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How To Get Design Clients: Sales and Lead Generation

How To Get Design Clients: Sales and Lead Generation

How to generate leads. So I was talking to Ben Burns about this. He’s a good friend of mine now. And the question that people seem to ask , and he says it’s the wrong question is “How do I find better clients?” “How do I find better clients?” He says the better question is “How do better clients find you?” So think about that for a second. How do better clients find you? Are you easy to find? I mean, just do this exercise in your mind or your notebook right now. Write down the top three ways that somebody’s going to find you. And it’s going to be difficult I know it’s gonna be really difficult. And the top three will be referral, referral, referral. And word of mouth. You make it really hard to find you. And I include myself in this group. Don’t make it hard to find you. Okay, so now how is somebody is going to find you in the 21st century? They’re going to type something in Google, I think. There are two ways that they’re gonna find you. Right? You got a pop-up ad somewhere or they see something. They read an article somewhere. They see you on TV which you’re not going to be on. Or they’re gonna type in something. Think about the search phrase, keywords or string. Somebody is gonna type in to find you. Amy, what do you do? I do branding for creative businesses. Branding for creative businesses. So somebody typed in “Branding for creative businesses”, would you show up on Google? No. What would show up? Do you know? I don’t know. That’s what you guys should do. You should get on it right now. Whenever you want. Type in what it is that you think somebody’s gonna look for. This is how people are finding you right now. And the way this works is, at least the way I understand the Google works is, the more things that point to you with the same word, the better you are going to do in the rankings. We also know that if you have on your page a piece of video – that’s related to the same search string, you have a much higher chance. So what we want to do is to make it easy for our clients to find us. So… Creative people, and I’ve dealt with this. I’ve asked everybody in the company. Be more active in social media. Go out and do public speaking, create video, create content. And nobody does it. So you have to take a long hard look at yourself. And ask “What am I waiting for?” “Why aren’t I doing this?” Usually, the answer is “Because I don’t know what to say”. So I’m going to give you a tip. I was in the same place of mine. Now, how many of you guys collect images on Pinterest, or have a swipe file like a folder where you just drag cool inspirational things into? Or, you know, you use iPhoto where you have a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand images? Here is one thing that I do. I just go in my photobucket like… “Huh, that’s an interesting photo. What can I write about that photo? What kind of caption can I provide that creates value for the people who are looking for me?”. So writing about food unless I’m a food blogger, and that’s how I want to build a career. I don’t wanna talk about that at all. So, let’s say, I’m a packaging designer. Well, go take a photos of great packages and write a little critique. Sooner or later, people that are looking for the foremost expert, the thought leader in packaging design go up. You know, whenever they have a new logo design, or redesign, you know who they call? I almost call, always call the same people. Pentagram Design. “What do you think about the new X logo?” And Michael Beirut will weigh in on it. He’s become “that” guy. I consume contents like you cannot believe. I’m usually on my phone watching “Game of Thrones” and reading a magazine if I can. You know, it’s like this. It’s crazy. And what I do is if I hear something, or if I see something in time or whatever magazine I’m reading – I stop. I open up keynote on my iPhone. I type it in. There it is. Boom. I just save it. I kick it out as a PNG or screen cap on my iPhone. And that goes into my Twitter feed whenever it’s ready. So I’m doing note-taking social media micro content continuously all the time. I just look at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as my diary of ideas. as my diary of ideas. That’s all it is. And I put that out there. The key here is that you don’t always market to your people. That’s the problem. Some people are very active on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram – but it’s just really marketing all the time. It’s like so noisy to me. I don’t wanna do. So, Gary Vaynerchuk says something like “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. Give three pieces of content that are valuable, then ask for a sale. And be genuine, be open, be transparent about that. Now, if you guys were to grade yourself on a score of one to ten – how are you doing in terms of making easy for good clients to find you? What score would you give yourself? I don’t expect you to say that out loud, but just think about it. I know it’s not going to be a nine or a ten. You would not be here right now. It’d probably be really low. So, let’s work on it. I’m gonna tell you one another way to generate leads. It’s worked well is… I like to market to marketers Okay. Why? Because marketers want to sell. And they need design. And they understand they need great images, great campaigns. They need video because they want to sell something. So, something that’s worked for me twice now, and I assume it should work