Since graphic design is a crucial part of any business, the demand for graphic designers has increased. And while the ratio of clients to graphic designers is lucratively acceptable, it’s sometimes hard for new and seasoned designers to promote their services. Due to competition, some graphic designers settle for low-paying clients or have none. These 12 easy graphic designer marketing tips and strategies will undoubtedly snatch those premium clients.
1. Create an online portfolio
A graphic designer’s portfolio is one of the first things clients scrutinize when searching for the perfect designer. That said, you shouldn’t miss out on creating one. If you’re a neophyte graphic designer with zero experience, make a few designs per week and build your portfolio. Having one is vital so clients know if your skill and style fit their business design needs.
If you’re an experienced graphic designer, curate the best designs you’ve done for clients. Show diversification. For instance, you can include logos, billboard designs, or merch designs. Also, it helps if you include past work you’ve done in multiple industries.
2. Leverage client referrals
Another way to quickly gain traction is to use client referrals for word-of-mouth marketing. You can request your best clients to leave reviews on your website or rate your service. Showcase social proof on your website to show credibility and authority. This graphic designer marketing method is an excellent way to boost your graphic design business. You want to show clients that you prioritize high-quality design and client satisfaction at all times.
3. Sign up for review sites and online job marketplaces
Some clients look for experienced graphic designers by looking at portfolios or reviews online. You can sign up for an account on every big review site tailored for graphic designers or professionals in the creative space.
Additionally, you can also advertise your graphic design business on online job marketplaces. Some of these marketplaces are laden with graphic design contests where designers can display their prowess. Some marketplaces don’t require fees to join, so try your luck by submitting as many designs as possible.
4. Expand your network
Having a broad network also helps in garnering more clients. Stay connected with like-minded individuals, like other graphic designers or experts in related fields. You can increase community interaction to boost your exposure. You want to build your reputation as a graphic designer, so try collaborating with other designers for projects. Targeting free or volunteer work will also go a long way.
5. Be active on forums
There is no shortage of online forums you can join to connect with other graphic designers or find more clients. Participating in relevant graphic design discussions increases your opportunity to find clients. Be considerate of the forum rules, though. Some might require you to be an active member before you can paste links or advertise websites.
Here are some of the top forums you need to follow in 2024:
- Graphic Design Forum
- Web Designer Forum
- Webmaster Sun
- The Freelance Forum
- Yahoo! Groups
- Tripadvisor Forums
- GitHub Community
- Experts Exchange
6. Offer free designs
If your time and schedule permit, offer free designs to influencers, startups, or nonprofit organizations. This may take a considerable chunk of your time without getting paid, but it might be worth it in the long run. You’ll get well-deserved credit from brands and organizations and bolster word-of-mouth marketing.
7. Start a graphic design blog
If you have a knack for writing, start a graphic design blog. You can write graphic design long-form tutorials, listicles, or other resources that might help entrepreneurs. Starting a blog is also advantageous as you don’t have to hire graphic designers to create the blog images. Your blog will also be a way to showcase your expertise through graphics.
8. Create unique design renditions of popular brands
One way to make waves online is to create funny or unique redesign concepts of famous business logos. Or, if you want to make it more interesting, you can also create a packaging design for your favorite brands. Who knows, they might discover and like your design concept, strike a deal with you, and put you on retainer.
9. Boost your website’s SEO
Graphic designer advertising tips involve ranking organically. On top of your paid advertising efforts, rank your website on search engines to capture new leads. Moreover, ensure your website is SEO-friendly by optimizing images, including metas, considering headings and subheadings, high-quality graphics, and keeping it mobile-friendly.
10. Promote graphic design services on social media
Another surefire way people will discover your graphic design portfolio is if you promote your graphic design service on social media. If you want to connect with other creatives, you can leverage the business social networking platform LinkedIn. However, don’t neglect graphic designer marketing on the most extensive social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (X), or TikTok. Think of captivating and engaging designs, coupled with catchy copywriting, to quickly make your social media posts viral.
11. Attend trade shows and graphic design events
Another way to expand your network is to attend trade shows to meet young professionals, entrepreneurs, and marketers. Trade shows present many opportunities for creatives to meet clients looking for in-house or freelance graphic designers.
It’s also vital for graphic designers to stay on top of graphic design trends. That said, attending graphic design events is essential to always be up-to-date with new trends, techniques, and best practices. This will enable new and seasoned graphic designers to hone and improve their skills and offer diversity to clients.
12. Give free design templates
Some brands don’t mind using free templates for some of their graphics. While they can download free templates from websites, it’s more enticing to get these templates from professionals directly. You can offer free templates on your website once they land on your landing pages.
In exchange for free templates, you can ask for email addresses to boost lead generation. Giving away free graphic design resources helps you market your graphic design business quickly. Who doesn’t love freebies?
Try these graphic design marketing strategies to gain traction in this industry. Build a reputation to make clients come to you instead of sending hundreds of job proposals. Once you’ve gained a foothold in graphic design, you’ll begin snatching those high-paying clients.