Graphic design is a field that has quickly become competitive in the age of the internet. Because all transactions between the designer and the client can take place online, even beginner designers are able to forge a career path without having to work in a traditional, in-person office setting.
A good design is usually the gateway to having a positive engagement with a business’ or an organization’s target market. Hence, graphic designers are needed now more than ever by businesses that wish to communicate that they’re the best choice.
How Can You Keep the Good Clients Coming?
Many graphic designers have found satisfaction in a freelance setup because it affords them a certain kind of flexibility that they otherwise wouldn’t get from working for a firm that isn’t theirs. In such situations, it totally makes sense for them to eventually formalize their work and build their own brand.
The challenge then is learning how to maintain relationships with current clients and build rapport with potential ones. After all, you’re bound to compete with a lot of talented designers, and businesses are always willing to pay a great amount for excellent outputs.
Whether you’re going to build your graphic design business as a solo act or you’re going to hire others to work with you, there are a few guidelines that you must follow to ensure that you’ll thrive in this highly competitive industry. Here’s what you can do to stay on top of your competition:
1. Identify Your Brand’s Strengths
You probably already know what you’re good at, so that’s a good starting point when it comes to figuring out how to market your business. For instance, do you want to be known for your great logos, or your amazing website designs? Or perhaps, your strengths lie in print materials like posters or brochures?
Additionally, it also helps to identify your preferred projects. Do you want to specialize in projects that cater to specific niches, such as wedding invitations or album arts for upcoming indie artists?
Although it helps to be well-rounded because it exposes you to more possible clients, focusing on your strengths can be a quicker way to get yourself out there and make your mark.
2. Establish Your Own Aesthetic
Have you ever looked at a design and thought about how it reminds you of projects that were made by a particular designer? Then it turns out that they were the ones who actually did it?
If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t have a lot of projects that define your personal style yet. But you can start establishing your aesthetic by creating web pages, calling cards, or invoices like the ones from Wave to let your clients know what you’re all about.
Of course, it may take a while before you find what’s truly unique about your brand, but once you do, clients will be the ones who will chase after it.
3. Build a Portfolio of Your Best Works
As an artist, you’ve probably created more designs than you realize. It can be great to look at them one by one and see how your skills evolved, but not all of them should make it to your portfolio.
Your portfolio serves as a synopsis of your business’ works. Hence, you should only include the projects that you’re really proud of—the ones that have had undeniably good reviews. This will help clients focus on the great things that you’ve done.
4. Keep on Learning
When we become comfortable with a particular style, it’s easy to settle into it and keep on using them as references. But in order to keep up with the times, it’s also important that we open ourselves up to the latest trends.
Thus, make sure that you take the effort to attend field-related events and read about works that don’t necessarily reflect your brand’s style.
Although there’s no guarantee that these events are going to be revolutionary for your business, you can at least build your network there. It can also help you broaden your perspectives about your current styles and significantly improve it for the better.
5. Use Social Media Accordingly
Facebook and Instagram are highly visual platforms that are great for showcasing your finest works. Plus, most of your potential clients are lurking in there, too. If you’re on social media, it becomes easier for them to connect with you to work on a business project.
Conclusion: Your Ability to Build Relationships Solidifies Your Portfolio’s Greatness
Graphic design may be all about the looks and aesthetics, but it’s also about your work attitudes and ethics. If you learn how to market yourself well and build trustworthy relationships with your clients, your solid business portfolio will be able to communicate why you were able to amass a series of excellent works over time.