How do I find clients? - The question that almost every newbie designer/artist asks.
I have been working as a creative professional for the last 8 years and I thought to list all the things I have personally tried and that you can try as well :)
(If you you prefer reading instead of watching see below the video)
1. Find your local artists/designer group on Facebook and become a star there.
The members of this group are quite often not artists, but people who are looking for artists. This is your chance to shine! Post your best works and most important make sure your stuff is better than everyone's else or at least as good.
see which posts are performing the best and note at what time they were posted (timing is important!)
be active in the community
comment on others works and reply to your comments
your goal is to get the start of this group
join as many groups as possible
If you do this right then you will get few messages a week to your fb inbox with different job or project offers.
Just make sure not to give up after few weeks. It is a long road, so be strong!
2. E-mail your potential employer with suggestions for their project.
Let me explain what I mean. For example you look at some businesses Facebook page and see that their cover image is bad or their posts are boring and bad quality. Then you open their website and see that the images/artworks they use could be better.
Take notes on everything that they could have done better. Put it into one word document (you could even add your own artworks as a suggestion). E-mail your suggestions to the right person in that company (preferably the director). And then the magic happens. At least 8 out of 10 will see your e-mail, half can reply and the others will at least note you as a potential freelancer for future.
Important things to keep in mind:
make your document direct to the point and not too long
don't behave like a smart ass. Make it look like you are just trying to help and not judge them
don't spent too much time on one company if you are planning to do that often
3. Open a Facebook and Instagram page for yourself
Few years ago I opened an official page for me as an artist and this is when things got real. I was getting 3 to 4 new clients every week. But of course you need to do some work before this happens.
YOU NEED TO ADVERTISE YOURSELF.
No matter how good you are as an artist, without marketing you will most likely never reach anything. Your art is your business, and the key to any business is good product + marketing.
These are some advises:
Put some money into Facebook ads, start with $5 and see how it goes
Don't just advertise your Facebook page, have a simple portfolio website with a contact form for people to contact you. Extremely easy to do with Squarespace or Wix.
Make sure your page looks presentable, put your works there
Get some free or paid course on Facebook ads (Important if you don't wanna lose your money)
4. Be extremely active on social networks for artists
Some of the examples are Behance, Devianart, Dribbble. When you are just starting I would advise you post as much as possible. This will help you find your style and get moving. I don't mean post crappy stuff but also don't try to create "Mona Lisa" every time, perfection is often your enemy when you are an artist.
If you do that consistently for a month you will likely get some offers depending on how good you are. And if you don't get any offer don't give up, just continue posting. Nobody become a superstar overnight.
5. Visit events in your niche.
Visit events that have anything to do with your creative direction. These events are the best way to meet people like you, if you are lucky you may get some offers right there. Make sure you add the people you just met to your Facebook friends, there a good chance of getting contacted by them in future for any jobs or projects.
If you are introverted and not outgoing I have to give you some bad news. Sometimes you have to do stuff you don't like in order to get results. I made myself to attend these events even if I didn't want to. And guess what, magic happened again. I started liking this events and got tons of new friends.
6. Visit co-working spaces and network there
Co-working spaces are full with creative people or different businesses that need creative people like you. By going there and making few friends there is a high chance to get a freelance work.
I have been working in co-working for the last year. Half of my clients came from the people I met there.
7. Do stuff for free
Don't be greedy, you need this. Doing things for free is a step that happens in a life of every creative professional. It is really advised if you are just starting out. I mean don't reject the money if they offer it to you. But also don't reject the project if they say that there is no salary.
There are 3 main reasons to accept free works:
you will get some nice experience
there is a chance that the person who hired you for free will have money in future, and guess who will he contact first? (you)
the person that you helped will advise you to other people who need your skills.
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