3 Tips to Landing the Design Projects You Actually Want to Work on
When you start an online design business, it can be a little bit overwhelming figuring out what services to offer, how to offer them, and of course, how to land clients and projects after all of that.
And it can be really frustrating when it seems like all of the design jobs you are getting aren’t really the dream jobs you want to be doing.
But what most designers don’t realise is that if you know the projects you want to work on, and you know the projects you really don’t want to work on, you’re already 90% there. It’s likely that all you need to do is just need to change up your strategy.
So read on to find out how you can land more of those dream design projects!
1 | Be clear about your services
A mistake I so often see with new designers in this online space is that they’re not specific enough about the services that they’re offering.
If you’re reading this post, it’s likely that you already have a good idea of what design services you actually want to be offering, so now you need to make that obvious to your potential clients.
A common misconception is that if you offer “all of the things”, then you’ll be casting a wider net and you’ll be getting more jobs and more clients. If you get specific about what you want to offer, you’ll be turning potential clients away.
Firstly, the more you can niche down, the better.
You want to know exactly who you’re serving, and exactly what your going to be serving them.
Yeah, you might be turning some people away in the process of narrowing down your services, but those aren’t the projects you want to work on anyway.
Niching down is going to make your business more professional, more streamlined, and is going to attract higher quality clients.
Secondly, if you are offering all of the things, then you’re rarely going to be working on those projects that you really love.
If you hate designing pamphlets and don’t want to do it anymore, then why is designing pamphlets on your list of services?
Don’t be afraid to take off the things that you don’t want to do, and literally only offer the things you do want to do. Don’t say yes to designing things you don’t want to design just because it’s some extra money.
Saying yes to the things you don’t want to do is actually really shortsighted for your business. By only focussing on the things you do want to create you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll also become an expert in your chosen field and more and more high paying clients will come to you.
So basically: choose what design services you want to offer, and make it clear that you don’t offer anything else.
2 | Deck out your portfolio strategically
It’s no surprise that if you’re a designer, you need a portfolio, that should go without saying.
Your portfolio is one of the key elements to landing clients as a designer. Your clients want to see your design style to they know if it will work for them, they also want to see that you know what you’re doing. Fair enough, right?
But what a lot of designers don’t realise is that you actually need to create this portfolio strategically.
I so often see designers that, again, include “all of the things” in their portfolio.
Just like we talked about before, If you hate designing pamphlets and don’t want to do it anymore, then why is there pamphlet designs in your portfolio?
Remove anything you don’t want to be designing anymore from you portfolio, and only add in the things that are totally aligned with the services you want to offer.
You’re much better off having less, but more targeted pieces, than including everything you’ve ever designed in your life (even if it is really cool)
3 | Create content around your chosen projects
Specific, targeted content can be a serious game changer in your design business, and it has been the biggest needle mover in mine!
I see a lot of designers skip over this step, or maybe not even think about it.
There’s a common misconception of “if you build it they will come” — I don’t know who said that, but it’s ridiculous.
If you just built it, they will not come, because they literally don’t know about it.
But, if you build it, then get in front of them with free strategically targeted content, they probably will show up.
Like I said, creating content can be a serious game changer in your business, and the cool thing is, you can create it strategically to attract people that need the services you WANT to offer.
If you want to exclusively work on Logo and Brand Design in your business, then create content that focuses on Logo and Brand Design.
Again, don’t create content about pamphlet design if pamphlets are something you really hate designing.
By creating content about Logo and Brand Design, you’ll be attracting those who want to know more about Logo and Brand design, simple, right? And hopefully from there, they’ll see that’s what you specialize in, and they will hire you for, you guessed it, Logo and Brand Design. Yay!
As you can see, attracting the sort of design jobs you really want really comes down to you getting clear on what you want, and then putting that, and only that, out into the world!
As long as you keep taking on projects that you don’t enjoy, they will continue to come to you. So start saying no to projects you don’t want to do, because as soon as you start doing that, the rest of your design business will fall into place!
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