for you too is – when something pops up in your inbox… Let’s say like, you know, um… like skincare. Right? Like there is like a skin care center that I’ve been to. They give me a little treatment. You know, I had a scab or something. They market to me now that I can come in for rejuvenation thing. You know who should I market to? I should market to them. Next time I come to the doctor’s office – I say “You know, I get your emails. Are they performing the way… What’s your conversion ratio? I’m just curious what’s your open rate. Say something like you know what you are talking about. Okay? Just fake it. You know? Watch a video or two on that kind of stuff. And like, you know, “Oh, gosh! Well, what percentage your business are you generating through – direct, not direct mail, but through the email blast? Oh it’s like 0.5. Well, that’s a little bit below the norm. The norm is like 2%. What can we do to help you? And that’s your new business. It works guys. Because they want to sell They’re already actively participating on that. Okay? Another thing you can do is you can friend, follow, whatever social media channel of your choice and establish a dialogue with whoever’s running the social media thing. Now, chances are… You don’t know the CEO, the CMO, or the CRO, the c-suite executives. You don’t know them. Okay? Since you don’t know them, you don’t know, I don’t know if you realize this, but they don’t manage their social media channel. Usually, it’s some young person. It’s like “Oh, yeah. I use Snapchat. I can do this.” They’re much more likely to have a conversation with you and bring it up the chain. Let’s look at it like this. When you see a piece of content on the internet, what do you respond to yourself? Something that entertains you, something that teaches you something. And that’s what Google says advertising is dead. In the future, all people care about are two things. “Entertain me” and “Inform me”. “Teach me something” Now, here is one thing. You guys know about marketing, right? Content marketing. Then, there is micro content marketing. Micro content, which is… you just take a big pizza. You pull the pepperoni off and you sell that to somebody. Then you take the crust, you scrape the cheese, you break up this big old thing – and just make it like these bite-sized snackable pieces of content. So, if you write a long article, that’s got seven points in it, you just block it off as tip one and you put it out there. Okay? And then you turn that tip into a graphic. And you take the whole seven points, and you make an infographic. It’s the same piece of content reprocessed for the audience that wants to see it. So, if you have my five hacks for social media on Twitter, a lot of you guys in here are graphic designers, you can probably make a really beautiful piece of design and infographic that will get you noticed. And make sure it backlinks to your site that you got all the meta tags in there. And then break that up. You put your image up, you edit all the crap. Just get rid of all the dam photos… and if you don’t want to be a dog groomer, don’t put the dog photos in there. Edit out your channel. Okay? The reason why you follow somebody’s Instagram is you look for consistency. Seven, ten, fifteen posts of similar things. I’ll follow you. Okay? People that post all sorts of things like a toy, this and that. I don’t follow them on Instagram. You have to be a master at the hashtag game. You have to be a master at the hashtag game. So you test the hashtag just like you test the titles in YouTube. Put in your hashtag, and see what comes up if they’re like people you want to be like. If you push out eight or nine pieces of consistent content, you will start to be discovered for that thing. Now, we have a friend, her name is Tuna Bora, she’s up to what, 40 or 70 thousand followers. She does one water color painting a day forever. She’s been super consistent. And her followers are going through the roof. Do you know the that guy, Asset Bluster, the calligraphy guy? He does one thing. He’s not showing you how to juggle, doesn’t play video games. He’s just a really good calligrapher. And so he has over a million followers on Instagram. So think about what your vertical is. Own it. Hashtag it. Keyword that. It’s consistent. Right? We’re going to keep doing that thing over and over again. And from what I understand. I don’t do this myself, I need to do it. Email marketing is still very effective. Relatively speaking, you need to start capturing emails, addresses right now. if you haven’t done so. So, how and why would anybody ever give you their email address? Why would they do that? Well, they’re not going to give you their email address. because they know you’re going to spam them. So what you have to do is you have to provide
something of value to them. It’s and exchange. I remember when I was new to
shooting video, I went to… What is that site… NoFilmSchool.com And No Film School has a little thing looks like a book.
It says “No Film School DSR shooting guide”. If you want to download the guide,
put in your email address. I put my email address. Fine.
And I get their newsletter. It doesn’t come too often, so I’m annoyed by it. And they’re a news site so I’m okay to see that. But if you keep hitting me with sales and
sales, I will drop you. Okay? That’s what they do. So what you want to do is to provide a piece of content that’s valuable to them. And capture emails and build it up. The other thing that, you need to do and I don’t do, but I’ve heard this, I’ve gone to seminars on this – is you need to segment your email list. As best as possible in many ways so that
