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Resourceful Designer podcast: Offering tips, tricks and advice for starting and growing your graphic or web design business.

Persistence Will Pay Off

Finding clients as a freelance graphic designer can sometimes be challenging. Mainly, but not limited to, when you’re just starting. But know this: you’re not alone. Every successful designer has faced similar obstacles at one point or another along their business journey.

Even myself. I was fortunate to be handed a small portfolio of clients when I first started my design business. It allowed me to hit the ground running. But there have been long stretches when I’ve had no or very little work coming in. Times when I wondered if my business was sustainable.

I know how discouraging it can be to try and find clients because I’ve been there. Maybe that’s where you are now. I made it through those tough times. I now have a very successful design business. There are two of them if you want to get technical. So I wanted to share some words of encouragement with you to help you stay motivated and get through the humps: Here goes.

Stay persistent:

Keep putting yourself out there. Success often comes to those who persist. The more you promote your work and network with potential clients, the higher your chances of landing projects. So don’t stop, no matter how discouraged you feel.

Believe in Your Talent:

You are a skilled graphic designer with unique abilities. Abilities that clients out there are looking for. Believe in your talent and the value you bring to those clients. Confidence in your work can attract potential clients.

Refine your portfolio:

If you haven’t already, take the slow time to polish your portfolio. Showcase your best work. The type of projects you want, and highlight your unique style and strengths. A strong portfolio can attract clients, even in a competitive market.

Explore New Niches:

Consider exploring different niches or industries that may need graphic design services. Diversifying your client base can open up new opportunities.

I saw such an opportunity in the podcast space and started my Podcast Branding business. It opened up a whole new area for me to showcase my skills. I still have my original design business and clients, but this “side hustle” has become so lucrative that it’s become my primary source of income.

How does that saying go? The riches are in the niches. You may want to consider that.

Expand your skills:

Consider expanding your skill set by learning new tools/software that are in demand. This can make you a more versatile designer, appealing to a broader range of clients. Remember, the freelance landscape is constantly evolving. Staying updated with industry trends and continuously improving your skills will keep you competitive and in demand.

Never Stop Networking:

Networking is crucial in our business. Attend industry events, especially in your niche, if you have one. Join online communities for the same reason. Remember, It’s not who you know that will make you successful. It’s who knows you. That’s why you network. The more people who know who you are, the better your chance at success.

And don’t forget to reach out to your existing contacts. You want to both build and strengthen your relationships. You never know. Sometimes, opportunities arise through unexpected connections.

Market Yourself Effectively:

Invest time in creating a solid personal brand. Develop and use a compelling story around your work in your marketing efforts. Make sure your online presence reflects your skills and professionalism.

Educate Clients on Your Value:

Communicate the value you bring to clients. Help them understand how your design skills can positively impact their business. Educating clients on your expertise can make them more likely to hire you.

Seek feedback:

Don’t hesitate to ask peers or potential clients for feedback. We often fail to see in ourselves what is visible to others.

Constructive criticism can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your approach. Use it as an opportunity to improve and refine your skills. Continuous growth is essential in our competitive field.

Stay positive:

Remember that setbacks are a natural part of running a business. Stay positive and keep believing in your skills and abilities. Your breakthrough could be right around the corner.

Patience is key:

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Well, neither is a thriving design business. Keep working hard, and believe your efforts will pay off. The only way to fail is to give up. And I don’t think you’re a quitter.

Celebrate small victories:

Even small wins like positive feedback from a client or a successful project completion deserve recognition. Celebrate these victories and let them motivate you to keep pushing forward.

You’ve got this!

Remember, every successful designer who tries to go at it alone has faced challenges. Just know your dedication and hard work will pay off in the long run.

Set Realistic Goals for yourself. And Break them down into smaller, achievable tasks. And go for it.

And be sure to celebrate your accomplishments along the way, and don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, success is a journey, not a destination.

Keep honing your craft, stay persistent, and stay positive. You’ve got this.

I almost forgot the most important thing: No matter how discouraging things may seem. You must never forget to Stay Creative.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcription of this episode. This transcript was created with the help of AI and transcription tools. It has not been edited for errors or accuracy.

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I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business, please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

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