How to Take Your Design Business from Hobby to 6-Figures and Beyond With Networking
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the techniques you need to implement in your design business in order to start paying yourself, attract great clients, and ultimately break through that 5-figure ceiling. So let’s get started!
1. Carve Out Time for Strategic Networking
Finding the time to connect with potential clients and build a strong network can be a challenge, especially when you’re already swamped with day-to-day tasks. However, it’s crucial to set aside dedicated time for networking in order to attract better opportunities.
To begin, think about the best time of day for you to focus on networking. Ideally, it would be in the morning, before the chaos of the day sets in. Just like recording these podcast episodes before distractions take over, you need to set aside uninterrupted time to identify and contact people you want to work with or receive referrals from.
2. Make Your List – Brainstorm Your Network
Start by making a list of everyone you know who could potentially help you in your business. This includes family, friends, and old colleagues. Even if they may not directly hire you, they might have contacts who would be interested in your services.
Additionally, consider vendors and trade resources that you admire and want to do business with. These contacts can provide valuable referrals and connect you with potential clients in line with the type of work you’re striving to do.
3. Prioritize Your Contacts and Start Reaching Out
Once you have your list, prioritize the contacts who could provide you with quick answers or help make connections. These are the people you should reach out to first.
When contacting them, you can choose to call, leave a voicemail, and follow up with an email. Standing out by making a phone call can make a strong impression, but also consider the preferences of your contacts.
In your email or call, create rapport by mentioning a project you’ve worked on together, sharing photographs, or complimenting their work. Personalize each message to make a genuine connection and increase the chances of a response.
4. Repeat the Process Daily
Now that you have your list and have started making contacts, make it a daily practice to dedicate 15 to 30 minutes to this process. Keep adding to your list as you think of more people, and continue reaching out to contacts as you progress.
Consistent activity in networking will lead to more opportunities. By being in front of potential clients at the right moment, you increase your chances of being their go-to designer when they need your services.
Remember to provide clear ways for contacts to get in touch with you and always follow up after making initial contact.
By incorporating these simple networking techniques into your routine, you can transform your design business from a hobby to a successful 6-figure venture. It all starts with setting aside time, making your list, making strategic contact, and repeating the process daily.
The key is to be proactive and intentional in your efforts. Rather than just waiting for business to come to you, take charge and design the business you want. Cultivate relationships, emphasize your expertise, and watch as your client base expands and your income grows.