow-ups after a couple of days is a good way to let clients know that you value their input and their business. It sets the tone that you are interested and eager to work with them in the future.
The same is also true after you’ve met a prospective client at an in-person event. After meeting them, shoot them an email thanking them for their interest and send them information about any ideas or potential work that you may have discussed.