One of your greatest assets is your amazing design abilities. But that, as you know, can only take you so far. A vast measure of passion, patience and perseverance will be needed to achieve graphic design success.
Another great asset is of course your portfolio (if you don’t have one yet, see WiseStamp’s article on putting together a portfolio), and once you have one, you’re ready to go out there and land some high paying clients.
Most of your work, at least at the beginning of your business, is not going to be about designing logos or invitations. Before you do that, you’ll have to find some clients who are willing to pay you; the way to doing that is called:
Lead Generation is comprised of the tactics a company or individual undertakes to produce sales leads and clients and it can take different forms:
But why is lead generation so important?
It’s is important because lead generation is about your ability to generate new sales leads with the understanding that the more leads generated, the more graphic design business you’ll generate.
Each form of lead generation mentioned above is important and will be useful to you throughout your career as a graphic designer.
Social Media for Graphic Designers
Social media provides graphic designers with the opportunity to reach out and communicate daily and on a personal basis, with their target audience, influencers, and collaborators.
But if that sounds scary, here are some basic tips that will help connect you with your target audience.
For starters, make sure you have a Twitter account, LinkedIn account, Facebook page for your business, as well as a Pinterest and Flickr account.
Follow graphic artists who have something interesting to say and keep current about trends and practices (Facebook and Twitter).
Join groups relevant to graphic designers (Facebook. LinkedIn, Flickr).
Post your pics (Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr).
Follow graphic design blogs. Start engaging. Even if you don’t have a website or blog, by sharing top-notch content you’ll create engagement with your prospects and clients by starting discussions and answering their questions.
Not the billboard type. If you want your advertising to succeed it has to be focused.
Google Adwords, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads offer target advertising schemes that can suit the budgets of small businesses. Often they are based on a cost per click business model.
With Google Adwords you can target search words, geographic location and the language of your target audience while Facebook Ads can make sure you reach the right audience by targeting according to age, gender, and/or specific pages that your target audience liked. By advertising on LinkedIn Ads you’ll be able to tailor advertising by job title, industry and company size, seniority, age, gender or by the particular Linkedin groups your target audience belongs to.
Your advertising possibilities are endless. Think about your ideal client, your target prospects and your budget. Advertise.
Calling a company without them having any previous interest in you, or even hearing about you, is called cold calling.
The way to go about it is to use a spreadsheet to list the names of companies you would be interested in working with. (It doesn't have to be a spreadsheet, though a spreadsheet is useful to keep track of your activity with clients.)
Now call them up. I know. It sounds scary. And maybe the first, second, and even third call will be. But fear with no real danger is not a reason to lose out on making more money doing something you love. Is it?
So make the call. Ask them if they work with graphic designers and begin developing a relationship.
This is where your patience and perseverance will reward you. Because it’s not going to take one call. It’s going to take hundreds. But don’t worry. It will pay off.
Don’t get discouraged. Pick up the phone. Show them your work and build a relationship. Work will come and with it a profitable career as a graphic designer.
Join LinkedIn groups relevant to graphic designers.
Post your photos on Facebook, Pinterest and Flickr.
Follow graphic design blogs. Start engaging by sharing top-notch content with prospects and clients.
Advertise with GoogleAdwords, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads.
List the names of companies you want to work with.
Call them and develop a relationship.
HootSuite is a social media management system that will help you keep track of and manage the networks you join.
Quora is where business people meet to ask serious business questions. By providing informed answers to questions related to your industry, you’ll be able to establish yourself as an expert in your field which will get you noticed and generate leads.
Act! is an easy to navigate customer management system designed to make you more efficient and profitable. It will help make following up on your new client relationships easy.
Written by Liat Behr
Liat is a content wordsmith at WiseStamp and copywriter at Ink of Imagination. She delights in creating and sharing valuable tips and helping businesses craft effective content.
When she’s not writing content, she can be found in the world of fiction, embarking on adventures with her characters.