you can just target. Targeting is really important. Either for ads or for whatever else that you’re doing. Ok, so these people are in this age group
or in this industry so that when you need to hit them with something You’re not sending out a mass email to everybody
just to the people that need to see it When it comes to social media,
you have to actually care. It’s not like a Google, you can set up your
keywords on your ads and you leave it alone. You can’t just post an image and
be like “I hope 20 people like it” You have to actually care, or don’t even bother. If you don’t care about your community, of if you’re not liking your followers’ stuff. It’s like you have to be genuine and you
have to be authentic. Or don’t even do it. If you’re not tweeting with other people,
why are they gonna do it with you. So… and you’re in it for the long haul.
That’s how I’ve done it. I don’t have millions of followers, but my engagement is much higher than… Incredible. the bigger brands. Cause I care about my followers. Like, for me, what I do it a lot of film
so when I just put film on there, It’s kind of like always consistent of
what I do and and stuff like that. So I get people to engage in I love doing it.
It’s so fun. I’m like almost like every day – I want to just put stuff out there and
communicate and talk to people. So, I think you have to really enjoy social. Like if you hate talking to other people,
it’s not gonna be fun for you. And also for the hashtag thing, I just copy other people who’s doing really well. That’s what I just told you’re supposed to do. And put it into your note that you can
copy every single time Yeah, you keep, yeah that’s right. When he say put it into your notes. Like Evernote or something so it’s easy. You don’t have to type it up again. So if you have three or four hashtags you’re going to include in a comment. Just copy it. Okay? Yeah, I put it on my Google Drive.
Sorry Yeah, it works. But also like, if you, like I want to do photography.
I’ll tag brands that I’ve shot with. I’ve shot like… … fashion brands, and I’ll tag them. And sometimes they’ll pick it up. And they put it on their Instagram. And I’ve done that for a few, and they’ve gone like 20 to 30 thousand likes, but you know that’s how you get
your name out there on Instagram. Guys, in case you’re thinking “This sucks”, “It’s stupid and it takes up too much time.”, “I’m not like that”. Well, if you like what you have, just keep doing it. If you like the results you have right now,
just keep doing it. Okay? I know it’s not fun. For some. But over time, you start to learn how to do it, and then, you get these followers and then things start to grow and happen… …then you’re like “Okay, I like this now”. You just don’t like the results right now.
And it does take work. It’s like eating right and exercise.
It does take work. Okay. Frank’s strange question. How important is being transparent on social media? I’m a fan of transparency. Everybody likes to live this kind of very curated life,
and everything’s so perfect all the time. I think people learn just as much from their mistakes is from their success. And if you write it in a genuine way and tell the story, then people are going to find value in that. One other thing that Carrey shared with me about Instagram from our expert is that… “Think of your post as a sequence
kind of an editorial sequence” Think about the story. It’s telling frame after
frame and some of these scans through. So if you’re going to talk about… Say, I don’t know, like Film Noir lighting. Don’t go from Film Noir to like Technicolor to something else and come back to Film Noir. Kind of make it like a serialized piece of content. Think about it over seven or eight frames. Okay? Is there something else you were thinking about, Frank? About transparency? Um, no. It’s just…, it’s a very sensitive topic for me, I think. Being transparent on social media. It’s very like… I guess I’m just not used to it. But recently a bit more transparent. And I think just be trying it and seeing the feedback and… …talking to your friends at community.
It just feels a lot better. I think, I was just definitely afraid of
that first initial step. Right. Let’s talk about transparency for a second. I’m all about full transparency except for when I hurt somebody else, and it’s not respecting someone else’s rights. Or if it’s something that is not really
creating any value for anybody. So if something bad happens to you like you lose a job… I don’t want to see you crying a lot losing a job.
But what I like to see is What’s that? You want to see it?
Yeah, right? Oh, you do? She’s like “Yeah…” There’s a darker side to Amy.
No, what I was going to say is that… If you lose a job and you’re sad about it, say “You know what. I lost a job today. I’m not going to whine about it. Here’s what I did wrong.” And then, you enroll more people. That’s it Okay, like recently I put something on Instagram. I got a lot of comments and from kind of offline things, and I talked about the struggle for me to do public speaking. And it’s genuine. It’s real. Alright.
So moving on. How to sell things to clients that they
didn’t know they need or want? Okay, that’s supposed to be not two people high-fiving each other. Or an arm-wrestle, just to be clear. All right. They’re arm-wrestling How to sell something Here’s the thing. I love this question, and
