So now you’re just starting up and you want to be just like them? That’s not the best way to approach your business. In the design profession, the best way to be recognized is to be unique and to stand out when compared to other designers. These easy tips will help you prove you are different in a market of thousands.
Diversify your portfolio
Look around at design portfolios similar to yours. You will notice that most designers use same style and techniques. Whether it is similar color schemes or similar design styles, we become accustom to comfortable styles. How can you stand out?
- Try something new – If you find yourself doing the same kinds of designs, do something new! One of the best ways to stand out is to show that you can do different types of projects. Look around on the internet and find tutorials that have a different style than what you’re used to and try it out. Instead of always creating a clean, modern layout, for example, try creating a grungy layout.
- Flaunt it! – If you have created something for yourself or a client that is different from the rest of your designs, flaunt it! All clients have different ideas in mind, so when you show clients that you can do very different designs; they will be more likely to pick you over others.
Have a unique business card
Every design professional should carry around a business card. You never know when you might meet somebody that needs your services. With that in mind, here’s how to use that business card to your advantage:
- Don’t use a premade template – You can use a boring premade template or you can create an exciting business card yourself. Both options are easy, but which one do you think will attract attention? The boring, unoriginal business card or the exciting business card created by you? The answer is the exciting business card because it shows your style to prospective clients and helps you stand out.
- Design it with your personality – Your business card is a representation of you and your services, so design it with your personality. Design it with your tone of voice and with your creativity. If you show your personality to the prospective client, you become memorable in their minds and they will most likely pick you to lead their project.
Respond quickly to clients
Step into your clients shoes for a moment. Imagine you’re contacting a designer about your next project. You’re very excited to make your idea come to life and you’re hoping this designer can make it happen. Now imagine it is a few days later and you still haven’t heard from that designer. Your time is limited, so you decide this designer is never going to return your call and you contact another instead. The following tips will help you respond more quickly to client requests:
- Get an email client for your desktop – I personally recommend Thunderbird from Mozilla. Thunderbird allows you to link your email account and promptly respond back to emails all from your desktop. Best of all, it’s free and easy to use.
- Remember, quick responses go a long way – When you respond quickly to a client, it shows that you are interested and committed to that client’s idea. This will go a long way because the client will think of you when recommending designers to their friends and associates. Plus, it’s a good business habit to practice because it shows professionalism to your client.
Go the extra mile for your clients
This may sound tedious and not worth it, but it goes a long way. Clients love when somebody goes the extra mile for them. Whether it is giving a free service away or putting more effort into their project, it really shows a difference between you and other designers they could have hired. Here’s a couple of things you might consider doing:
- Offer a free service – Suppose you’re designing a small business’ website that is just starting up. Go the extra mile and offer to design a free business card for them. Offering a small service for free leaves a great impression on a client. It shows that you care about the client and you want to help them as much as you can.
- Send a holiday card – Whether it is through email or an actual letter, send your clients a card during major holidays. It shows that you’re still thinking of the client and it will remind them of you and your services. Be careful what you send them though. Make sure your holiday cards are general and never specific. You don’t want to end up sending a Christmas card to a client who celebrates Hanukah.
How do you stand out? Share your ideas.
What do you do to stand out from other designers? Share it in the comment section of this article and learn what others do.