How do I start with graphic design

33 tips to ensure you get new design assignments on a regular basis

Which designer doesn't want that: regular new inquiries for great design projects.

But the reality is far too often different. Instead of answering new inquiries, you ply your way through tenders, torture yourself through cold calling or try to make new contacts at dry networking events.

The good news for you is that it doesn't have to be that way! There are a number of measures you can use to make your design achievements better known and thus get new orders.

33 tips for new design assignments

The paths are very different. Some work long-term, others bring you new design assignments quickly. Of course, you don't have to apply all of the tips. Pick out the tips that suit you and your design business well, or try different tips one after the other.


  1. Find your niche
    Web design, flyers, logos, infographics, animations ... If you offer everything for everyone, you will not be successful. It is much better and more effective if you find your niche and position yourself there as an expert.
  2. Know your dream customer
    If you know who your dream customer is and how you can best address them, then your entire external appearance is much more targeted and effective. In this way you are addressing exactly the type of clients who love your designs and with whom you enjoy working well.
  3. Make an irresistible offer
    A client can only commission you if he also knows what you are doing. Look at your achievements and make sure that your services are easy for others to understand. What do you do, for whom and what are the advantages of commissioning you and not another designer?

  5. What does your website look like?
    As a designer, you don't have a normal website, you have a portfolio website and it has to look good. With you everything is designed for the visual content. Understandably, a new customer assumes that your designs are of the same quality as your website.
  6. Where are your contact details?
    If you want to have new design assignments, then make it as easy as possible for your clients to get in touch with you. Put your telephone number and your email address on the homepage and insert a contact form on your website. Also check whether the given numbers are still up to date.
  7. Your about page has to rock
    Did you know that the “About Me” page is one of the most read pages on your website? We humans just like to know who the person they are dealing with is. Take advantage of that and delight your customers by having an about page that is really good.
  8. Show a photo of yourself
    Customers also like to get an idea of ​​what they are talking to. With a photo you can convey a lot of your personality and make a good impression. Be friendly, creative, spontaneous - the main thing is that the picture suits you.
  9. Update your portfolio regularly
    You make great designs, so show them off too. Update your work samples regularly (!) And also sort out the old examples that no longer fit your style and orientation.
  10. Show only your best work
    Your skills will be assessed on the basis of your work samples. So don't make the mistake of showing too many works, just choose the very best. Here, too, quality counts over quantity!
  11. Publish quotes from your customers
    Customer voices, opinions and experiences are important and help to convince new clients of your designs.
  12. Did you know that the "About Me" page is one of the most read pages on your #Website? So your About page has to rock! @gudrunwegener click to tweet


  13. Reply to inquiries quickly
    The customer contacted you by email or phone. Great! Then don't take too long and answer quickly and show that you are a reliable partner for the new design assignments.
  14. Telephone is better than email
    A phone call is always more personal than an email. Especially when you are working with the customer for the first time, you should rather pick up the phone. Issues can be clarified much faster and easier.
  15. Your offer has to look professional
    As a designer, your offer should also look professional and well designed. Your client has more similar offers on the desk. Here you can collect additional plus points with a good design and stand out from the competition.
  16. Avoid industry jargon
    Make sure your customer understands what you're talking about. You know what a WordPress theme is and what it can do, your customer may not. Explain it to him.
  17. Keep in touch with your customers
    It is much easier to work with an existing customer again than to acquire a new customer.
  18. Offer old customers suitable additional services
    Has your customer had a new logo designed by you? Great, then ask if he doesn't need new business cards and secure new design jobs for you.
  19. Hang out with local customers
    If the new customer is near you, try to meet them in person. It's much easier to come up with a suitable design once you've seen what makes the customer tick.
  20. With your offer you can collect additional plus points with a good #Design and stand out from the #competitors. @gudrunwegener click to tweet


  21. You need a blog on your website
    Your design business benefits from a blog because you show your expert knowledge there, you inspire new customers, you can present your designs and advertise yourself on the side. Here I have 41 suggested topics for you to write about.
  22. Let google find you
    By blogging about all of your design topics, you will accumulate more and more knowledge on your website. Google and Co. love pages that offer real added value and show your website so much more often in search results than if you only have a pure portfolio website.
  23. Guest posts get you ahead
    You can also benefit from the readers of other design blogs by writing a guest article there. Report on an exciting topic and make completely new readers aware of you and your designs.
  24. Use Facebook, Twitter and Co.
    You can't avoid social media if you want to be found online by your clients. But you don't have to be everywhere. But it is better to concentrate on a few channels and regularly post good content there.
  25. Many platforms, but only one design
    Your design is your business card. Whether it's a website, Facebook or Instagram, make sure that your design is consistent and professional everywhere.
  26. Show intermediate steps and finished projects
    How designs are created is sometimes more exciting than the finished result. Let your fans and readers participate in your design processes and publish intermediate steps, sketches and drafts.
  27. Share your blog posts on social media
    What use are your great blog articles if nobody reads them? You can spread your posts quickly and effectively via your social media channels.
  28. Show that you are an expert
    You are not a designer who does everything. You are an expert and have specialized in a certain area. Blog posts, tutorials, and guides help you show your expert status.

  30. Find other specialists to work with
    You can achieve more in a team. When you team up with copywriters, SEOs or marketers, you can benefit from each other and implement more complex projects together.
  31. Keep in touch with other designers
    Support instead of elbows! Who better to help you with questions or problems than someone who works in the same area? Through mutual support, you both get on better.
  32. Networking, meetups and barcamps
    It's wonderful to think outside the box when you're at meetups or barcamps. The creative input and the diverse inspiration will give you new ideas!
  33. Do a workshop
    Customers not only need designs, but often also need help handling them. With a small workshop on "10 tips for more appealing presentations" you can quickly and easily gain attention and customers.
  34. Share your knowledge in a webinar
    Of course, you can also organize online workshops and pass on your knowledge in a webinar.
  35. Speak at conferences and bar camps
    Don't be shy! At bar camps, meetups and conferences you will meet many interested parties and it will be much easier to make contacts if you share your knowledge. It doesn't have to be a two-hour lecture. 😉
  36. Resell unused designs
    Do you still have finished photos, graphics or illustrations that are lying around unused on your hard drive? If you sell them through stock photo providers, they make you money and you have an additional source of income.

  38. Start today!
    And finally, the most important tip of all:
    START TODAY! Pick any point that you can tackle right away and get started. It's still the best way to be successful.

The article was last updated in July 2015.

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