hate this question. I love it because it tells me exactly what you’re thinking And I hate it because the word “sell” is in there. To me, when you’re selling, you’re convincing people of something. And nobody likes to be sold to. I mean if you’d like to be sold to you’re crazy You know, you go to a retail store, like “Hey, can you try?” “No, just. Can I just walk over there and you leave me alone?” Right? And the classic image of the car salesman, the used-car salesman a lot… You’re being sold something and it feels very artificial. And there’s a thing, and I’ve done this, I’ve talked about this before which is… If you try to sell somebody and you keep saying all these things… People don’t believe you. Tell me something. Tell me about you, how great you are. Frank, since you have the mic.
Go ahead sell me. I’m awesome No, you’re not Keep on Keep going My confidence just went from like a hundred to zero. You’re like… Now, you don’t wanna say anything Okay, that’s fine. That’s fine. See? The thing is we just don’t believe you. So… Okay, check this out. You know. I did this talk in Bratislava, and somebody said something back to me.
Like it totally messed me. Yeah. Cause, they’re like “We don’t understand
this thing”. Right? So what I said to her is like… When you do the talking, you’re selling. When they say it, they believe it, you’re closing.
You’re going to get the business. You need them to think what it is that
you are trying to convey. All right? So one woman whines that “I don’t understand that concept.”, “I don’t understand that concept.”. I say “okay”. What if I just told you… “Trust me. I’m a great lover.” What do you say to that? She goes “Well, let’s find out” Look. Whoa! Ok, will you talk to me later? No. So, the thing is
I should know about, in America, if I say… “Trust me.”
I already don’t trust you. “I’m great lover.”
“No, you’re not!” No great lover talks about themselves like that. Right? So, I don’t like this idea of selling,
especially they don’t need or want it. So what I want to do is to try to surface, To try to surface any kind of challenges or
pain points that they’re having, and see if I could connect them with a solution. Sometimes, I’m a part of that solution. Sometimes I’m not. So we talk, we talk, we talk and then,
I find out “Oh my gosh. They’re dissatisfied with the way their
3D renders look. Let’s just say. It doesn’t represent the product in its highest form and they’re a high-end company. They need to present themselves like that. Right? I don’t do 3D, but if I hear that, I’m like “You know what. I have a network of 3D artists.” There’s a sketchy guy. His name is Frank.
He talks about himself as being awesome. He really is actually. Why don’t you work with him?
I can connect you two. You know what happens then usually? Okay. So one is you build trust and rapport I trust you and this rapport. And trust is very valuable. It’s much more valuable than trying to ask for the sale in the moment. A person I trust, I’m going to call many times.
Usually when I do that, this almost always happens. I say “You know what, I don’t think you should do this” “You know what. You can just spend less money and go with that person.” They then insist that you must be the person that
they’re ready to spend the money. This idea that’s selling something that somebody doesn’t want. I think is an antiquated idea. You’re not that good, you’re not Jordan Belfort, he’ll sell something anybody. He uses high-pressure sales technique and people usually have buyer’s remorse afterwards. It’s not the kind of relationship you want. Yeah I think the question is rooted in, like, client comes to you and say “Hey, I need a new website” when in actuality, they have a pain point that goes beyond their website. They think it’s the website, and you are trying to sell them quote or pit, you know whatever… strategy is really what they need or something else. So I think what the real question is how do you educate the client of what the real need is rather than… what they may think they need is. How many of you guys have said to yourself or heard, somebody tell you, a mentor of yours… some of that you respect “You got to educate the client”? How many have you said it, done it or heard that expression? Right. Almost everybody. I don’t know who said that before… …but I think the interpretation of that and
how it turns into action is really messed up This is usually how I feel about this. “Let me tell you why you need this.” And you start to lecture me “Dah-da-dah, da-dah.”
You just get on my face. Just like Frank telling me he’s awesome. Just get on my face. Okay. Because it’s condescending. I had a young girl who came here. Who worked for me. She was really, an incredible designer. She came to me and said “Chris, I’m trying to save your business, but you won’t listen to me.” Whew! That’s like fingernail on a chalkboard. Beyond…
You know, you just got out from the school. Do you know anything? Tell me what you know. Tell me how you know how to read a profit loss statement. What do you mean you trying to say? My company doesn’t need to be saved now. Well, It might be. We might be in dire need of that, but it doesn’t help that somebody is coming at you really hard at that. It just doesn’t work. Trust me. I’ve tried it with my wife many times.
It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. Get on my face. Usually. Okay?
So, let’s talk about this term. “Educate”. Okay? If you look at the root.
Root word is “educe”. It means to draw out. I’m not trying to push something in. I’m just trying to draw out what you need. So in a situation like that when they come to you, and say “I need a website” All you have to do is ask lots of questions. Be genuinely cares “Why do you need a website?”. Well everybody has a website. Okay, let’s say that that’s true. But what is it going to do for your business? Well, I need to sell more widgets. Okay, so let me understand then
