Get More Clients Now!Written by Kimberly Stevens
Although David has been a graphic designer for a decade, heís only been a business owner for a little over a year. He was becoming increasingly discouraged with his clientele. ďI'm only person in business, and even though Iíve been in business for a whole year, Iím still having to spend a lot of time marketing to get new clients. And ones I do get usually only have one small project for me for entire year. To top it off, I don't even get to do kind of work I really enjoy. They all just want basic logo, business card, letterhead job. I really want to work on full-scale marketing campaigns where Iím designing print ads, direct mailers & media kits. How do I get more of right clients?Ē
As you are discovering, David, building a stable of long-term clients with needs that match your interests can be a time-consuming and ongoing effort, but it's worth it in long run. It's up to you to build a company that attracts clients with higher-end needs. You can't blame small businesses for whom you are likely working for having a small budget and basic needs. As a sole proprietor, you can certainly understand working on a restricted budget.
So first thing you need to do is to focus on how you want to position your company in marketplace. What types of work do you want to do for clients? Do you want to avoid business card layout all together or will you do it if it's for a client who does or will have larger needs in future? Do you want to develop a niche in which you specialize in doing full-scale marketing campaigns within a specific industry, such as restaurants or high-tech companies? You get idea - begin by determining what type of work you want. The world of graphic design is big and broad, so it's your job to narrow your focus which will make your company more attractive to potential clients in that field because you spend more time working on projects similar to theirs as compared to a jack-of-all-trades graphic designer.
Next, you need to make sure that everything you use to present your company to marketplace reflects your new positioning. This may mean revising content of your web site and brochures and re-wording tagline on your business card. If you don't already have a tag line that you splatter on all of your collateral materials, create one. This is a terrific positioning tool. And, as a graphic designer, you know that you can impact image someone gets of your company through design of your company's materials. Do you want to present your company as high-tech, friendly and affordable, or hip and cutting edge? Create a consistent image across board on everything a prospect would see when encountering your business. If you want to do full-scale marketing campaigns, start with your own. Enlist help of a designer friend or marketing friend if you tend to have trouble applying your designer brilliance to your own company as many of us do.
If It Were EasyWritten by Julann L Pontician
IF IT WERE EASY, EVERYONE WOULD BE DOING IT!
Starting and owning a business is just plain HARD! From this word HARD I give you three more words to describe starting and owning your own business:
H A nxiety R isk D emanding
Why do I leave out H you ask? Because therein lies contradiction. The H stands for Happiness. Happiness is core reason why most (if not all) people start a business. We entrepreneurs truly believe owning our own successful business is key to our happiness. We revel in challenge of conquering new problems and learning new things. We love flexibility of having our own schedule and ďthe buck stops hereĒ control. Ultimately, we believe our business will be key to future financial security. Security that far surpasses what any other employer could ever give us.
Getting to that point is another matter all together. Did I quit my job, max out my credit cards and borrow money from my parentís retirement thinking it would be this hard? NO WAY! After four years of working as my own boss, my experience has been (myself included) that most people expect their businesses to be successful right away just because they have a great idea. I assumed just having guts to quit my good paying job would guarantee me success as an entrepreneur.
Learn this chant: Itís HARD, itís HARD, itís HARD! As an entrepreneur, you should expect to be put through a Chinese water torture of experiences. You will on any given day: second guess yourself, doubt your abilities, wake up in middle of night with your head full of things you havenít gotten done, waste money and time on things you thought were a good idea and feel utterly alone and unsupported.