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When you are a graphic designer, your success is not only based on doing a good job but on getting clients, which can be difficult if you do not know how to increase your online presence.
That is why learning how to get graphic design clients online is what can take your freelance career to the next level.
There are many tools that you may not know but that can help you to make yourself better known to potential clients. Here you will find all the details.
Increase Your Online Presence
The first thing you have to be clear about to start getting graphic design clients online is that it is completely necessary to increase your online presence.
In fact, Upwork stated that graphic designers belong to the biggest freelance niche, so it is completely necessary for you to stand out if you want to get clients because there is a huge competition.
You have to make yourself known in the neighborhood if you want the neighbors to notice you. If people cannot find you on the internet, how do you expect them to contact you?
It all starts when the customer has a need, and generally doing a search is the first step to finding the answer they need. This search can occur through the google search engine, social networks, or by reference to someone they know.
If it happens in the latter way, the most likely thing is that that person will want to share your work to recommend it and the way they will do it is by sharing your portfolio website or some other platform that you use.
The more places online you are present, the more opportunities you will have for customers to find you.
Define Your Ideal Client
Define well who your ideal client is (it is not the same to design for a private client than for a multinational) and the specific services that you are going to offer that solve their problems.
Do not be like the other amateur graphic designers that offer all kinds of designs to anyone who comes. Those clients will end up lowering prices and asking for small jobs for little money.
The more you specialize and focus on a specific area or sector, you will have better clients willing to pay what you deserve for your work.
Seth Godin says that you need to see the world the way your clients do in order to impulse your career in the right way, it does not matter how much experience you have. You must know who your potential client is and who is your ideal client.
To do this you can create a document in which you write about a real person who could very well be your client. There you will describe what they do in their day to day, what goals they have in life, what are their worst fears, their weak points.
This will help you to write the texts of your website, your emails, and all your communication thinking of someone real who you can really reach.
Use Social Media
Social networks help to make you known, spread your work, and enhance your personal brand.
This is a highly recommended technique, for example, Oberlo affirms that %73 of marketers being present on social media is essential to growing your business. Create your profile on LinkedIn and Facebook (as a fan page) and share your work, projects, and other useful material.
LinkedIn is a social network exclusively dedicated to labor issues. For some years now, its use has been increasing by professionals of all kinds and this means that on LinkedIn, you can find potential clients.
To get clients in this social network, you must do a search on LinkedIn for profiles that suit your target or ideal client description to add them to your network of contacts and then be able to interact with them.
Participate in forums, discussions, and groups about design. On Facebook, there are several well-known groups on this subject.
There you will probably meet potential clients but also colleagues that will help you to amplify your network. Most important, do not forget to create a fan page.
There are many creative ideas that you can implement to become popular on that website. Stay ahead of the topics of the moment and create content that people would like to share, in that way you will get more known and people will see your work.
Create a profile specifically for your work and keep it separate from your personal account. Make it a business account and choose a category related to graphic design.
When you post your designs, use hashtags that are related and it will be easier for people looking for your services to find you.
Do not forget that you have to take care of your personal brand, do not upload public photos to your Instagram where you are having some mojitos at the disco with your friends, and avoid posting complaints, political or religious ideas. This is your work, not your personal profile.
Create a Portfolio Website
A portfolio website is a web page where you can show all the work you have done. This is a practical way to show your clients the projects you have worked on and will increase the chances that you will be found on the web.
Having a portfolio website with your own domain and that bears your name or the name of your brand, will add professionalism to your image. Your clients will know that they are dealing with someone who takes their job seriously.
Besides, this makes things easier for you when it comes to showing someone your designs since you only will have to send a link.
Having an online presence is essential for every designer or developer. Although there are many ways to gain an online presence, the most basic one is to create an online portfolio where your clients can appreciate your work and where they can see your contact information.
Currently, there are many sites where you can create your portfolio online, even if you do not have knowledge about web development.
WordPress is a very popular platform among freelancers who want to make their work known. It is simple to use and through Bluehost or Dreamhost you can have a web domain to host your page, with very cheap rates that start from $ 2.95 per month.
You can use templates to configure your portfolio website and it is so easy to use that you do not need any knowledge of web design or programming.
Squarespace offers you a wide variety of templates. Since this platform offers a service for all types of websites, you can filter your search and narrow it down to specific templates for portfolios.
Choose an appropriate template taking into account the type of project you do as well as the identity of your brand.
