You can find clients just about anywhere these days. For many designers, finding them and trying to land them is one of the biggest challenges they face. They know they have the creative prowess to deliver something awesome to them.
If you feel stuck on where you can find new clients for your design business, you’re in the right place. One of the most popular places to look is social media. This guide will show you how to find them, how you can approach them, and move along from there.
We’ll also talk about some ways to put your work out there even if you haven’t got the portfolio or track record (which is another challenge for new designers). If you are new to the game of designing or need a new way to pick up new clients, keep reading. Let’s get started.
1. Figure out who your ideal clients are
First and foremost, it’s about knowing who you want to work with. What industry or type of clients draw you in the most? Why that industry or client in particular?
You don’t have to worry about niching down if you don’t want to yet. Just get a general idea of who you want to work with from the start. You might find yourself doing excellent designs with one industry and decide that might be the niche to focus on.
After you decide who you’d like to work with, you can play around with some mockups. Visit Designmodo if you are looking for an easy platform to build out excellent mockup designs you can show to potential clients.
Your ideal clients are more active on one social media platform as opposed to another. What kind of Facebook groups are they hanging out in? What kind of content are they posting?
If you like what they have to say, feel free to add some value of your own (even if it’s non-design related). Don’t be afraid to throw a friend request or follow their way. Whether they accept it or not, just keep going. Not everyone is going to connect with you, and that’s fine.
Growing your social media following will be vital, especially if you’re looking for new design clients. The next item on our list will be one of the reasons why.
3. Do a live demonstration or Q&A
Almost every major social media platform in existence will have a live feature. This will give you the perfect opportunity to do one of two things (or maybe both). You can do a live demonstration of your design work and let people watch you work your magic.
One of those people watching might just be your ideal client. To help maximize your creativity, you may want to do your Q&A session after you are finished with your demo design. Multi-tasking might be something you can do, but we like to recommend that you focus on one thing at a time, so you keep your pace of productivity and stay on task.
4. Post your work regularly
Whether it’s work you have done for past clients or previous live demos, you can post examples on a regular basis. Talk about what inspired you to come up with such designs. Whatever you post, it will catch someone’s eye.
When posting, keep in mind that spamming your followers to death will not be the best solution. Post a couple of times per day. If you get a few engagements, good.
Otherwise, don’t worry about getting zero engagements at all. Aside from growing your following, you may want to reach out to others designing the same things you are but have a bigger following.
You can even make posting on social media a lot easier. With Walls.io, you can repurpose your content and even mix it up with the social media content of your happy customers. Not only are you showcasing your work, but you are also integrating it with social proof (which is a powerful
thing to have to get new clients). So if you want to unleash the power of social media and use it as a tool to promote and snag your next design client, find out more at Walls.io.
5. Reach out to influencers
Connecting with influencers can be challenging. And it will depend on how large their following is. If you want to reach out to an influencer, you may be aiming a tad too high if you are reaching out to someone with a million social media followers.
Start with a micro-influencer, someone who may have anywhere between 1,000 to 10,000 followers. They are up and coming, and their following is growing. Plus, they are pretty easy to reach.
Once your following grows, you can work your way up to connecting with the much bigger followers. When reaching out to influencers, you have to start up small and work your way up.
6. Geotag your posts
Geotagging your local area on each of your social media posts may draw clients in the area. Somewhere outside your doorway maybe someone looking for a designer that will help with logo work or something else. That person could be you.
When meeting with local clients, it will be easy to meet with them face to face. Plus, potential clients would most likely trust local talent over someone else that is far away. If a face to face meeting isn’t possible, there’s always a virtual meeting via Zoom.
7. Use Instagram and Snapchat stories to your advantage
The “Stories” feature on Instagram and Snapchat have grown in popularity over the years. And it’s one of the best ways to connect with followers. This feature allows you to show your work in sequences.
“Stories” are another way to do a demonstration of a design from start to finish. You can show people how it’s done in complete sequences. Before putting your story out there, plan ahead.
What kind of hashtags will you be using? Will you use geotagging? Get creative with your stories and test out some strategies to see which approaches work in your favour.
If something is working, double down on it. If an approach isn’t working, figure out what’s wrong and make the necessary tweaks.
8. Promote giveaways
Giving away freebies might just grow your following alone. The question is: what are you giving away? Contests are a great way to draw in new people and get them to participate.
You can encourage participants to follow you. How do you get them to participate? For example, you’re working on a logo, and both you and the client are having a hard time choosing the best one.
Put it to a vote. Which logo will stand out better to other people? After a certain amount of time, you can randomly choose a winner and award them the prize.
A contest is also a good test to see which design is more appealing to them. The more appealing the design, the more drawn people will be to the brand. Can a logo or some kind of design be used to draw in new business?
The answer: it’s possible. But that’s only part of the work that’s done. No one spent money on a business because they loved the logo alone.
9. Don’t be afraid to use another platform
Your target clients may be on Facebook for the most part. However, you can also try another platform to promote your work as well. If you are a beginner, you can try and use two different channels at a time.
For example, you can use Facebook and Instagram or Facebook and Snapchat. Or perhaps you can use LinkedIn or Instagram. Get the idea.
Don’t stretch yourself thin when it comes to promoting your content and getting yourself out there. Remember, it’s about where your target clients hang out. At the same time, you can use a platform like Instagram to publish the work there and no place else on the Internet.
10. Keep building relationships
While social media helps promote your work, that’s only half of the battle. The other half is connecting with people and building relationships. The better the relationship, the more they can trust you.
Always give value and approach in a way where you expect nothing in return (or some kind of ulterior motive). Think of it as meeting someone that you are interested in dating. Get to know the person first, ‘ask them out when the time is right, and see where it goes.
In this context, talk about what you both do, what your biggest business challenges are, and so on. At some point, one of those people you are connecting with regularly may be interested in working with you on a project. Nobody wants to work with someone who they just ‘picked up off the streets.
It takes building a bit of trust before two or more people start working together.
Finding new clients for your design business via social media is positive. And the ten tips above are proven ways to get them. In the design business, what you can put together matters most.
Your creativity will be looked at by many people who choose to follow you. At some point, you might be working with people who you consider as your ideal clients. Or you may start as a generalist and whittle down a niche that interests you most.
Either way, social media is a powerful tool that will allow you to demonstrate your work while connecting with potential clients at the same time.
Related blog posts:
- How to Market to Gen Z
- How to Increase Online Sales Through Social Media in 4 Steps
- How to Create a Branded Social Media Feed
This blog post was written by Andrian Valeanu Founder & Editor-in-chief at Designmodo.com.