How to Think Like a Successful Graphic Designer

So let’s say that you are a fresh graphic designer, maybe you’re even just out of school benches. You have done some small projects during school for some companies and some personal projects. You don’t have that much experience and you are aware of the fact that most people and companies rather do business with an already successful graphic designer.

In another situation, let’s say that you’ve started a small graphic design studio with your collage room mates and you have landed a few small projects with a couple of big companies. This is just the beginning of the road for you, you still have a lot to learn, to practice and you still haveĀ  a long way to go before building your connections, growing your portfolio and becoming known.

As I said, all of us know that the “big projects” go to “the big boys”. What if you adopt a “big boy” strategy, and start acting like one? So if someone in interested in doing a project with you, don’t beg for that job, don’t look desperate to get it, act as if you don’t even really need that project. There are many other ways to look successful rather than answering “Fantastic!” every time someone asks you “How are you?”.

Make allusion to famous people or companies. You should mention in your discussions the names of other clients, especially if they are well known and respected. And not only in discussions, you can write on your website and on your blog about your clients and maybe even get some testimonials from them – that will increase the credibility in your services.

For example, if Apple is a satisfied customer of yours (even if you did a tiny project with them), the potential client will respect that more than the fact that your local Fast-food restaurant is happy with the 10 year of services you provided them. The potential client will think that Apple has a bigger discernment. It’s not always available, but, in business, perception is reality. That is the reason why celebrities get support from various products – it’s because we all want to be like successful people and companies.

When you answer to client’s questions, slip in words like “When I helped the guys from Sony with a similar problem…” or “Last month when we worked for a client in Europe…”. Nevertheless, always tell the truth! Never lie!

If you go abroad, mention this on your answering machine, on your twitter, your Facebook page or why not on your blog. You will seem more important if someone from another country/state/city asks for your services.

Celebrate milestones! Tell the world that you’ve just had your 10th, 50th, 10.000th client. Throw a party, make a fuss out of it. If you have an online business, have a giveaway, give some freebies to celebrate, have a discount. This will let people know that you are becoming more and more successful and that you want to keep your clients close.

Think of McDonalds for example, they used to announce: “Over 1 million products sold”. Now they say “Billions and billions of products sold”. Their products must really be good if they sell them in that quantity, right?

And a final observation on success: success will give birth to success, and winners love to deal with other winners. So why not, as a starting point, meet with other successful graphic designers, talk to them, see how they are thinking, maybe they’ll even share some tips with you? If you don’t have this opportunity, just take a look at what they are doing, they must have done it right, considering they made it. You can learn from them and you will see that you can achieve what you have in mind – to become successful.

By the way, do you have a successful graphic designer as a model? Please share him/her with us.


The Nerdy Nurse
I dabble in some photoshop, but am by no means a pro. It takes alot of time and effort to do graphic work and I admire and respect those that have the patients and creativity to do it for a living.
Dave J
I'm a start up, and I have had a few moderate local companies as clients and it does certainly help out. You have to start somewhere, but it certainly is a buzz when you do get them few big clients on your list!


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