Wix is an application that allows you to make web pages easily, with very attractive results.
The system is super simple to use, you simply drag the elements to the place where you want to place them. It also allows you to add all kinds of effects.
Wix offers a free plan, but if you need more advanced options like your own domain name or priority support, you can choose one of the paid plans.
Adobe Portfolio is a platform specifically designed to display works related to graphic arts. The advantage of this website is that it is included for free in the Adobe Creative Cloud plan, which you will surely have if you are a user of Adobe products.
Adobe Portfolio is also easy to use, you can create a custom design based on a template and its interactive design allows your portfolio to always look good on any device.
Have a Blog
Running a blog requires time and effort but it is a way to gain a lot of visibility if you really do a good content strategy. You should update it periodically (at least once a week) and share content that is of great interest to your potential clients and related to your specialty.
With a blog, you will not only get a better position in Google, but you will gain authority, visibility, and be a benchmark in your niche.
It is your best business card when a client visits your website and it attracts potential clients and convinces them without you having to persuade them directly.
Remember that there is a tendency to integrate the content of your website and your blog in social networks to gain traffic, but it is unlikely that someone will enter your website if the content is only focused on your business.
This is where a blog is key to your marketing strategy.
Your blog is key to attracting a large number of users to your website and starting the first phase of gaining an online presence: achieving the visibility of your website in front of your potential clients.
Optimize Your Blog Using SEO
SEO optimization consists of searching for the perfect keywords and creating content, taking into account the words or phrases that are used as search criteria in engines such as Google.
When you create new content on your blog, you must make sure that it focuses on the keywords through which you can attract more users within your niche, your potential customers.
The most classic form of content marketing is to write in a blog, with content that you will try to position in Google (if not, it will be more difficult for them to find you).
In the case of graphic design, content marketing can be an important part of your strategy to get clients.
It is essential that you do a study of trends and popular searches on Google related to graphic design so that you can generate content through those keywords.
Join Online Job Platforms
Online job platforms are a great idea to get graphic design clients online and as reported by Upwork, many freelancers consider that technology simplifies things when it comes to finding new job opportunities.
These websites are made to facilitate the connection between clients and designers. The advantage of using these platforms is that they are reliable and many of them protect the freelancer from being scammed.
As you get jobs you will gain more reputation and that will make it easier for you to get more clients in the future.
Here are some online job platforms you can try:
Flexjobs is a portal that, as its name suggests, offers flexible work for its users. Many freelancers prefer this job platform because it has a strong point that seems very important to them: an exhaustive analysis of each offer to avoid fraud or false offers for freelancers. In addition, you can find job offers aimed at various areas of graphic design.
According to their own words, this platform hires the best 3% freelancers in the world from more than 100 countries, and most of them are in America and Europe.
Although it is surely difficult to be accepted on this platform, especially if you are a beginner, being part of it will guarantee you demand and many clients interested in making you part of their projects.
Behance is a social network designed for people who work in the graphic arts niche, so it is very useful for graphic designers. You can use it as a portfolio and at the same time as an online job platform since many companies publish vacancies on that website.
That is why it is essential that you show your best work there since there are many clients looking for talents like yours.
Upwork is one of the platforms most used by freelancers and there you will find all kinds of very specific offers, so you will surely find vacancies aimed at your niche.
Here you can create a portfolio that potential clients can visit on your profile and something very positive is that clients can contact you on their own initiative.
You can also accumulate good scores and thus improve your reputation over time, which will make you more reliable and generate more interest in your work.
Through AngelList you can interact with a community specialized in entrepreneurship and give yourself more exposure to raise funds and even get a job from anywhere on the planet.
The page allows you to make connections with investors, co-workers, collaborators in open source projects, mentors, etc., which can give you more credibility and support the reputation in your profile.
Fiverr is a portal that promotes “micro” works of its users, which are published as products in a store. The advantage of this is that you avoid applying for projects. Instead, it is the customers who will contact you. Describe in detail what you offer on your gig.
For example, if you are a graphic designer, it does not mean that you have to make a logo for $ 5. You can offer creative consultancies for $ 5 and within the gig include extra services for the rate you think is correct.
AwesomeWeb is a freelance job platform where clients post jobs to be done by freelancers. The good thing about this job platform is that the competition is not too much. It is a small and exclusive freelance work platform.
The platform does not take commissions from your earnings, but you must subscribe to receive benefits.
