I know you would agree that getting the first client might be overwhelming with such a tough competition. But, as an aspiring graphic designer who has just graduated or completed your graphic design course, or even someone who is just passionate about graphic design, you are trying to break into the industry and get the very first client. Though it may seem like a very challenging task, however, by using the right approach, you can beat this challenge and get on your way to becoming a respectable graphic designer. Here are some of the best strategies for getting your first client even without having a degree.
Of course, we would love to apply for a full-time graphic design position with benefits packages, but we must not limit our opportunities only with the standard job. Why not explore other possible options like freelancing websites which guarantee local and remote graphic design clients to view your work. In this world of technology, remote working doesn’t seem impossible anymore. There are many great platforms for you to showcase your work, set up your fees, bid the jobs or even the clients coming straight to you. However, it is advisable to set a low price to attract your clients if you just started. As time goes by, you can elevate your fee every time you seal the deal, and soon you will reach a reasonable rate. So, here are the lists of the best freelancing websites that you can try to get your very first graphic design clients:
In my opinion, Upwork is the winner of the best freelancing website as it is the most helpful and easy to get clients. Of course, it takes some time to set up your account and complete your profile but, it will perfectly filter the graphic design jobs required and get the legit client if you specialize your skills correctly. In addition to that, you can apply for graphic design jobs with payment verified clients that provide payment protection to freelancers or agencies. Besides that, it is the largest freelance marketplace for diverse areas of specialized and elaborate projects such as design and creative, web and apps development, and many more.
Freelancer.com is another well-established freelance marketplace with some high-profile clients like Microsoft and Intel. However, you can set up your account with no hassle, upload your best design portfolio and previous work, bid for the job and communicate with the clients using live chat. This platform has user-friendly interface and very easy to use. No matter which freelancing platform you choose to get the clients, it is crucial for them to pay attention to your work.
Graphic design competitions
If you are not familiar with this, there are several graphic design competitions on the websites. So, what is the fuss with all these competitions? How can it help you get your very first client? A website like a Freelancer where the clients post their graphic design projects such as designing the logo or landing page allows submitting graphic design work to win the competition and earn the contest prize. Although it is a little dramatic and very competitive, somehow, it provides the opportunity to aspiring designers. Even if you do not win the contest, you get to practice working on the designs according to the client requirements. Keep in mind that your piece of work is a valuable addition to your portfolio, and sooner or later, who knows if you might win the contest and get your first client! Here are some of the best graphic illustrations that you can use as an inspiration to create your design for the competition:
Offline and online local work
One of the best strategies to get your first client without having to go into the hassle of setting up an account of the freelancing platform, try to search for them at a local event or some working space where these potential clients might be hanging out. In that way, you might build some connections and network with potential clients and set your foot right on track. Perhaps, you might know some business owners of your favourite places in your hometown. Why not offer them your services like re-designing their logo, brochures etc. and give discounts as your client? Maybe they would accept your offer or might say no, whatever it is, you get to build connection and network with the local business owners. Sooner or later, who knows if they might call and ask for your service as a graphic designer. Other than that, you might try to join local designer groups where you can find plenty of graphic design jobs offered by potential clients. No matter what you do, the primary purpose is to connect with potential clients regularly.
Family and friends
Yes, this is the easiest way of getting your first clients. Perhaps, your mother owns a cosmetic business and would like to re-design the logo of the company. Use your connections as a family member or friends to offer your services and give the best deal possible. All you have to do is just put the word out there and let everyone knows about it. I am sure they would be happy to support your career path and become one of the main factors of your success. Not to forget, promote your services on your social media platforms so that your family, friends and connections would be able to know what you are doing.
Cold outreach strategy
This strategy is not difficult to learn or even to master. All you have to do is using the internet connection to reach out to potential clients and offer to design for them. Try LinkedIn, Instagram or even direct message on Twitter. Let them know that they are not investing anything upfront since they do not have to pay for anything if the design is not up to their expectations and only paying for what it is worth with a conservative estimate if they favour the work.