Fellow designer, if you’re in a slow season where you’re struggling to book design projects and the inquiries just aren’t coming in… then you found this post at the right time!
First of all, it’s important to know that every designer, no matter how many Instagram followers they have or how experienced they are, has had a season where inquiries weren’t as steady or consistent as they should be. Seasons where, despite their best efforts and most beautiful work, they just aren’t generating quality inquiries.
So first things first: do not panic. And don’t get down on yourself for being in this season! It’s just that—a season. And it, too, will pass.
Next, know that there are actionable ways you can still book design projects, even if your inbox is currently sounding like crickets.
So today, I want to share 3 easy-to-implement tactics you can leverage during those slow seasons to generate quality inquiries and book more design projects.
3 strategies to book design projects during slow seasons
REACH OUT TO PAST CLIENTS
My first tip to generate quality inquiries during slow seasons is to reach out to your past clients. This ultimately serves two purposes.
First, you can ask them if they know anyone in need of a rebrand or a brand refresh. And if so, you’d be so honored if they would pass your name along!
And second, you could to reach out to past clients to see if they need any updates done to the brand you previously created. For example, let’s say you designed a website for a wedding photographer a year and a half ago. Unless that photographer is very comfortable making updates on the backend of their website, they might need someone to go in and spruce up some pages here and there—such as adding new portfolio work or updating details on their about page.
Whatever the case, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to past clients and see if there are any ways you can create new deliverables for them that will serve them well in their current season of business. If anything, this gesture goes above and beyond to show how much you care for your clients and their continued success!
REACH OUT TO INDUSTRY FRIENDS
My second tip goes hand-in-hand with the first—reach out to your industry friends and ask for referrals.
We often buy into the misconception that, if we reach out to people and ask for referrals, we come across as desperate, or like we’re admitting some kind of defeat. Instead, I want you to reframe that conversation and really share a message that says I‘m here to serve, not to sell.
You can say something like: “Hey, if you have a friend who is looking for an intentional brand design experience, I would love to see how I can partner with them to serve them well!”
All of the sudden, you go from asking for money to asking for ways that you can utilize your skills as a designer to better serve others in the creative industry.
This subtle shift is a powerful way for people to understand that you’re genuinely coming from a good place. And when they see that, your industry friends will be delighted to share your name with people they know will be a good fit for you.
HOST A FREE CHALLENGE
My third tip is to host a free challenge.
I’ve hosted quite a few challenges myself. In one, I taught creatives how to lay a strong foundation for a purposeful and heartfelt brand. In another, I guided fellow designers through 5 days to book more dream projects. And all of these were done through automated email sequences!
To host a challenge, you just need an idea—something you’re passionate about that can get people in the door, help them get to know you, and see the benefits of working with you.
I would encourage you to do two things when creating your challenge:
- Focus on the different ways you can capture your ideal clients’ attention in that time.
- Offer them an easily accessible solution that gives them immediate value, helps them experience quick wins, and then points them directly to you and your services to take things deeper.
In each day of my 5-day challenge for creatives, I share a single page out of my brand strategy process. This gets them thinking about their own brand strategy and provides the quick win of being able to make small, immediate shifts in their strategy. It also, moreover, shows potential clients that I am knowledgable and qualified to build a strategic and profitable brand for them.
On the final day of the challenge, I guide them to get in touch if they want my professional guidance as they implement the work they’ve done over the past five days.
Your challenge could take place through email, a Facebook group, or any other medium with which you’re comfortable. Regardless of what platform you use to make this happen, it’s a great way to leverage a slower season to grow your email list and generate more interest, all while providing actionable, quality education along the way.
3 tactics to book design projects during a slow season
Friend, if your design business is in a slower season, take a deep breath and remember that this will not last forever. This is absolutely something you will move through; I promise, those inquiries will start to roll in again before you know it!
And if you’re wondering what to do in your down time, might I suggest furthering your own education? If you’re feeling ready to change your strategic approach, to breathe some new life into your design business, then I’ve got a FREE masterclass just for you!
It’s quick (only an hour long!), and provides actionable takeaways that you can implement while you wait for that next wave of inquiries to come in.
This Netflix-style training is all about how to triple your income as a designer WITHOUT taking on more clients or adding any more to your already-overflowing plate. After tuning into this training, you’ll be able to:
- Charge more for your services so you can experience consistent income without working crazy hours or taking on hundreds of clients
- Kick imposter syndrome to the curb and position yourself as the expert your branding clients are searching for
- Get out in front of your ideal clients without hustling to be seen online
I can’t wait to see you there! ❤️
Looking for even more free resources, designed specifically for tenacious brand designers and strategists just like you? Head here to explore my designer resource page.