Design is an ever-changing profession. As a designer, you must stay on top of what’s new in the industry and learn how to create best practices for your business.
While many people choose to attend design school, there are also other avenues that you can take to gain the skills and knowledge necessary for competitive work. These days, many aspiring designers attain their skills through online education and practical work experience.
If you have been working in design for a while and are looking to learn more about marketing your business, this post is for you. Below, we share the best marketing tactics you can use to grow your design business and make it more profitable.
1. Social Media Marketing
One of the best ways to grow your design business is social media marketing. While you can’t go wrong with networking in person, social media is a great way to connect with other designers and stay top of the latest trends. It is also essential in helping you build a strong network of contacts that can help your business grow.
There are various social media platforms that you can use to reach clients. These platforms are geared toward businesses and allow you to reach your audience in multiple ways. For example, you could post photos of your latest work, share links to helpful articles, or chat with other designers using live web chat on these platforms.
When you send out links to articles or resources that can help others with design issues, you effectively market your business. If people like your content, they will likely follow you and look forward to sharing something on social media the next time you share it.
You can also use these platforms to post your work and gain exposure while building a community around you that can help you succeed. Here are some of the best social media platforms for designers and how you can use them effectively:
Blogging can be an effective way to grow your network and showcase your work. It is also an excellent way for you to understand what problems your audience is facing, find out what they want from their designers, and discover their issues. This way, you’ll know which design jobs are worth taking on and which ones are not.
Blogs are also an excellent way to stay on top of the industry trends and learn about what’s happening in your niche industry. You can share articles, write tutorials, and record videos to help people with their design issues.
If you are a designer, podcasting is one of the best ways to share your knowledge with potential clients and grow your network. You can record interviews that give context behind your designs.
These interviews also allow you to promote your work to new audiences (e.g., designers just starting). In addition, you can promote yourself to potential clients through the podcast.
4. Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) is an effective way to find clients. Your search results can be used to reach new and potential clients, increase visibility on your website, and even generate leads and sales from referrals.
When you start your own design business, you should include search engine marketing with your social media marketing efforts.
For example, if you have a blog where you regularly post content related to design, online marketing should not be an afterthought. It would help if you also promoted your blog on social media and through other marketing channels to optimize it to rank highly in search engines.
Some of the best practices for showing up in Google rankings, especially locally, include:
- Having a clear brand image.
- Use keywords that are related to your design business.
- Add powerful images for your website linked to your brand ideas (i.e., your logo, colors, and unproduced design jobs).
- Use optimized keywords in the titles and descriptions of your blog posts and articles. Linking out to relevant industry blogs and social media platforms that target relevant audiences.
5. Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing is another highly effective type of marketing you should consider. When you send postcards and other marketing materials to potential clients’ offices, it shows your work, gives potential clients valuable information about your services and allows you to highlight essential features about yourself and your business.
How to Use Direct Mail to Generate Leads and Business
- Get samples of existing catalogs and brochures as templates for your distribution.
- Include relevant information about your design business for the recipient, such as your business address, phone number, and hours of operation.
- In the envelope, include information about the product you are promoting and how it can benefit them (i.e., how it will solve a problem or help them achieve a goal).
- Include incentives such as gift cards and coupons to motivate the recipient to act immediately (after receiving your mailing).
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to connect with new and current clients. In this digital age, email is still one of the most effective advertising platforms and allows you to interact with your clients personally.
It’s also the most accessible platform for sending out newsletters to your audience and will enable you to promote your design business efficiently and effectively.
How to Build an Email List
- Add a subscription box to your website.
- Add a signup form to your blog and website for any e-newsletters.
- Include pop-up forms on your website; these are especially effective if you want to add those who visit your site frequently.
- Place a signup form on cards and brochures to hand out at networking events and tradeshows
- Create an email capture page where recipients can opt-in by providing their name, email address, and other contact information.
The design industry is constantly growing with many ups and downs. If you want to stay afloat, you must stay up-to-date with what’s going on in your industry and learn how to market your business effectively.
While there are many forms of marketing, the most effective ones for designers include social media marketing, search engine marketing, email marketing, and direct mail marketing. This way, you can develop a following of potential clients and build your reputation as one of the top designers in your field.