Updated: Dec 19, 2020
It's been a few months and you're not receiving the interest you expected. Your heart and intentions are in the right place, but you have to ask yourself, is your brand putting off the right vibe?
Your brand vibes should be attracting your ideal clients. Visitors should look at your website, social media, or even physical store front and get all the feels. Then, they'll feel welcomed to join your tribe.
You would be amazed at how combining your unique personality into your brand can drastically change your business. People are drawn to 'real people.' Think about when you call your bank or cell phone provider and you're left on the phone with a machine. Like, hello? Where's the real person?! Now imagine walking into your favorite small business coffee shop in your hometown. They know your order and you feel the homely vibes and it just feels...right. Apply that feeling to your own brand and clients will join you!
My brand vibes are:
Adventurous, Cheerful, Edgy, Innovative, and Minimal.
Here's how you can figure that out: 1. Know yourself Knowing yourself is the absolute first rule when starting your own business or breaking away from corporate and going freelance. How much are you willing to work? How many clients can you handle? All the while, maintaining consistency and a high standard. Be honest with yourself, it's okay to start small and work your way up, in fact, I encourage that! Good, consistent work attracts clients to return AND to tell their friends about you.
2. Know your customers
Be personable and get to know your client! Ask them questions and take interest in their problems or projects they're hiring you to help them with. None of that fake customer voice nonsense. But really get to know them! What are they looking for? What problems have they come across? What ignites their motivational flame? Then you can find what you can offer them no one else can.
Ask yourself, why you and why not him or her or them? We all hate to hear it, but when you get into the design business, suddenly it feels like everyone you know is a designer! We're a dime a dozen and the competition is fierce and constant. So, what makes you stand out from the rest? Have a specialty. Not sure what that is yet? Invest in your business and take new classes, attend conferences and seminars, keep learning and you may be surprised your specialty was something you'd never heard of before.
4. Build your brand
If you're a freelance designer, YOU are your brand. Build your business, website, logos, business cards, domain names, etc. around you. A random freelancer with nothing but a Gmail account isn't reliable. People want to see what you can do, what your mission is, what you can offer them. You want people to see your brand and go, "I want THAT." And they can't do that if you have nothing to show off. Build your portfolio even if you've never had a real client. Create a fictional client and design for them. You may be humble, but show off what you got! It's not boasting, it's selling.
From these four simple exercises, you'll find your niche, your vibe, your tribe. Clients who share this with you will be attracted to your brand and business!