Being an artist and monetizing your work will always be a challenge, regardless of what era you live in. Van Gogh died penniless, and the man who invented the ubiquitous smiley only made $45 for his design—an injustice because we all know that yellow smiley became the base for every known emoji. There’s no denying that making art for a commission is hard, but thankfully, we now have plenty of tech tools and platforms to ensure that we can provide a platform for our work and thus, reach people who might need help or two. If you’re looking to expand your graphic design business, here are some surefire ways to reach a new audience.
Consider starting an app
If you’ve been doing graphic design for a few years now and have already built up an impressive portfolio filled with designs that helped businesses with their goals, why not partner with a mobile app development company to come up with a one-stop-shop app for your graphic design business? While existing platforms like Instagram and Skillshare might already be a great place to showcase your work, their features are more generic and cater to everyone.
Coming up with your own app for your business will help you design it in a way that needs your company’s specific needs, and at the same time, enable your customers to instantly book your services without going through the inconvenience of sending an email or a direct message. Your app can have all the information they need without requesting a quote or more details. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Build long-term relationships and new networks
The hope is that you’ve created healthy and lasting relationships with clients you’ve worked with because they’re the ones who can help refer you and expand your network. If not, it’s never too late—you can still reach out to former clients and ask for their help in building new connections with people who might need graphic design services. According to an estimate by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), over 627,000 new businesses launch every year, which means that there is a large number of people who need what you offer.
Entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for people who can help establish their brand identity and unique look, which means that there will always be a demand for what you do. You need to find these people, and one of the ways you can do that is by asking for help from people you’ve already worked with, especially if they are knee-deep in the world of business. Here are some tips for reconnecting with old clients and building new relationships:
- When sending emails, be friendly but professional. They’re not your friends, and even if they are, you are asking for a professional favor. Ask if they know businesses looking for graphic design services, and you can also ask if they would be so inclined to provide a review of your work.
- Networking is the art and process of reaching out to others in your industry and other related industries to help you build your brand identity and reputation. You can do this by sending cold emails or using platforms like LinkedIn and Upwork.
- When meeting people in person, make a habit of looking as professional as you can. Appear in a sleek, smart casual outfit, and make sure you have all your marketing materials with you, such as professional business cards and your iPad or device that contains all your work and pricing structure. You can also provide them with a printed copy of your portfolio should you want them to pass it along to their friends.
Provide additional services
If you find that you already have the resources to expand your services, consider adding more and slowly turning your business into a more comprehensive provider for all things design-related. On top of graphic design, you can also consider partnering with marketing specialists, copywriters, and other types of content creators. You can start branding your company as a full-service shop for everything a small business might need to create a successful brand. Your company can be where startups and older businesses alike run to create a name for themselves.
If your graphic design business has stagnated, now is the time to step up your marketing strategy. Know when it’s time to take your business to the next level, and don’t be afraid to try new tactics to reach a new audience.