5 Foolproof Ways To Get NEW Clients

The first foolproof way of getting clients is to post your work on Instagram. Marketers and advertising agencies post their ads in a place where people are looking, kind of like People will want to have adverts for you where you are. And it’s the same for us. If you’re a graphic designer and you’re wondering how I get my work and how other freelancers do it, it wasn’t overnight, but basically, we posted on Instagram and sites like that. If you post your work on Instagram every day curating what you put out there, putting your best work, the work that you want to work on and talking about it and having sort of a presence on Instagram, clients will look at that, because everyone is nearly on Instagram now. It’s the largest social media in the world. Everyone’s on there and the amount that you can do just to post your portfolio and get people to share your work is incredible. So try and post to Instagram every day, do that for a year and I guarantee you will gain clients.

The second foolproof way of gaining clients is by asking local businesses. If you’ve just started out in graphic design, whether that’s lettering, logo design or just any sort of branding sort of scheme, then you should ask your local businesses in your town or city. Doing this means that you are actually putting your name out there. When you actually allow them to hear you and what you do, maybe they won’t give you a job then, but they will come back to you for a job. And I have done this before locally as well. So whether it’s a coffee shop or whether it’s a big bank or whatever kind of thing in your local town or city, go for those places. Go for those places that are mid-tier, where they’re not too bureaucratic and there’s not a huge corporation side to it. You can literally just go to any sort of coffee shop and say, “Yo, I’m a designer. If you need any work like this on the wall or menu design, then just hit me up. I’ll give you my business card. Keep me in mind. Thank you.”

Doing that means that you’ve got your name on a list in their head. It is so vital to have our names in people’s heads for the specific job because when they say that they need a menu design, who are they going to think of? The guy who came in or the guy who emailed? So ask local businesses and see what they say. And I guarantee you over time you will gain clients. It may not be fast, but you will get them and a steady flow of them.

The third foolproof way of getting clients is by asking and emailing and messaging large businesses. Nowadays it’s so easy to message huge corporations and to get your name in there. All you really need is an email or an Instagram account. There are tons of Instagram accounts from companies such as Heinz or any sort of company really, like Starbucks. If you wanted to message them and if you wanted to work for them, put your name down and message them and offer a service to them in a nice way. I love Daniel Wellington and I wanted a watch from them and I also wanted to do some work with them, whether that was sponsored work or client work, because I do both because of the channel on my Instagram. So I direct messaged them on Instagram and said, “If you want any work done, let me know. I’d love to collaborate with you on something.” And sure enough, a few weeks later they emailed me and asked for it and they wanted me to collaborate with them.

I know that’s not a client, but it works in the same way. If you were to ask a large corporation in an email, then someone in customer service will remember your name and they will also probably transfer your name over to a designer’s list. So don’t be afraid to message big corporations. What’s the worst that could happen? They may say yes or no, or they may not even say anything at all. That’s the worst that could happen. The best thing is they say yes and they give you a good wage.

The fourth foolproof way of gaining clients is by teaching what you know. If you’ve noticed, my YouTube channel is a lot about teaching things and I gain clients a lot from YouTube, where companies see my channel whether they’re large, small or mid-tier, they see my channel and they assume that I’m pretty good at what I do. They can see my work, they can see my personality and how I work. By teaching what I do, that gives clients the ability to have an insight into my process and have an insight into who I am as a person and a designer.

If you don’t know what to teach and you’re just starting out, just teach what you know already. I guarantee you that it will be valuable for anyone else in the design scene who’s wanting to learn design, and over time you’ll establish yourself as a teacher in this sort of area. Whether you’re qualified or not, people will look to you in certain areas of this and you’ll gain respect and clients through that respect, and the numbers on your social media channel. So go ahead and make videos or just teach in blog posts what you do and how you do it. Give people value and they’ll come back to you and give you value.

And the fifth foolproof way of gaining clients is if you’re in a bit of trouble, ask your friends and family. Personally, I don’t really work for friends or family and that’s not because I don’t want to. That’s just because I have such a different view on client work and I charge quite a bit, and I don’t want to seem that I’m extorting my family or friends. Because of the process that I do, it takes a long time and a lot of them may not understand exactly how long it takes, hence why I don’t work with them. But if you’re a designer that’s just starting out and you want to charge a little less than your usual rate for large companies, start off with friends and family. Put it on your portfolio and do your best because the word of mouth from a successful client or a satisfied client is much better and more effective than a Facebook ad or just saying on Instagram that you’re available for your service.

Keep in mind when you’re working with friends or family, whether it’s paid or not paid, send them a contract and an invoice. Now you send an invoice when it is not paid because you want to show the value of your work. So if I do free work for someone, I still send them an invoice with the amount that it would have cost with all the lists and the itinerary of things like the items, 6,000 for instance. And then I’ll just literally put zero in the subtotal, and that shows the client how much his work was really worth.

Top Trick for Getting New Clients as a Freelancer

If you’re wanting to start a freelance business, the most pressing challenges typically revolve around getting new clients. When I initially launched my freelance business, I struggled to acquire any customers. However, after a few months of trudging through the traditional channels, I discovered a great solution that resulted in generating over $290,000 last year, and it’s what I want to discuss today.

Let’s begin by reviewing the list of options for where you can find new clients as a freelancer. I’ve read countless blog posts and a number of books on this subject, and the following were the most popular recommendations. First and foremost are friends and family. This may seem like a natural place to start. However, it’s been my experience that friends and family typically expect you to work for free or incredibly cheap. This channel can be good if you’re just starting out and you need to build a portfolio. However, it’s not too scalable and usually not very profitable.