your customers a little bit better. So do your customers go to your site?
Well? I don’t know that. How old are your customers? What are their pain points? What are their needs? What are their challenges? And I’ll learn about that. Once I learn about that, then we realize… Your customers spend very little time on your site, but they do spend a lot of time watching these videos that you’ve made. Now all things being equal would it be better for us to spend $20,000 rebuilding your website? Or $20,000 making more video content for you. So then I’m going to figure out what it is.
I’m drawing it out Okay, that’s the critical part. If you come into it thinking in every conversation… I’m going to sell strategy. I’m gonna sell logo.
I’m going to sell, uh… …brand for creative business.
That’s all you’re going to do So, if you have one tool like a hammer,
everything looks like a nail. That’s not the way you service clients. You’re much smarter, you’re much more versatile than that. And I think it comes out of our own insecurity… …that we just want to focus on the one thing that we are good at. Remember before, when I was telling you that the clients come to us, and they ask those things about… You know, whatever it is. I said “We’re not the right players.” They just wind up hiring us to do all that stuff. The first time… …I did an identity design for this
company called Trojan Storage. The Client said to me, his name is Brett.
He’s a really great client. Brett. Great client He said I love working with you.
I know you like architecture John tells me you love Architecture.
I’m like “Yeah”. He’s like “I’m kind of frustrated with
what’s going on right now. Could you help me design the facade to our buildings?” Yes, I can do that. And brett. You know I’m not an architect? Because… “Yeah, Chris. I do know that” “I’m not stupid. I know that” “So what I’ll do is I’ll hire a local architect, and part of the deal is you take creative direction from Chris.” It’s freakin’ awesome! Anybody here an architect? Anybody? No? Being an architect sucks. You don’t make any money. In the first
several years, you draw bathrooms. You draw, fasteners through walls like joists and beams, that’s all you get to draw. I get to skip all that. Do the fun cool visualization and a storytelling with the images. And somebody else has to do that work. How brilliant is that? That’s pretty awesome. It’s because I develop trust. They’re going to come to me for a lot more. And I’m open, I’m honest and I did… you know, I’m not trying to be something that I’m not. And it works out pretty well I’m just open. Okay? I’ll build you an app. I’ll build you a piece of furniture.
I’ll design for you. If you trust me, we’ll do it. But I don’t want to go in there thinking. “I need to sell you a web site or architecture or anything else” That’s the difference.
Sean. Okay. Is that cool? Yeah. Alright. Cool Does cold calling, emailing work? I don’t know if you can tell this photograph gives it away or not. If so, what are some of the tips and tricks? I’ve done… Three cold calls in my life. All in gear one, and it did not work. So maybe I wasn’t as persistent as I should have been. But I find out when you cold call people become
really numb to that. It’s like … …you’re not qualified. I don’t know who you are, why you hit me up, the timing is bad. Remember? Keep it in the family. Reciprocity. You haven’t done anything for me. Why would I do anything for you? We would rather hire a friend. That would do a worse job than to hire strangers sometimes that would do a better job. Just because we know that person. We’d like to help people out Cold calling does not work. Called emailing,
same thing. It doesn’t work. There’s a warm lead versus a cold lead. A warm lead is somebody’s already expressed some interest in you. And what is that? One thing that you can do is you can look at the people that are looking at you on Linkedin. The people are looking at you on using Wistia because you can track all these things. And I would reach out to them. They’ve already expressed interest in you. And we actually wound up doing that SONY job. Remember how we flew to San Fran, Matt? That’s because somebody had just friended me on Linkedin. And I reached out to him almost immediately, and said… I’m glad to connect with you.
Is there anything I can do to help? So when people express interest
in you, follow up with it. And that’s how you can do. It’s called social prospecting. You know, you look at who’s looking at you. And you reach out to them. And don’t write some freaking long email Don’t do it. I don’t have a lot of time.
They don’t have a lot of time. The people that are going to hire you, more successful than you that means they have less time than you. Don’t write a long email. Here’s the tip Look in your inbox, which ones did you read? Screen capture all those, put in my hotbox. Look at their subject line look at their lead sentence. They almost talk to you like they know you. And there’s something of value to you and they get to it right away. The ones that look like this much copy. I just hit delete. How to sell strategy to clients from
