In the design world, your relationship with clients is one of the easiest ways you could find to market yourself. No cost, no special effort, just making sure you treat the people who pay for your services more than walking work projects. This is common knowledge to some extent. But, as freelancers will note, sometimes you just can’t get your head above water long enough to pay some extra attention to the people behind your incoming projects.
If you haven’t actually got to optimizing your presentation so as to attract prospective clients’ business, we’ve covered that in the following article.
Why do you think your clients choose you? What separates you from the crowd? Your involvement in certain projects do show you were trusted in the past. But do they say anything about who you are?
We are all different people, with different ideas. Being remarkable means nothing else than showcasing your own ideas, telling the story of who you are and why you do what you do. Quality work does speak for itself, but it only goes so far as to pull in attention and interest. Your potential clients have more than likely done their research. You need to leave an imprint in their minds.
So, what are we trying to say? Think of your portfolio less as a business card and more as a ‘creativity profile’. Include personal projects in your portfolio, include the works you used to do when you weren’t so focused on technique, but excited about the artistic side of things. Every passionate designer has some past and present projects of his or her own, encompassing their personal vision. Show that vision to your clients and you’ll start getting discovered by the right people.
Writing your Pitch
After they’ve agreed to meet with you, you’ll have to convince them that you can handle their project with eyes closed and hands behind your back. Confidence in your concept while pitching it is a must. Many designers hate this part of the job, which is pretty mandatory if freelancing.
Your ideas, your work, these also make up who you are as a person when you’re professionally creative. So, on to the point. Know your audience: do your research on the client and see if he or she makes a good fit for your style or future goals. When you decide this is the case, do even more research on them and whatever product/concept you’re supposed to work around. Create your pitch starting from the essential 2 or 3 ideas you have for the project. It’s been known to happen for some investors to be in a rush, so be prepared to express the main points hastily, but naturally. Go further into detail when writing your pitch, but don’t get hung up on little things. These are likely to matter only after you’ve received the job. Lastly, make sure you tell the client what advantages he or she will be enjoying if they decide to go with you.
Being considerate towards your clients’ needs and wants is still the most valuable advice we can give you. This means taking the time to get to know them. Some may appreciate if you take them through the whole process, explaining everything in between concept and realization. Others may not want to know anything about it, but even if they don’t, they’ll appreciate the offer. It shows that you care about what you’re involved in, seeing it as more than just an income boost.
Generally, attention to detail and interest in people go a long way. This is how recurring clients get made and how referrals to friends or business associates start circulating. But don’t, by any means, do it only for show. You need to be sincere. Contrary to what some may think, hypocrisy isn’t quite so hard to detect.