Next would be networking events. For networking, you can join your local chamber of commerce, or find networking groups where you can promote your business. This approach can work well in some cases. However, each time I’ve tried it, I’ve discovered that there are already several other developers attending, working on getting new clients for their own freelance businesses. I wouldn’t let my experience with this option stop you from trying it, but make sure that you’re prepared to compete with others. I remember attending a chamber of commerce meet and greet a few years ago. When everyone around the room introduced themselves and their business, there were over half a dozen freelance developers who were all offering pretty much identical services.

Third, are outsourcing services. This is the option that I want to focus on today. Interestingly enough, I was told by a number of freelance experts that this avenue was too difficult. However, I found a great way to use it for getting new clients as a freelancer. Like I already mentioned, I had a difficult time in the beginning getting new customers. Using services such as oDesk and Elance, which now merged and are now Upwork, were especially challenging. Even though I had a solid portfolio and a decade of experience, I couldn’t get a single client.

Some of the challenges were the following. First, I didn’t have any ratings or reviews. Not many clients are willing to take a risk on a developer without some type of recommendation from others. Second, I was priced much higher than the majority of the other freelancers. Most of the freelance teams marketing on services on outsourcing sites or offshore. This meant that I was having to compete against developers offering to work for, at times, 90% cheaper than my rate. I charge $100 per hour while the majority of the offshore teams are charging 10 to $20 per hour. And lastly, I didn’t have the time to pitch potential clients consistently. In regard to marketing my freelance services, I was very streaky. I would get motivated for a few days, send out a large number of pitches, and then I’d get depressed that I wasn’t getting any replies, and I wouldn’t send proposals out for weeks.

After struggling for a few months, I knew I didn’t have any control over challenges one or two. However, I could do something about number three. I was working a full-time job at the time while also attending grad school, so my time was very limited. With that in mind, I came up with a marketing system and it actually worked. Since I’m a little bit on the stubborn side, it took me a while to admit it, but I finally came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t getting new clients, especially with the methods I had been trying up to that time.

So I put a plan into action that involved hiring some freelancers of my own. I assembled a team that helped fill in my weak areas. In order to start getting new clients, I knew that I had to have clearly written proposals that described my services, and I also knew that the proposals would have to be sent out 24/7. With that in mind, I researched sales copywriters on Upwork and hired a talented marketer who created three different proposals that I could use. This included sales copy that advertised my experience, portfolio, and expertise as a developer.

I had three versions created because I wanted each one to be targeted to a specific type of project. For example, one of the proposals focused on enterprise projects, another proposal was targeted at building APIs, while the third had content geared toward startups. With a full set of professional proposals, I was ready to implement the second step of my plan, which is to consistently send out proposals.

For this, I hired a detail-oriented and fluent virtual assistant from the Philippines, named Sy. I was able to hire Sy for $6.50 an hour and he paid for himself in the first week. I walked him through the proposals and described the types of projects that I wanted to get hired for. After I was confident that Sy clearly understood my goals, I let him loose on Elance. He reviewed the full set of potential projects on the marketplace and sent my targeted proposals to each project that fit my criteria. Within a week, I was getting responses back from clients, and within two weeks I’d been hired for multiple projects. Three months later, I had to hire my own developers because I was getting so many clients that were hiring me to build applications.

So how did my strategy work out? Last year, my freelance business generated over $295,000 in revenue, with one month hitting over $40,000. I’m not going to pretend like this is easy. This is pretty much the opposite of a get-rich-quick kind of scheme. However, by implementing this strategy, I was able to cost-efficiently outsource the marketing for my freelance business so that I could focus on actual development.

I hope that this has been a helpful guide for getting new clients as a freelancer, and has also given you some ideas on how you can build your own business.

6 Steps Science of Branding

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about the six steps of the science of branding.

There’s a misconception that branding is basically an aesthetic exercise, that it’s based on the emotional, the qualitative, and that it’s an inexact process. When actually, branding really sits at the intersection of science and art. The art of it is in design, it’s emotional and the feelings, the gut, the variable, the qualitative. The science is the practical part, the cerebral, the static, the consistent, or the quantitative. Successful branding really combines these two. So let’s look at how strategic branding uses scientific methodology. There are essentially six steps in any scientific project, and those six steps can also be used to describe any kind of branding project. So let’s take a look at the steps.

In science there’s, the first step is asking a question. The second is doing research. And then you hypothesize. Number four is your experiment. Five, you analyze. And then six, you make your conclusion.

In branding, you start off with a brief, a creative brief. Then you do an audit of your brand and other brands. You strategize, you explore, you test, and then you implement. Six steps in science and six steps in branding.

1: Ask a question: In branding, you have a brief or creative brief. That is, what is the project? What’s the problem? What needs to be solved? Do you want X or do you want Y?

2: Research: In branding, you do an audit. So what is your own brand doing? So auditing your own brand, auditing the brands of the competition, gathering market inspiration and information.

3: Hypothesize or in branding to strategize: What is the brand’s direction? What are the market solutions? What are the product solutions? What if we tried this? What if we tried that?

4: Experiment: In branding it explores. So you iterate, you develop solutions, you design variations, you try different approaches.

5: Analyze: In branding, you critique a design. You do qualitative and quantitative testing. You do SurveyMonkey, you do focus groups, you get input. You do use case scenarios. So you refine and you change and evolve your solution.

6: Conclude: In branding you implement. So you evaluate that solution, you finalize it, and then you create the output or you implement it in the market.