a production standpoint? So you guys don’t know this but Frank does some really incredible 3d modeling animation, right? Visual effects work. He and I… We’re kind of… in a similar place within the food chain of production. We’re at the bottom. There’s only one layer that’s lower than us. In terms of the decisions being made and I think it’s probably like… The colorist or something. It’s like… Oh, no. I’m sorry. The sound person is like… You know we fall. We hit the colorist and the colors fall. And he hits the sound design guy. And just we’re not really at the bottom. So now, we want to get to the top.
How do we get to the top? So before, I was saying don’t sell your clients anything. I’m going to give you some more nuanced
language and how to deal with this. A client will come to us 90% of the time, because they want us
to produce a video for them So I’m in the same boat as you. How do we get them from being here to talk to us about a video? To talking about something else.
So we have to do a little dance. We have to slowly move with them and
point them in a different Direction. I refer to as embracing and then pivoting. Okay?
It’s not a sell. Because it sells a punch. I want to embrace. I want to move them to the side a little bit. How do we do that? Somebody comes in. “Chris, we’ll have the work. We saw this and this spot. We saw ancestry.com.
We’re really happy blah-blah-blah… So that’s great. That’s great. That’s the embrace. “Appreciate you coming out to find us to hear about this. I’m glad you like our work. That’s great.” But I’m doing something new with my practice. Something I have been doing in the last two and a half years. And I find that if I can sit down with my clients, and understand who their customers are… …with the challenges and then pain points are, I can better service you. Can we spend 30 minutes talking about this? Here comes the pivot. “Yeah” In generally speaking, when I do this for my
clients, they find it to be very valuable. This is by my pitch here, okay?
They tend to find it very valuable. Like “Yeah, I got 30 minutes. Let’s do this” So I say “Well tell me who your customers are. Tell me what your sales channels are. Tell me how you’re doing business. I want to understand that What do you think their needs are? And we go through this. And this is part of what we teach in core. We draw out what their needs are.
We draw out what their pain points are. And through that. By the end of the conversation,
We’re no longer talking about a video. You know what. You need to do the branch out your deck for us. I’m like “Ok, great.” “I’ve got to say one other thing” then I say… Because I want to start planting the seed that what I’m doing is valuable not free. Okay? Designers, creative types feel guilty to be paid for talking and thinking. When’s the last time you charge
money to talk and think? Right. You can only charge if we’re on the box. As soon as we get off and the clients ask us “What should I do with this or that?” We’re not on the clock anymore.
Now, attorneys don’t work that way. Consultants don’t work that way, but
designers work that way, I forgot the one last little bit in that exchange of embracing and pivoting… …is to say something like this. Now, typically… I charge ten to twenty thousand dollars to do discovering strategy. This first half an hour is free. It’s on me.
I want you to see what I can do. If you find it to be valuable, let’s talk about
engagement later on. But I don’t want to talk about money right now. I just want to see if I can figure out something with you. That’s it. So now they’re thinking “Okay”. You know when you meet with
a financial advisor or an attorney, The first meeting is always free so I use that language. After that, it’s on you. First one’s on me. Second one’s on you. Now, one last little nuance bit I’m going to add to this, so you guys know how I do it, is… …more often or not if I’m sitting there talking to the CEO or somebody important within the company, They’re too small. Right? A big company has many layers to get through. So after we’re done, They’re sitting there thinking
“This was wonderful. You helped me… …understand something about my business and my customers. I’ve never understood before.” That’s valuable to me. I say “Okay. That’s great. So here’s my problem if I would to charge you my normal rate, I don’t think you can afford it based on
what I figured out about your company already Based on your revenue, based on your margins, you can’t afford this. But I am open to some kind of
alternative compensation model. Do you guys know what that means?
Alternative compensation model. Barter. Barter. Anything it’s not a direct money exchange for services Typically how I’d like to structure is, if you pay me my hard cost so I don’t go out of pocket, because I have to hire people, Everything else is negotiable. If it’s a tech company, I could do equity. If it’s a product, I could do products in exchange for services. Or I can do a revenue share. So for every unit that’s sold that I help you move, I make a percentage of sales. This is freaking awesome It is the holy grail of what it is that we do in the service industry. To be making money while we sleep? Would you like to do that? I’ve done these deals. It’s freaking awesome. It is really awesome. Alternative compensation model. Business people understand that language. So what I do is I don’t ask for what that payment is. I let them figure it out because, generally speaking, they’re going to be more generous to me that I would be to myself. So then I say well, what makes sense to you based on what you saw here. Hmmm… Why don’t we give you a rev share? What is rev-share mean to you? 50% after expenses, you get 50% I like that. I was going to ask for 15. I let them do it because I’m gonna
negotiate them up. If it need to be.

