How to attract clients

The best way to market creative work is to show it. But you need someone to show it to, and there are many ways to find that potential client.

One of the best sources of new business can be a satisfied client. Even if they don’t have any more business to give you, they might know someone who does and may even introduce you. A happy client is a great advert, and an endorsement from someone with a reputation can help quell a potential client’s fears. Don’t be afraid to ask existing clients for leads or recommendations.

You can also exploit current projects by publicising them. This is easier than it may seem; it just takes organisation and application. Most creative fields have specialist websites and publications, and most clients work in areas with trade mags and agencies. These magazines and websites all need to fill their empty spaces with relevant content, and your work might just fit the bill. Send out press releases with photographs or links to your website. If you’re emailing, keep it succinct and offer links to further, well written information. Your work might get lost in a pile or filed straight in the bin, but it might also be just what the deadline-pressed editor needs to fill a gap. Lists of publications are readily available, many editors’ contact details appear online, and if all that fails you can head to the local newsstand and browse the mastheads.

A third great way of getting noticed is to exhibit work. There’s a power in live events and real, physical exhibitions that shouldn’t be underrated. There’s also a potential for media attention, particularly when events are well organised and pull together a group of new creative talents. If sponsorship is involved you can expect even greater exposure since the sponsors are in it for the media coverage too.

Work needs to be exhibited with great care. If the potential impact is high, so is the risk of creating a bad impression. It’s important never to include weak work in your portfolio, but it’s crucial never to exhibit it. Pay maximum attention to every little detail; it’s usually a large undertaking, especially if you’re producing work expressly for an exhibition. The time and effort required can be a major distraction, so choose these commitments carefully.

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