Marketing for Graphic Designers 101

Luckily for graphic designers, visuals are only becoming more and more in demand. For this reason, they’re given a license to capitalize on it. Developing cohesive, multichannel campaigns will allow you as a graphic designer to target customers across different platforms. Posts on social media, email campaigns, and general blog content ideally incorporate high-quality visuals that intrigue customers and invite them to learn more.

Ideally, you want to get your skills out in front of the companies looking for a graphic designer. Here are a few marketing tips on how to make that happen. 

First, let’s start at the very beginning, doe re mi and all that jazz and ask ourselves a few crucial questions. 

What are your goals? For example, do you want to do graphic design full or part-time? Are you trying to find your first clients or branch out and bring in more new clients?

What audience do you want to target? Do you have a specific type of graphic design you want to do, such as focusing on particular business types or a specific area? Do you have experience in any particular type of graphic design or background that might help you excel in particular niches?

What is your budget? Do you have advertising funds? Those just starting as a freelance designer might want to stick with mostly free options, while those who have brought in some clients and want to expand their base may be able to secure more budget for building their client list.

Now that’s out the way, here are some of the most important platforms and strategies you can incorporate into your overall marketing plan. And yes, we are getting the obvious ones out the way first!

Social media…

You’ve heard it before and you’ll be sure to hear it again. The visual nature of the platforms can provide an immediate look at your skills. For example, Facebook posts get 2.3 times the engagement when people include an image, and Twitter posts get 150% more retweets. Those in graphic design can use these popular options and platforms dedicated to images—such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat—to highlight their creativity and skills in the visual arts.
Those who have a higher budget can use the paid advertising options on social networks to further entice people to visit their profiles and engage on the page. This can broaden your business reach and help you target business owners or marketing professionals looking for a graphic designer to work with their team.

Website SEO

Marketers know that a website and search engine optimization (SEO) provide the best opportunities to find traction on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and a concrete online identity to engage with people potentially interested in your design work.

Your website provides you with an excellent means of promoting your skills and experience as a freelancer. You can create an online portfolio to feature on your website that shows your range of skills and past work, such as a site redesign, a mailer image, or an infographic creation. This provides people with something to browse when they consider hiring you for your services.

Amplifying your website with basic SEO strategies and content marketing can also enhance the visibility of your website. Potential clients searching for freelance graphic designers will discover it more easily on the search engines, building traffic to your site and potential leads for your business.

Network – it’s WHO you know!

Networking can play a critical role in building any business. Reaching out to others in your industry and related industries can help build your reputation and name. Let people in your network know about your graphic design business and refer them to your website or your Upwork profile so that they can review your work. Use the professional networking site LinkedIn to nurture the connection and give yourself the chance to preview more opportunities to expand your network. Also, don’t underestimate the post-covid beauty of meeting in person!

Email marketing

To entice people to hand over their contact information, consider offering them incentives, such as:

Gated content that interests them as they learn more about the value of graphic design

The chance to receive regular newsletters or other information from you

Access to unique material and content that will help them with the rest of their marketing strategy

As you build your email list, you’ll find that segmenting the list based on what people want to receive and their place in the buyer’s journey can help you send out content most likely to interest potential clients. Sending irrelevant material will likely repel potential customers, so creating segmented lists can help you focus on delivering value.

Referrals and Reviews from Clients

People prefer to receive word-of-mouth recommendations and trust them more than promotional materials. They know that companies are likely to say only the most positive things about themselves. However, other clients who’ve had a positive experience hold significantly more weight. So get the good word spreading – you’re talented and people deserve to know it. 

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