100 thoughts on “How To Get Design Clients: Sales and Lead Generation

  1. The video is awesome, thank you for sharing, I can use your video to post to my site, I just want to share more people know about your video, I do not for the purpose of money.

  2. We can't believe this video doesn't have 100x more views. Thank you for all that you do. This information is insanely invaluable and impossible to find. It was by mere chance we ran across it in an article posted on facebook.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this video. I've only discovered your channel yesterday, and it's insane the amount of value your providing here.

  4. idk…i prefer a more organic way of pitching my design ability. The social media/hash tag thing is good for some people but I just find it lacking in true engagement. I know that if I can meet a potential client..then I got em. Maybe instead of cold calling i'll show up in person at a social engagement and develop a line of communication the old fashioned way, and follow up with social media. It takes a bit of courage and charisma to walk up to someone but it just feels better and leaves a much more lasting impression.

  5. Chris Do. You are awesome. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. I feel really blessed to be able to learn from you from such a distance and for that I am so grateful. I hope my competition doesn't find out about you ;P

  6. Hi I was interested in taking your class to improve my designs skills and business, where could I find more information about your classes?

  7. May all the good stuff you are putting out there come back to you tenfold. It's really wonderful how you are making such and impact on these kids…..and the quality of your content is second to none. All the best.

  8. loving the content so far, … just started watching stuff today.

    I do SEO and paid traffic, got some good insights for my personal biz.

  9. Hey Chris! first of all THANK YOU! Me and my team learned so much from you, I have been following a some great entrepreneur like Patrick David, Grand Cardone and I am really glad that i found you here in youtube…I have this goal when we got big, I will personally come to you and shake your hand and tell our success story because of you 🙂

  10. So related to that bit where you say we designers feel we can only charge for producing. Thank you for giving me the confidence on charging for my thinking and talking.

  11. Wow, I never thought of these before. Thank you for sharing, Chris! I immediately subscribe. Just curious, why did you blur out someone's face in the vid? ;D

  12. Thanks for the enlightenment.. chris…. i was bit on to the artistic side rather than the business… but i remember you saying it's the business we should put our effort on in a another session… this one is excellent.. too …

  13. Please in future vids, put instagram, twitter and snap tags so we can follow some of these guys. Great comments. Great video.

  14. I'm so tired of hearing about Gary V. He got lucky with the internet. If the algorithm was off we wouldn't have Gary V now. These days you not only have to be all over social media but the platforms force you to advertise.

  15. Coming from a marketing background, this video tells me that I'm ready to start making millions lol. Thank you guys! It seems that I started the process in reverse order.

  16. hey chris, I don't know if you are still going to read this, but about your "anxienty" to talk in front of people. First of all i would have never thought that sitting in that classroom. Just one little tip/critique (i am really not trying to offend you) but maybe you could put out your chest a little bit more, it comes over more confident and you will also feel more confident because you produce more thestosterone like that i believe, try it.
    You're almost perfect in every aspect of teaching, I only found this for you to work and improve on.

  17. OMG .. That question at 19:30 .. many of my customers have problems beyond the website and I have problems selling them consulting services after they contact me for web design work only ..

  18. "selling" in one point of view is branding via testimonial, bandwagon, projecting value such as generosity or quality or reliability or accountability. but "selling" is also a choice of option given to a prospective client. you're not selling so much as to show what answer you offer to a client in " need" a wedding ring buyer is going to a ring shop. sale person is not selling wedding ring as so much as the " right choice" of ring in consideration.

  19. Hi Chris! at 5:51 you talked about faking and talking like that. Could you please explain what kind of video you were talking about.
    Is there a specific word for it, as far as I can guess, it is sales talk. 🙂

  20. @ChrisDo: Thanks so much for these valuables videos. I've watched quite a few of your videos already, but I've just started on this 4-video series. I've been taking notes like crazy, and I'm only on the second one of this set!

    I'm a solopreneur graphic designer with 15+ years experience who is really ready to up his game, but where to begin? I really appreciate your putting all this great content up on YouTube for free – because it gives me a place to start.

    I know it takes an immense amount of production to produce content of this quality, and I applaud you for being willing to help other designers (like me!) navigate the business part of design, as well as the business of design itself. I'm definitely going to sign up at theskoolrocks.com in October.

    Thanks, thanks, thanks, Chris. (I think three 'thanks' is the max before you start thinking that I'm not being genuine.)


  21. Awesome as always guys! I really dig the ACM (Alternative Compensation Model) option for business. Any chance of doing a video on the steps (legal, contracts, etc) to see this type of thing through once client agrees and the negotiation is in the works?

  22. Thank you so much I believe this is the missing piece to what I have been trying to accomplish, now I can look forward to 2018 with confidence. Blessings

  23. Whatever you do, don't build a website for a church. I am a Christian, but I have never had a positive experience developing for a church. Either you get the contract but "in-house talent" is constantly there trying to wrestle the site away from you, or the church has problems getting the money they agreed to pay you. I could go on and on about the time and money I have lost trying to use my talent to benefit religious organizations, but just trust me and avoid them.

    On the other hand, manipulabilities make great clients, if you are prepared to handle a complex project.

