Taking the plunge and becoming a freelancer is an exciting career move, but it’s one that some people are afraid to make. After all, it’s unlikely that clients will come knocking on your door straight away. 

However, attracting clients isn’t as difficult as it may seem. In this article, we’ll explore the following:

  • How to get clients as a freelance graphic designer
  • How the Countingup app is helping freelancers across the UK

How to get clients as a freelance graphic designer

Regardless of how experienced you are as a graphic designer, the prospect of finding and winning new work can be overwhelming. The good news, however, is that you’re in demand. According to Google search data, graphic design is one of the most searched for freelance skills. 

So, how do you take full advantage of that? We’ve listed our top seven ways here:

1) Pick a niche

Without a specific niche, it may be hard to promote your services in the long run because you won’t have a target audience. Many freelancers choose to work in an area where their talents shine through, so it’s helpful to think about what yours are. Maybe you’re fantastic at designing restaurant menus or perhaps designing portfolio websites for photographers is your thing.

Don’t worry if you can’t pick a niche on day one, this is often one of the most challenging parts of starting as a freelancer. If you’re not sure where you would be able to make the most of your talents, experiment for a while as a generalist before picking the best niche for you.

2) Let your portfolio do the talking

Your portfolio is one of the most valuable tools you have for winning new business. 

You don’t have to include everything you’ve previously worked on, just cherry-pick the best pieces that truly show what you’re capable of. It’s also worth taking the time to include some explanations next to each piece, such as:

  • What the brief was
  • What your role in the project was
  • What you did and why

If you’re newer to the scene and don’t have many examples, try creating some fictitious briefs to showcase your abilities.

3) Put yourself out there

Graphic design may be an art, but so is networking. If you find this intimidating, the trick is not to think of it as networking but as ‘relationship building’. Instead of going into it wondering how you can get more clients, meet people with the intention of getting to know them personally – you may find that you have a lot in common.

This opens up an authentic conversation and enables you to consider ways to truly help them. Usually, they’ll do the same for you in return so, even if you don’t end up working together, they may refer others to you.

4) Send follow-up messages

Once you get to the proposal stage with a client, it can be tense waiting on their response. Perhaps they’re taking longer than they said they would, or maybe you know there’s a lot of competition. Whatever the situation, it’s good practice to send a follow-up message a few days later to demonstrate that you value their business.

This also works well after networking events. If you meet a potential client, it could be a helpful way to keep the conversation going and show that you want to continue building the relationship.

5) Social proof

Worked with clients before becoming a freelancer? Reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to provide a testimonial or review. Online reviews are one of the best ways to attract clients; in fact, it’s been proven that 88% of people trust them.

Clients will appreciate the reassurance that you’ve successfully worked with other businesses and have the level of expertise that you claim.

6) Keep your social media up to date

These days, social media is more than just a platform to share photos of your pets. Rather, it can be used as a powerful tool to attract new clients to your business. 

LinkedIn is usually a good place to start. Relevant profiles tend to show up high in search results, so you’re easy for a potential client to find. Also, more businesses are now using LinkedIn as a method of hiring freelancers, so think of it as your online CV.

The key to success here is to keep your information updated and your profile fully populated. Consider including a smart profile picture, client recommendations and any work samples you want to share.

There are many other sites out there, too, some of which are industry-specific, so it’s a good idea to spend some time researching which ones you want to showcase your work on.

7) Tell everyone

When you enter the world of freelancing, you need to tell everyone what you’re doing. Chances are, one of your friends or family members will know someone who is looking for graphic design services. 

Not only is this a great way to spread the news of your new venture via word of mouth, it’s also an opportunity to rehearse your sales patter. By the time you come to pitch yourself to potential clients, you’ll be an expert at explaining your services. 

How Countingup can help freelancers save time and money

As a freelancer, bookkeeping and tax admin can be stressful, especially if you’re new to it. That’s where Countingup comes in. 

Countingup is the business current account and accounting app that automates the time-consuming aspects of your financial admin. It means you can spend more time focusing on gaining more clients. And the best part? It can all be done in the palm of your hand with a simple app.

Find out more here and sign up free today.