What is a 'Masterclass Execution Plan'?
I know how difficult it is to implement the things you learn online. You probably read blog posts, watch webinars, make notes and then... never act on the things you learn. It's not your fault - you live a busy life and it isn't easy to make time for implementation!
Well, these Masterclass Execution Plans are here to save the day. If you don't have time to watch this month's masterclass, you can read the execution plan and find two things:
01. Masterclass Summary.
Below, you'll find a written summary of the main points from this month's masterclass. It's perfect for busy designers or people who simply don't like video!
02. Three Execution Plans (Aka. Your Masterclass Homework)
I don't just want you to read or watch the masterclass. I want you to take ACTION, and these execution plans make it easy. Simply watch the masterclass/read the summary, then use the three execution plans at the bottom of this page to take action.
What is the masterclass about?
This month’s masterclass is called '5 Ways To Find Your Next Design Client' and it's taught by me and my special guest, Morgan Rapp from October Ink.
Morgan has been a full-time freelance designer for eight years and she designs for amazing clients like Caitlin Bacher.
She's a pro at generating referrals to keep her schedule fully booked, and she's here in this month's masterclass to teach you how to do the same.
Now, on to the masterclass summary!
Why do so many freelance designers dislike marketing? (6:06)
Freelance designers are creative, so we're good at the visual side but not the marketing side. It doesn't come easy to us. Stuff that doesn't come easy to us feels annoying to do.
Most freelance designers are introverted and don't like to brag or talk about themselves. That's okay! There are ways to promote your services even if you hate talking about yourself and we'll show you what they are in this masterclass.
Does Morgan have a marketing plan? (9:27)
Morgan doesn't have a solid plan, it's flexible. But here's the important thing to remember: just because Morgan doesn't have a plan written out DOESN'T mean she doesn't actively market her business.
She constantly keeps track of where her clients are coming from so she can focus on marketing in those places.
She focuses on the MAIN places her clients come from, and only expands her marketing tactics to try new things IF she has the time.
Morgan's favourite marketing strategies (13:02)
Morgan's favourite marketing strategy is referrals!
Referrals = when past clients, friends or other designers recommend you to someone.
Over 50% of Morgan's clients come from referrals.
To make sure you get referrals from your clients, make sure you give them an incredible design experience. Your designs AND process need to blow them away! When you provide them with an amazing experience, you'll become more memorable.
(Want help streamlining your design process? Start with my free course!)
Also, strive to never burn bridges with your clients. Even if a client hasn't been a delight to work with, remain professional. These clients may still refer you to others!
How to generate referrals (17:00)
Actively ask your clients for referrals at different points in the design process.
At the start of the design project, add a question to your questionnaire form asking if your client knows anyone who is in need of a designer.
When the project ends, remind them to send other people your way!
If you don't actively try to generate referrals, they'll eventually dry up and your business will be left in a slow, dry stage.
How to convert website visitors to paying clients (24:41)
1. Make sure your tagline is clear and above the fold.
You need to make sure potential clients understand what you do as soon as they land on your website.
2. Add a photo of yourself to your website.
Most people won't hire you if they can't see you. Photos build trust! If you don't add a photo of yourself to your site, it seems like you have something to hide.
3. Offer free consultation calls.
I converted about 50% more clients when I started offering free consultation calls. Clients LOVE them! It helps them get their questions answered and it helps them put trust in you.
4. Create a free email course.
If you have a slow stage in your business, create a free email course to convert website visitors into email subscribers. You can convert email subscribers into clients a lot easier than you can convert website visitors because email subscribers hear from you every week and they know, like and trust you.
How to curate a portfolio that wins clients (30:06)
Make up your own projects! It's not 'wrong', it's the easiest way to build a portfolio of work you love.
Most website visitors only stay on October Ink's website for 1.5 minutes. It's similar for most portfolio sites. You haven't got much time to make a killer first impression so ONLY show your best work in your portfolio. 9 - 12 portfolio pieces is enough.
Blogging to attract clients (33:08)
Make sure you're blogging about topics future clients are interested in. Don't blog for your peers, blog for your clients.
Keep your goals in mind every time you write a blog post.
Need some blog post ideas to attract design clients? Here are 100 ideas you can steal!
There are clients at every price point (24:10)
Danielle does factor in time when working out her prices, but she also factors in how much her clients value her service.
There are clients at every price point.
Some freelancers charge $100 and others charge $10,000 for the same service. What matters is the clients you're targeting and how much they value your service.
Your Execution Plan
1. Go through your blog and turn off posts that won't attract design clients.
You heard me. If you have blog posts about social media, turn them off. If you have blog posts about your daily lifestyle, turn them off. If you have posts about ANYTHING that doesn't interest your ideal clients, turn them off.
2. Start an email list!
I recommend using Convertkit because it's easy to use and very powerful. Sign up, then get started on creating a free 5-day email course. (Convertkit shows you how here.)
Your email course can be about anything your clients are interested in! So, think of questions they ask you before hiring you, or concerns they have about investing in design. Then build your course around those questions and concerns.
By the end of your course, your subscribers should understand exactly why they need to invest in design, and they should trust that you're the lady for the job.
3. Generate more referrals.
One way to do this is by providing your clients with such an amazing experience, they go away and recommend you to everyone they know. If you need help creating a great design experience for your clients, I have a free course for you!