by YouTheDesigner . October 13th, 2009
When it comes to working with clients, there are a lot of things you should be doing besides just asking for money. The tips below will help you grow your design business quickly and easily by asking your clients for a few simple things after completing a successful design project.
Testimonials can be a powerful element of any business website. They are proven to inspire trust in viewers and many top online businesses feature testimonials on their websites. Its a good idea to feature a few in a prominent location such as your home page and then you could have a “read more” link to a page with even more testimonials from clients. Testimonials do not have to be long (usually a sentence or two is fine), so be sure to ask your clients for a testimonial if the project went well!
If you are creating a website design for a client you should always try and get a “Designed by” link somewhere on their website. The most common place is the footer, but if you can get a link in a better spot go for it! These backlinks can help your site rank better in search engines if you use an important keyword as the anchor text.
Also, if people like a website design they will often look in the footer to see if there is a link to the web designer’s home page. If a client is resistant to the idea try offering them a price discount, but realize a link like this is much more valuable on an established site than a brand new one that is getting no traffic.
If you are doing print work you may be able to snag a credit somewhere, which can bring in a lot of business. Being able to get this credit will depend heavily on the client…a lot of larger size clients will not want to give you a credit, but you may be able to negotiate with smaller businesses. Try offering them a small discount in exchange for your website some where on the design.
Displaying logos of well known businesses is another great trust building tactic. Many potential clients like to see who you have done work for before and if they recognize the logos of clients you have worked for, it can increase your chances of bringing them in. So be sure to ask your clients for the right to use their logo on your website or wherever else you would like to display it
Sometimes when you get a new client you only have their phone number or email. It is important that you get all their contact info, including their mailing address if you want to maximize future business. If you have their number you could do a follow up call and if you have their mailing address you can send holidays cards or promotional offers once in a while. Over time, you should be able to build up a pretty nice list of business contacts, which could really come in handy when work is slow.
Having your clients contact info as mentioned above, will make it easier to get future business. How often you contact clients is up to you, but you need to be careful not to bug your clients too much. Personally I would not email, call our mail something out more than a few times a year to a list of clients. Its usually best to offer some sort of discount instead of directly asking a client if they need new work. Most of the time, clients will seek you out if they want new work so be sure they have your latest contact info and your website is up to date.
One of the best ways to get new business has always been word of mouth. If you do a good job for a client they are very likely to refer you to friends, family and co-workers if some one asks them about the services you provide. A good way to step this up a notch is to offer clients a finders fee, so if they refer you to some one and you land the job they get a small percentage or a flat rate finders fee. This can help keep people on their toes and bring in way more referrals.
You should also network with other web designers, graphic designers, and marketing professionals so you can offer them the same finders fee. If they are overloaded with work or can’t provide a service a client is asking for, they may send them your way!
YouTheDesigner is a graphic design blog under the UCreative Network. We do features; give away brushes, icons, wallpapers, and other freebies; and bring you the latest news in the world of graphic design.