How to get new clients as a graphic designer

As graphic designers we need to produce and endorse strategies in order to attract new customers. There are many different ways to get new clients. First of all, it is noteworthy to mention that it is always easier to keep existing clients than to recruit new ones. But what if you are new, and don’t even have the first client yet?

Some of the methods I will discuss are long term growth methods and some are short term. Either way it is work, so you need to be passionate about what you are doing. Those that do not have passion will not be around long enough to enjoy the reward for all the hard work.

Get new clients graphic design


Different strategies will work better for some than others. As a result test and evaluate which strategies are worth putting more effort into in order to elevate your business strategy.


Refine your own marketing & branding

How your business comes across to other businesses is important in gaining their trust. Trust is key to get new clients. If your business looks good, then surely you can make their business look good. Clients need to be confident that they will get a good service from you. Website design needs to be trustworthy and any business cards or brochures need to be attractive and informative. Potential clients want to know that you can do the job.

Utilize your inner circle to gain business

This is where most freelancers start. Family, friends, past colleagues. These people may not have need of your services, however they may know people that do. Reach out and ask for referrals.

Increase your networking circle by joining local groups in your community. College groups, high school groups and recreational groups may need design work. It may be small work in the beginning, however you will begin to get a portfolio. Consequently, you will also gain confidence.

Risk rejection over and over again. Go downtown to where the businesses are. Come prepared with some rack card or flyer samples of the quality of work you can do. Ask to speak with the manager and explain how your service will help them. Leave something behind with your business card.

Keep in mind that you may be rejected nineteen times before you get a “YES!” 1/20 is pretty good though. Additionally, the other nineteen have your business card and as a result will probably contact you in the future when they need your service.

Website SEO strategy to get new clients

Website SEO is a long term strategy, but it is also one of the best strategies to gain customers. In fact it is more valuable that advertising on Google AdWords. Customers need to be able to find you. SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is a digital strategy implemented to rank websites higher in a visitors queries. There are two basic parts to SEO called on page SEO and off page SEO.

On page SEO refers to the written portion as well as the HTML content on the website. Optimize on page for images, keywords, headings, Meta, tags, links, alt tags, and have an xml map. Additionally you could submit the xml map to search engines, but it is not necessary.

Off page SEO refers to outside influence pointing back to your website. Create valuable content that people will share and over time you will get more of this type of SEO. Create useful blog posts or infographics, share relevant information that is helpful that people are likely searching for.

Social media strategy

Of course social media. Social media is a huge measure of how important you are as a business. That is to say, Google will assume your website is important with the volume or level of activity your social media has. Therefore as a result will rank your website higher.

Having said that, it is noteworthy to mention that not all social media is equal in producing clients. While one platform may work better for you, it may not work for another person.

Again make sure to take time to post quality content. Produce content that people will appreciate. Give knowledge freely. Keep in mind the viewer’s perspective. What will produce the most engagement? As a result don’t bore people with me, me, and me stuff. Make it about them.


Happy customers are probably willing to refer you to a person they know. Don’t forget to ask them for a review. If you are super savvy, you will already have a link to your Google my Business review page ready to send them.

Treat clients with respect and go above and beyond to meet their expectations. Adding value to client experience goes a long way in producing enthusiastic referrals. Word of mouth is one of the best marketing strategies out there. People trust people they know.

Approach companies with bad logos

Look around your town, or online and find a few companies with bad or homemade logos. Offer to make them a logo. Tell them you specialize in “landscaping logo design” or whatever the case may be. Educate them on how your service will bring them extra customers by making their branding more appealing.

Blogging strategy

Provide your knowledge and expertise freely. Start blogging. This will provide more URLs for people searching for solutions to their problems. You might be the one to solve their problem. People can enter your website in many ways. Provide expertise to show them you know your stuff. Gain customer trust. Customers may visit your website many times before actually committing to making a purchase.

Blogging also helps with SEO. If more people visit your website it can send signals to search engines that your content is valuable. If your website ranks higher, more people can find you.

Social media advertisement strategy for graphic designers

Hold an “Ugly Logo Contest”. Have your website set up so that visitors can fill out a form with all of their logo details. The winner will receive a complete branding package worth $3000! Drum up some enthusiasm and make it a limited time only to provide scarcity.

In addition to filling out the form, one of the contest rules could be to ‘like’ the social media page as that will be where the winner will be announced.

As a result it is a win-win scenario. You will know who is thinking about branding and additionally you will also get some page likes. In addition to the winner, you will clearly follow up with the non-winners to see if they were interested in and small or large design projects.


In conclusion remember that clients aren’t always a one off project. They will need design projects over the lifetime of their business. There is an expression “it is easier to keep an existing customer than to recruit a new one.” Treat them well, and they will keep you in business so that one day you won’t have to find clients. They will find you.


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Get new clients | Graphic design small business tips
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