How to win new graphic design clients and keep old ones coming back
Everybody likes to see big fat pay cheques coming in, hell some of us even deserve them from time to time but what makes a client keep handing over the readies over and over again and how can you as a lowly graphic designer among a sea of equally unidentifiable no-marks hope to secure new graphic design or website design contracts? Best read on my friends as we give you the insider knowledge to equip you in this never ending rat race to swindle your fellow man
A winning smile costs nothing
Think back over the last week or so and see if you can remember anyone giving you the time of day in the street, a simple 'good morning' or a cheery smile from a beautiful stranger as you go about your daily routine. It didn't happen did it? Why? Because you've got a face like a bag of spanners, you're walking around as miserable as sin and you're giving off bad vibes. In short your whole lousy operation stinks. So how do we turn this around? Next time you have a new client down to the office for a meeting, go up to them and plant a big sloppy kiss on their forehead. You never know they might turn around and sign that big 5 figure sum graphic design contract.
It's not all about the money
Sometimes, the old adage 'a dog is for life - not just for christmas' rings chillingly true. If you've ever considered or contemplated suicide based on the fact your clients have been leaving in droves and the only regular graphic design job you've secured in the last 3 months is a flyer design for 'disco Stu's' 70's night down at the church hall - on a wednesday night, then it's high time you looked at yourself square in the mirror and worked out why. Bad breath? Crooked teeth? Inability to stop yourself scratching your privates in public? No, the real reason your clients are leaving you high and dry is because you're too mean. Throw in a few freebies, offer to cook your client a lovely lasagna dinner for two, buy them a kinder surprise. Anything to curry favour that isn't going to break the bank is worth its weight in gold. And that's a fact, fact fans!
Dress to impress
Anyone who was anyone in the eighties will remember 'power dressing'. 6 inch stiletto heels, shoulder pads set to stun and low cut tops with peep hole bras. By and large businessmen today are reluctant to go back to cross dressing in order to win that all important contract and prefer to go along the tried and tested route of wearing dull grey slacks and loafers. Remember Elton John didn't get where he is today by dressing like the boy next door.
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Brainstorm until you haemorrage
If you can't work out why you're losing money hand over fist and your client base has dried up to a thin wafer like crust, get your team involved and crack some skulls! Sometimes the best people to tell you where you're going wrong are your terrified and hate filled staff. Jim over in scanning has been sat there feeding off his resentment for not fulfilling his life for the last 10 years. Use him - he's got a brain up there hasn't he? Margaret the lady who comes by the office to sell sandwiches - again, could she be put to better use sat in the spare room paid to think up a marketing strategy to win over your rivals clients? If not think and think again until it hurts. Remember its your ass on the line here. Above all remember 'skull cracking' is fun and if a few eggs get broken in the process, hey that's life in the fast lane buddy.
Delegate, don't vegetate
We've all done it at some stage. Tried to cope when our world is falling apart, attempting to juggle the accounts, the graphic design work you have in and trying to bone up on web design for beginners in order to make ends meat. Here's a tip. Don't bother. That's right you heard. Research has shown that the best way to overcome a problem or situation is to sleep on it. If you've just about had a basin full its time to hit the sack and forget about it. Take it easy, kick back and have a beer. Feels good doesn't it. Don't forget to always have someone on hand who can cut the slack when you've lost the plot. A right hand man is someone to offload problems onto at a moments notice and then slink back to your chair safe in the knowledge he probably isn't going to quit his job any time soon what with a new baby at home and a mortgage hanging over his shoulders. Too many graphic design managers just do't know when to distribute the work. Remember the immortal words of Homer Simpson 'If a jobs worth doing well, don't bother"
Right, you're now armed with some invaluable insider information to get things back on track. Don't screw up and you'll do just fine. Now get out there and nail that son of a gun.