As a graphic or web designer, one has to look for new clients and potential leads, constantly. If you are a designer, you must know the importance of having an outstanding portfolio in order to impress new clients. You will often hear yourself or your fellow designers complaining about how hard it is to find new clients.
In the beginning, you will have to find yourself some new clients but at times one should just wait for the clients. This is one problem that a lot of designers face as they are unable to decide if they should actively look for new and potential clients or if they should wait and let clients find their way to them. Now, this thing has been a topic of discussion for a very long time. Instead of jumping to a conclusion, it is better that we analyze pros and cons of both scenarios.
Practically speaking, for freelance graphic and web designers, seeking new clients is way too important. In some cases, old clients will get back to you if they have some new work but you cannot ignore the fact that they might never call back after that one project. So, you will have to fill that spot quite quickly so that it does not interfere with your income. But, seeking new clients is not an easy task. Let’s see the pros and cons of seeking new clients:
Searching New Design Clients
If you are new in the business, you obviously have an option to seek new clients and that too actively. In order to find new clients, you will have to work really hard and invest a lot of time and money. A lot of effort is required to find new clients. For instance, you will have to make hundreds of calls, knock on many doors, attend conferences, send emails, get flyers and make brochures, distribute them and much more.
Since you would be putting in a lot of time, effort and money, you need to realize if this all is worth it or not. Even after putting in so much, would you be able to find the right client for yourself?
If you think like a businessman, each and every investment should have an outcome. Ask yourself this question if investing so much of time and money in seeking new clients is a good idea or not.
Return on Investment
When starting a new business or a new project, one has to keep a very realistic approach. Instead of wasting your money and time like anything, take a pen and paper and write down everything which is required. The best thing you can do is note down all the expenses you incur in your search of new clients.
This should include everything from telephone bills to printing of brochures, from copywriting costs to the entire marketing costs. Once you have calculated all this, you need to find out how much you earn per hour as a designer. You should be able to make a comparison between the two factors and see which side weighs heavily.
The next and the most important step is to determine how many clients you were able to find after putting in so much of effort and money. As a newbie, you will obviously have to spend a little more in the first place but then again you need to make sure that you find enough clients to compensate for the funds you have already spent in finding them.
As a result, if you do not find it a good investment, you need to re think about your activities. Either you have to come up with a new marketing strategy or you will have to wait for good clients to find you.
Quality of the Client
While finding clients, one thing which is extremely important and should be kept in mind is the quality of the client. No offense to anyone, but we all will agree to the fact that not every client is the same. You will hear a lot of people saying that we treat our clients equally and they all deserve same attention and respect.
Yes, it is true to some extent. But as a designer, if you want your business to be successful, you will have to differentiate between good, easy going clients and the not so easy going clients. Some people are lucky enough to find clients who are easy to work with and they pay on time as well. Some clients just don’t seem to get enough of anything. They want low prices and best designs which we all know is impossible.
So, before you start your search for new clients, brainstorming is very important. You need to determine what sort of clientele is required for your business. This is the only way to determine a perfect marketing strategy for your business. I understand that initially it will be very hard to turn down the clients as you may want to gain experience and grow in the business. But, this is the only way to find quality clients who are actually worth the time, effort and money.
Waiting For Clients to Approach You
Now, when we have discussed one side of the coin, let’s flip it to the other side and see what are the pros and cons of waiting for the clients instead of looking for them.
So, if you are almost free these days or if you do not have a huge pool of clients, you would be thinking why exactly you should be waiting for the clients to come to you? Another question that would pop into your mind would be why they will come to you if you do not have any experience? Following are a few things you should do in your free time:
Never sit idle and wait for clients. If you do not have clients, start working on your personal projects. You can always update or create your personal blog. This is a good way of advertising yourself as well. Plus, clients can see your designing potential in your blog and they might want to turn to you if they need some website or logo designing to be done.
You need to make yourself visible to the right kind of people. If they won’t hire you, they can certainly recommend you to a good client.
Pros and Cons of Waiting for Clients
The best thing about waiting for a client is that when it comes to you, ball is in your court. It’s your decision to either accept it or reject it. This is the only way you can choose clients of your choice and do the project you actually feel like doing.
Also, if a client comes to you, you will understand that he is really into his project as he has mad an effort to find a good designer. However, with positive things, waiting for clients comes with its cons as well.
The biggest draw back is that you might run out of clients at one point of time. Also, turning down clients is never an easy job. If a few clients come up to you, it will be really hard for you to decide which projects to keep and which ones to let go.
It is entirely up to you to choose your path of finding new clients. It is never going to be an easy thing. It doesn’t matter if you are seeking for them or if you are waiting for them to find you. You will have positive and negative points in both ways. Initially, you can look for clients with some good marketing strategies and later on when you have established yourself as a designer, you can let clients find you.