Crowdspring online marketplace for creative services gives you the ease of working as a designer. There are many entrepreneurs, small businesses, startups, big brands, and agencies that need custom designs or articles and who look for it on this freelance platform.
When you register on the platform, it assigns you a score of 70, which goes up or down depending on your performance within it, and according to your score, you can apply to certain projects.
Authentic Jobs offers technical and creative job offers that cover various facets of web development, including graphic design. Their own description says they are the leading job board for designers, developers, and creative pros.
The staff of this page makes sure that there are only quality offers and no spam, which makes it a very reliable portal.
This website is specifically created for designers. In fact, the page asks you to specify what kind of designs you want to work on.
According to the category you choose, the platform will recommend jobs, and the more professional data you add to your profile, the easier it will be for the client to know who you are and, if they like your work, choose you to be their designer.
Smashing Magazine is different from other platforms and focuses more on offering useful tools for freelancers who work with graphic design. This page is popular for its articles on design-related topics of all kinds and also offers conferences and workshops.
It also has a job board specially made for designers and programmers and most of the offers are for remote work. It is undoubtedly a useful platform for freelancers to direct their careers.
Creators of marketable content find Envato Market a great benefit since, with just one click, they can start selling their designs and start making money.
The best thing is that this platform gives you the opportunity to bring out your professional skills and sell from logos, banners, and much more.
ArtWanted is a platform that promotes artists and creates a caring community. If you join, you will be able to talk with other artists, evaluate works or ask for their opinion on yours, see hundreds of creative pieces, and also people who visit the page will be able to buy what is shown there.
It is a way to sell your work and at the same time get involved in a network.
On 99designs the client must specify very clearly what they need and the platform will be in charge of showing them the best options of graphic designers. But here the client can also create logo design contests where designers can participate by creating a proposal.
This is a very viable way to make yourself known on the platform and improve your reputation.
Dribbble is a virtual community for graphic designers. You can subscribe to Dribbble as a regular user who is interested in graphic design or as a graphic designer (this is paid) if you want to expose your designs.
Here users can expose their work, gain a group of followers, and be hired by companies that require their services.
Update Platforms Regularly
The platforms you use to increase your online presence must be constantly updated. That way you will remind your audience and potential clients that you exist, that you are willing to work.
You are not the only graphic designer who has a blog, portfolio website, or social networks, and many of your colleagues are constantly creating content. If you do not generate material that people can see, you could be overshadowed by your competition.
The more you update your platforms, the more likely you are that potential customers will see your content. One suggestion is that you update your blog once a week, your portfolio every time you finish doing a project for a client, and your social networks every two days.
In your social networks, you can show the creative process that you carry out every time you create a new design and you can make your audience participate in it. Invite them to ask you questions or vote in polls.
Send Out Cold Emails
Cold emails are the ones you send to people who do not know you. The task of introducing yourself to these people who do not know you is difficult since the emails you send could end up in the trash or marked as spam.
However, this is a practice that works, it only consists of sending the email to the correct person and with the correct message.
The advantage of sending cold emails is that you can choose your future clients. Everything will depend on how you write them, who you send them to, how well you research potential customers, and how well you follow up on sending emails.
If you use them to your advantage, they can give you many good surprises.
In these emails, you can include proposals for those clients’ businesses, special price packages, a sample of your work, you can offer them an idea to satisfy one of their needs.
Another good idea to get the most out of cold emails is to personalize them according to your client’s information. According to Woodpecker, this will increase the chances of receiving a positive response.
This way you will surely attract their attention, but remember that you must be perseverant and consistent, if some clients do not respond to you, there will always be more to whom you can write.
- You can design products that people can buy through your portfolio website, or directly offer design packages. Just choose one of those two options and focus on strengthening that business.
- Take care of your customers and do not forget about them. If you stop working with someone, keep them on your contact list, and maintain that relationship through emails or occasional messages.
- Treat your personal brand with professionalism. If you take it as a real job, set schedules and goals, you will surely obtain satisfactory results. Be disciplined and never stop acquiring useful knowledge that will help you grow your freelance career.
Being a freelance graphic designer is wonderful because you are your own boss, but that means that it is your responsibility to have discipline and drive your business forward.
Trying to get graphic design clients online can seem difficult at times, but now you know that if you implement all these tips to increase your online presence, you will get satisfying results.
If you want, you can focus on implementing one aspect at a time and evaluate how much it makes you connect with new clients. Be highly motivated and believe in the quality of your work because all your effort will be rewarded.