How to Stop Searching for Clients


When you are tired of searching for clients, asking your clients for references, writing cold letters, or even making cold calls, then it's time to work on creating an attraction mechanism for your business.

I believe that if you’ve tried to attract your clients directly, then you know the pain. 

Over 90% of creatives hate this part of the freelancing business. The client attraction mechanism is gold knowledge for us. Moreover, it's a very useful skill.

Advertise Or Not Really

The first idea that comes to mind to many freelancers who want to advertise their services is talking and writing about it from a technical standpoint. 

Designers tend to heavily use their titles rather than how they can actually help businesses. Most folks will write in their Twitter bio things like UI designer, UX Designer, or Product Designer. 

But if you’re trying to catch someone’s attention to offer your services, it works only in some specific situations, and often, these are not the best deals you might get.

People who search for UI designers or Product designers have specific needs. That’s true. However, on a larger scale of things, they’re more looking for a cog that’s missing in their company or a small part of a project they want to outsource with minimum losses.

This is not a true freelance. 

Work like that won’t give you much creative freedom. Even though it’s design work, things in most cases will be pre-defined by someone who’s outsourcing. The most important requirement here is the technical execution, not even a solution to a business problem.

Some people might have a question: what is product design? Is it a physical or a digital product, packaging, branding? Basically, it brings a lot of misconceptions. Sometimes, specifics like this can be frustrating if you look at it from another point of view.

So what should we do?

Basically, it would help if you educate people who might find your site or medium where you hang out. 

Write and talk about business and how things that you do help improving these businesses. Put out some case studies and perhaps testimonials. 

Real-life Examples

You need to have examples of a real business you did with someone, or if you’re starting out, then examples close to the real world. For example, you improved the User Experience of thousands of users on one of the online platforms with only some design changes. Or improved conversion of an eCommerce store. Things like that work.

Problems and Solutions

Business owners usually pay attention to the problems they have in their business and if they search for solutions. There is more possibility that they will find you this way rather than intentionally look for a UX designer. It’s still possible, but it requires them more steps to figure out who they actually need to hire to improve their business. And you can cover things like that too.

At some point, they understand that something is off and their online business doesn’t work how it supposed to be. The revenue is smaller than expected. They attract the wrong types of clients and/or customers.

Or they want to expand their business and maybe automate certain processes and don’t know how. So they go to Google, read articles, watch videos, and it leads them that something is not right with their website or product design. They dig deeper and learn more about the issue, and probably they find you.

If you spread the word about how you have improved businesses and companies in specific ways, you have more chances to get interesting and well-paid projects.

Education vs. Advertising

It would be best if you make sure that people that reach out are educated in some sense. Otherwise, the interaction will be significantly different, and it will be harder to sell your services.

I don’t say it’s an easy way, but I can certainly say that clients who reached me out and told me that they’ve read through some of my articles and case studies were the best. 

Moreover, they’re more eager to refer more work to you because you’ve delivered value to them in the past. And this is where you build your network and stop searching for clients.

My Advice

Start a blog where you write publications about a craft you do, talk about your process, share your way of doing things, and show off your style. 

There are a lot of topics you can write about. Actually, starting from topics is a great idea, then you’ll get more ideas for the actual content. 

If you have any trouble writing topics, then search for topics that will educate your potential clients or maybe customers. 

Your content should show that you’re an expert and will prepare them to work with you. After you’ve worked with clients for some time, you’ll notice questions that they ask repeatedly, and you can prepare content to address those things. 

This way, they can learn from your blog, and you get right to the point very quickly, which saves you and your client lots of time. 

Write guest posts in niche blogs. 

When you start your own blog, it’s really hard to get traffic on it, but if you write something in blogs that have their audience for quite some time and have lots of readers, it will boost your exposure. 

Also, this will help you get some of the traffic on your website. It will lead readers to your blog section, where they can find your other articles, and maybe they'll become your audience, and then, potentially, your clients. 

Organic Growth

It's a good and organic way of doing your business. If that's really what you really want to do, you have a nation and commitment for at least 1-2 years. Then it's the right thing to do. Don't worry. You can reach success earlier, and you can build your platform along the way with the projects you already do or a daily job. It's just so worth it that I recommend you even try it for a bit.

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Author

Max Snitser

Max is a digital product designer and indie maker. He helps some of the best companies in the world to build products used by Millions. He is a creator of the SPRY Blogging Platform, Nightfall Design System, and the Design Patterns Library. Besides his technical background, he is a writer of the book about Independent design business. Also, created this blog as a domain for the most thorough and data-driven content on topics: Design, Remote Work, Blogging, and Technologies.