Earlier this year, I collaborated with Ran Segall from Flux Academy to create a freelance course called Freelance Ignite as well as some content for their YouTube channel.
I’m bringing some of that content to my podcast to discuss the five common mistakes designers make when trying to attract more clients, and how to avoid them in your own business.
Even if you’ve made these mistakes in the past, it’s never too late to pivot and improve your approach. Take this as your sign to make positive changes and increase your chances of landing your perfect ideal clients.
Relying solely on luck to bring clients to your doorstep, especially when you’re just starting your business, isn’t a dependable strategy. And while word of mouth may become your primary source of clients down the road, you will still need to take proactive steps to showcase your work and connect with potential clients.
So, what’s the game plan instead of twiddling your thumbs waiting for clients to appear out of thin air?
Start by diving into your inbox. Focus on improving your portfolio, showcasing your work online, and making sure you’re visible to potential clients. Choose platforms where your target audience spends time too. You can attend events, connect with people, and become part of communities to increase your visibility and start building relationships.
It’s all about making a killer first impression. Shift your focus from hard-selling to having meaningful genuine conversations and nurture those relationships.
Using social media for marketing isn’t quite enough these days. I mean, pretty much everyone’s on it, so just being active there won’t make you stand out. It’s like trying to catch a lot of fish with a big net – it’s broad-reaching.
A smarter way to market your business is to focus on a smaller, more specific audience that can actually get you better results.
You can consider adding other strategies like e-mail marketing, content marketing, and networking. Build a well-rounded approach to create a stronger and more sustainable client base.
Cold outreach can be effective if done correctly, but it must be done right by building a connection and personalizing your approach to potential clients.
The annoyance of receiving unsolicited emails or messages from people who are clearly sending generic pitches to numerous recipients without personalization is a common issue, often resulting in automatic deletion.
However, there’s a better way to approach cold outreach. Instead of being pushy and impersonal, the key is to invest time in understanding your potential clients, their businesses, goals, and challenges!
Crafting a customized solution and reaching out in a personal and approachable manner, you can make cold pitching more effective and avoid coming across as spammy or sleazy.
Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or you’ve been at it for a while, remember that you have the power to choose your clients.
But, and this is a big “BUT,” taking on too many clients all at once can spell trouble.
You might find yourself dealing with missed deadlines, communication headaches, and struggling to maintain the high-quality work your clients deserve. So, instead of going for quantity, take a moment to figure out how many clients you can realistically handle without driving yourself crazy or sacrificing the quality of your work.
If you try to be a jack of all trades and appeal to a broad audience, you may actually dilute your expertise and get lost in the crowd. It can be challenging to stand out and attract your ideal clients when you’re trying to cater to everyone’s needs. This doesn’t mean that you have to niche down based on a specific industry and stick with it forever.
There are various ways to narrow down your focus, whether it’s based on your skills, location, industry, or the types of clients you want to work with. You can always experiment and adjust your niche as your business evolves.
Instead of trying to please everyone and ending up with no clear message, concentrate on identifying what makes you unique, what you’re passionate about, and then target clients who share your values and can benefit from your expertise. This way, you’ll define your niche and create portfolio work that attracts those specific clients.
I’ve learned about these mistakes by making them myself, learning from those experiences, and then making necessary adjustments. Consider this a sign that you should pay attention and consider doing things differently.
You now have the knowledge to make positive changes and improve your chances of landing the perfect ideal client for you!
Below is a link to a video to give you more guidance and an exercise to do!