In the world of marketing, graphic designers have become a crucial component. They are the unique minds behind most marketing campaigns we see today. Graphic design is about communicating ideas that will inspire and inform customers.
Whether you’re running your own graphic design business, or you are looking to work within a company as a graphic designer, setting goals is important. However, not all goals are created equal. The graphic design industry is competitive. If you are running your own business, it is important to know that 90% of designers prefer to work freelance. This means that there are a lot of other graphic designers who are running their own businesses too. The good news is that the graphic design industry is one that is valued at over $45.8 billion. So, even though there is a lot of competition, there is still a lot of opportunity to succeed.
The best way to stand out is by setting clear goals and creating a path to achieve them. In this article, we will provide insight into the seven goals for designers today.
Learn to Use New Design Software
There are several technological resources graphic designers use daily. One of them is design software. Graphic design is carried out via computer or tablet; therefore, staying up to date with the latest and greatest tech is essential. The primary software designers should be familiar with are Adobe Creative Suite – including the applications Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. Other standard design programs are GIMP and Affinity Designer.
Think of design software knowledge as the most basic knowledge and skills for graphic design. Any new software programs released to the market should be learned as soon as possible to ensure your work stays current and competitive.
Build a Portfolio
Constructing a proper portfolio is vital to a graphic designer’s success. Portfolios help you market yourself to potential clients; it is how you acquire the business. They will display your best work in a cohesive and unique way to represent your business. If you are new to designing, you can start building a portfolio by offering discounted or free services to local businesses. Your portfolio should include original logo designs, website graphics, or links to clients you have formally serviced.
If you understand the target market for your graphic design business, you will be able to customize your portfolio to attract the clients you’re seeking. Be sure to update your portfolio frequently so that you are showcasing your best work and showing off your growth as a designer.
The amount of time and energy you put into your graphic design business will show through skill and quality. Finding your niche and conquering it proves time and time again to be the most advantageous. However, it doesn’t mean staying stagnant forever – it is still necessary to branch out into other areas in your field. Another key to keeping your business efficient is keeping your workspace organized. Erase old data, and don’t keep your computer files cluttered.
A clean computer will run faster, which will improve project quality. Asking for feedback is another wise way to improve in graphic design. Knowing where you have fallen short and which areas to fix will only make you better and better.
One mistake many will make is believing their work is without error. And last, finding inspiration as an artist can be the most difficult. Artists must keep their minds fresh with unique ideas to translate into their projects. Taking time to meditate on your thoughts is essential, as well as joining communities of other artists to find inspiration.
Increase Client Satisfaction
Your skills will flourish with practice and patience. Adjusting to feedback and focusing on quality will ultimately increase client satisfaction. The client and their needs come first because there would be no job if the client did not exist.
Remembering that perspective helps you realize how you rely on that customer for your livelihood. Your client expects good response times, a friendly disposition, and quality work. They also hope to get their content at or before the deadline! Turning in work late or failing to communicate correctly will result in bad reviews, which hurt your business.
Here are some ways to help increase client satisfaction:
- Be a good listener-Listen carefully to your client’s needs. Take the time to understand your client’s expectations and preferences. Ask questions and clarify any doubts to ensure you are on the same page.
- Communicate clearly and regularly-Keep your client informed of the project’s progress. Also, notify them of any changes and potential roadblocks.
- Be responsive– Respond promptly to your client’s emails and calls.
- Deliver work early-Submitting your work before the delivery date will help you exceed your client’s expectations.
- Make sure the work is high-quality– Attention to detail is key. Avoid taking shortcuts or cutting corners in quality.
- Give a little extra- Provide suggestions and solutions to help your client achieve their goals. Offer your professional opinion and expertise to enhance the project.
- Be professional and respectful– Conduct yourself professionally and respectfully at all times. Show that you value your client’s input and trust.
Retain Repeat Clients
These are the most valued clients because they constantly contribute to your business. When maximum customer satisfaction is adhered to, you can expect happy clients! Happy clients are the gift that keeps giving because a satisfied customer is a returning customer. They also continue to give by spreading the word to everyone about how much they love your services.
Another way to retain repeat clients is by offering additional services. As a graphic designer, you have the option of providing services like branding or marketing strategy to your clients. Having additional services that help your client’s business grow adds value to your services. And, it can also increase your revenue.
Pro tip: it is wise to reward loyal customers through discounts. Proving your appreciation for your client further solidifies customer loyalty.
Minimize Mistakes Made to Your Designs
No one is exempt from making mistakes; how you handle them defines you as a business owner. Many clients will be understanding – depending on the severity. For instance, plagiarism is one of the unforgivable sins of graphic design. Stealing ideas or actual pieces from other artists should be avoided at all costs. Or, your credibility and business will suffer as a result.
However, other mistakes such as communication, pixelated graphics, or lack of consistency in your design are all things a designer can improve upon through quality control. You can best minimize most mistakes in your design by proofing and editing your work many times and passing it through a second editor before submitting any work to clients.
Improve Client Sales Process
Another very important goal a graphic designer should have is improving the sales process. This article has repeatedly mentioned how crucial communication is in the graphic design industry. This also applies to the client sales process. You must know a client’s clear expectations and goals to deliver successfully. Besides communication, possessing the proper quality tools will provide confidence and the ability to supply the best possible product.
Improving your sales process will save you time. And, the more time you save, the more time you have to deliver orders or take on new clients. With a streamlined sales process, you will be able to work on more important aspects of your business as well as make it easier for your clients to do business with you.
One of the first ways to improve your sales process is to create a sales funnel. A good funnel will guide potential clients from initial contact to closing the sale. Use lead magnets, email marketing, and follow-up calls to nurture leads and build relationships.
After you have returned the project to your client, you should ask for their honest feedback to improve for the future. This is a guaranteed way to iron out any wrinkles in your current sales process.
In conclusion, getting started in graphic design will have a process. To get started, most professionals will recommend acquiring a degree first. The degree will provide in-depth knowledge and understanding of marketing principles and the design process.
Honing and perfecting your skills and protecting your creativity is crucial for the graphic designer. Staying vigilant with new tech, increasing efficiency, and treating your clients like gold will foster incredible growth for your future design business.