Episode #37:

Creative Brief: 7 Things Designers Can Do During Dry Spells

Design dry spells

In this Creative Brief episode, I get into 7 things designers can do during dry spells. These efforts could help you win more work now or in the future. Some of these are more active, some are more passive, and some you can do on an ongoing basis.


1. Contact current clients.

The easiest and fastest way to get more work is usually to ask current clients—who already know, like and trust you—for more work. But don’t ask them if they have more work for you. Think about their needs and what they’re trying to accomplish, then suggest ways you can help do that. You could even ask for a call to find out what their current needs are, if it’s been a while.

2. Create a list of prospects.

Search online for potential ideal clients. Don’t forget to check out associations for various industries. You might be able to find a huge list that way.

3. Network.

Reach out to colleagues who may be able to use your services. Suggest partnering with colleagues who offer complementary services. For example, if you design websites but don’t code, contact an existing or potential colleague who is a developer and see if they ever need someone who specializes (that’s a key word here, “specializes”) in design. If you specialize in print design, connect with a local videographer and set up a call. See if they might be willing to send print work your way in exchange for you referring videography work to them.

4. Participate in industry e-mail groups or forums.

Offering help to others on the list when they have questions shows that you’re helpful and knowledgeable. It can also make you memorable for your expertise.

5. Write.

Craft a blog post or LinkedIn article and share it on social media. Think of topics you have expertise in and think about questions you get from clients that you could address.

6. Update your website.

Does the wording appeal to your ideal client? Do you have more work to add to your portfolio? Do you present your work as case studies, which explain why the client came to you in the first place, the problem you needed to solve, how you solved it and the results you helped them get?

7. Document your processes.

If you work on projects such as logos, book layout or websites, you likely have a process you use each time. Documenting the process for each type of project will help you be more efficient, especially if you work on those types of projects during a busy time or on a rushed schedule. It will also ensure you don’t miss anything in the process.

What things do you do when things are slow? Let me know by commenting under the episode on the website or in the Design Domination Facebook group.

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