Graphic design has never been more popular than it is right now. But with this popularity comes stiff competition. Winning clients and claiming a place among the top-rated freelance graphic designers is a task every starter finds challenging.
However, with a well-structured marketing plan, you could grow your career so fast that even some of the biggest names in the industry could start consulting you. Are you wondering how? Here are seven strategies to help you take your graphic design business to the next level.
Create a Compelling Portfolio
As of 2021, about 56% of the global population was active online. This growing number of internet users shows how important it is to establish an online presence. One proven way that has benefited many professional designers is creating a graphic design portfolio.
An online portfolio helps you announce yourself to clients and build credibility. You can also use it to showcase your best work consistently. Having it allows clients to find you easily on search engines such as Google and Bing.
While building a graphic design portfolio is excellent, there are some guidelines that you need to follow. Ensure that you choose the best template and post only your best works on your site. Also, don’t forget to update your website portfolio frequently.
Perfect Your Craft Before Marketing Yourself
The first impression matters if you are looking for online clients. You can only grab their attention by picking up on a high note.
Before you even start posting projects on your portfolio site, be perfect in your craft. Learn how to use every tool at your disposal and study how graphic design works as a process.
In other words, if you hone your craft before hawking it, you will be more confident when approaching new clients. You need to prove to potential customers that you’re more than the graphic designer tag on your logo.
Display What Makes You Stand Out
Think about what you can do that your competitors can’t. This is something you must truly believe in and be able to back up. From your portfolio, find two or three pieces that really demonstrate those strengths and display them proudly on your website’s home page.
It may seem obvious, but many designers have websites with an assortment of old work with no strong theme. If your site doesn’t show off what makes you unique, prospective clients will have no option but to head straight to your competitors.
Work With Clients that Value Your Work
Ask every successful graphic designer, and they’ll tell you the same thing: They only choose clients who value their expertise. Why would you keep working with a company that continuously questions your methods or relies on poor-quality stock imagery?
Don’t be too desperate to work for clients who don’t appreciate your work even as you start. What will be the reason to work for a company that doesn’t pay on time while bills pile? This might even kill your dreams of becoming a top designer.
Use Social Media Effectively
With the number of people using social media projected to grow to about 4.41 billion by 2025, your business success will largely depend on how you use Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.
You need to understand and utilize every aspect of these platforms to popularize your business and double your client base. But how do you use social media effectively? While the potential reach of each platform might vary, a few things like engagement and optimization cut across almost all social media sites.
Start engaging with users early and pay attention to platforms that work best for your niche. Besides, know how to optimize your content to look good while taking advantage of each site’s unique features.
You can also use tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to manage your platforms easily. These tools could help you schedule your posts across several platforms at once while also tracking performance.
Accept Constructive Criticism
When you start as a graphic designer, getting your work in front of people who will pay you for it can be challenging. However, some of these individuals will have opinions on how your work could be better. While other people’s opinions might not always be correct, please don’t ignore them.
You can also seek the views of other veteran graphic designers. They might see things that need improvement or show you ways to promote yourself effortlessly.
Learn Content Marketing and SEO
Your design skills are essential, but learning content marketing and SEO is equally critical to building your brand. These two techniques will make clients find you faster on search engines like Google.
SEO will help you optimize the pages of your portfolio website to appear at the top of search engines. On the other hand, if clients find your content appealing, they’re likely to spread the word and camp on your site for more. This could result in more traffic and a better conversion rate.
Like any other venture, graphic design has its challenges, especially at the start. However, the secret lies in not giving up and having an effective marketing plan in place. You just need one client, and you’ll be good to grow your business and turn it into a worthy investment.