1. Update Your Website

Your website is your main sales tool.


1. Strengthen Your Portfolio

Your portfolio is how most clients will decide if they’d like to work with you, so make sure you have at least 3 strong pieces that reflect your ability and the type of designs you want to create more of.

Use this free time you have to work on some “personal projects” for faux brands that you can add to your portfolio. 

Still, need to make your first portfolio pieces?? Along with creating personal projects, you can start by reaching out to friends and family to see if you can help create designs for them that can also be used in your portfolio. 

Our first “test project” was for a friend and it made the process much more fun, and gave us some strong portfolio pieces to use!

Just be sure to always make a contract for any work you do, even if you aren’t charging. You’ll never regret setting clear boundaries for your services, even if you’re working with friends or family for your first clients. 

2. Network, Network, Network

Especially in slow times, you should be spending thirty minutes to one hour per day focusing on making connections with potential clients. When you’re a one-person business, you are your own sales department!

Facebook groups, Linkedin, and Instagram are all great platforms to reach out to those ideal clients that you would like to work with! In-person events are of course great too, especially events that bring together clients in your niche. 

If searching for potential clients online, after a few weeks of genuine interaction on their social channels, send your new connection a short and personalized message introducing yourself and how your services could benefit them! You never know where that connection might lead to next!

3. Send Out Cold Emails

Now is a great time to start sending out cold emails to the businesses you’ve been wanting to work with. 

But before you do, make sure to engage and interact with them on social media a few weeks before you actually start reaching out! 

This will help your name be more familiar to them and show them that you really do care about their business. It will also give you some great connection points when hopping on an intro call.

A good rule of thumb when sending a cold email is to keep it personal, brief, and direct!

Start with the owner’s name, introduce yourself, and let them know why you connect with their business. Then, suggest how your service can transform their business and end by offering an introduction call (AKA a sales call).

Here’s a free resource that will help you know exactly what to say when hopping on a sales call-Free Sales Call Questionnaire & Sales Script.

4. Batch Plan Social Media Content

Take advantage of this free time you have and get ahead on your social media posts! It’s important for your business to stay consistent on social media, even when it may feel fruitless; growing your platforms takes YEARS of consistency. 

Spend some dedicated time organizing your photo posts and writing out captions. It will make you feel ahead and a lot less stressed when those busy days do come.

5. Refine Your Client Process

It can be overwhelming to overhaul your project workflow in the midst of client projects, so take this time to evaluate past projects and set up new systems for success.

Spend time refining your project timelines, setting up master documents and presentations, and even learning a new project management tool (our favorite is Basecamp!).

If you don’t already have a system in place to schedule your design projects & help you stay on track, our workflow template is the one for you!

Don’t let slow moments in your business hinder you from where you want to be!

Try out these tips & let us know how it goes!

We’re here for you as you start this designer journey, and want to help you succeed! Sign up for our email community below to get our latest advice and resources. You’ve got this! We believe in you!

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