  24. My business is built on cold emailing, cold calling, and cold leads….

    This guy is giving advise for those super expensive "boutique" agencies that charge $10k – $20k just to learn about your business… as he stated.

  25. Sometimes ask too many questions and than client says I am about to hire somebody who are more quick responder than you and ready to start work instantly. It's like client think I can't understand the job requirements.

  26. You said at the end of this that if the client responds low to your 'what do you propose' question you will negotiate them upwards, do you have a clip on how How to do that?? Also saw one tip of yours about writing yourself a letter to give yourself confidence to charge more, do you have a video on more of such exercises such as rationality of how to set based on costs and typically unfactored hidden costs, market and the technical bones of self value in relation to price and why its alright to charge more or the one where you said you charge 3 times whatever the market is? I think if you perhaps were to name it along the lines of 'how to price' or '10 exercises that will help you charge more' it could be of pinaccle help and interest to all of YouTube even outside the multi media industry. I have found it so difficult to charge anyone for anything my whole life and so am basically at 0 at present. You are the only person that has even hinted towards a light at the end of the tunnel concerning this. Haven't found one single motivational speaker talking specifically on the technicalities of this that you are. This could be a Ted niche for you, if you are interested. I am in my twenties. Beyond remaining alive and juggling the expectations of my wife, kids, parents, siblings and inlaws, I feel I live to do a distinct line of philanthropy in the world through problem solving ideas, mediums and inventions I have, and am basically living to get myself in a position to do so. I can see that these will require resource. So one thing I want to try is to do a mindmap of what I would do with the money if it came. That way I would know how much is needed for any of these realities to come true and so feel perhaps more confident in charging someone for anything. What do you think? The last question I have is that you have used a commercial entity to frame your interaction. What about if this interaction took place with a local government department?

  27. There is nothing wrong with sales. It is a needed aspect of business. It is a tool just like everything else.

  28. Dammmnnnnnn I sure as hell been looking at that email headline longer than any email today! You right lmao!!

    Definitely gonna take heed to this advice!

  29. Here's a chance for me to work on you a little. No one arm wrestles with their arms that extended. Think about it. You wouldn't have any leverage. And, when is the last time you saw an arm-wrestling match where two dudes are wearing suits or sports jackets? Maybe they could be wearing "thefutur" Teesprings.

  30. Great video. Especially like your comment about not going in with a mindset to sell a specific service regardless of what the client needs.
    Brilliant quote: ‘If you have one tool, like a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That’s not the way you service your clients.’ So well put. Thanks

  31. Your way of approaching this is very informative although it also really depends on location you are at, I am starting out freelancer in motion design I am building my portfolio page right now, and for me I am like onliest person I know who knows about this motion design, I have no friends or family members who know what it is, or would know someone who would need this kind of service, I also struggle because I am an artist and love to paint but atm in my life when I cannot decide what is that what I want to be like the best at, atm I am like you say OK at majority of things like Illustration, Animation, Digital Painting, Video Motion graphics, I love to do all of the things and cant determine my self for one to bet the best at. And also there is no one around me with same interests. so it is really frustrating to develop my self, and to get a client I see only cold email to be the best way to get from 0 clients to maybe 1 at least.

  32. After 2 years of you posting this video it is still changing people's lives. The alternative compensation model – gold. You're the man Chris. Looking forward to meeting you one day and shaking your hand.

  33. Gosh, thanks guys for ur work! and what u do!) i'm writing mostly everything, translating so much new terms (not native english speaker) thank you! and hello from Ukraine)

  34. LMAO!!! 23:25 "being an architect sucks" …. I'm an architect. I love doing graphics and websites on the side. I love the videos from Chris & Co. Very inspiring.

  35. I'm an Architect Chris and I heard that. lol
    I really love what you are doing. Your videos have being helpful.
    Thank you.

  36. I am from india , and am student doing btech IT 3rd year.
    But i love graphic designing and i don’t want to sit free … so i doing freelancing from last year.
    Watching your videos give me direction how to manage everything.
    I want to meet you 1 day and want to thank you 😇😇

  37. These videos are excellent, I'm very grateful with what you are doing.
    Could you make a video with some hard facts about the benefits of upgrading graphic design on business? Like the convertion ratio of the skincare mailing.

  38. Love the content, however one thing confuses me: on social media it is important to show one expertise so people know you for THAT style and can follow you. But what if your agency provides a range of skills you want to show off?? Keep up the good work🙌🏽

  39. This video is like a Bible for me, I watch it from time to time like a brand new piece of content and it always feels different from each different stand point of my business, watching design focused videos (mostly from you) has nothing to do with general business ones (real estate or stocks). Thank you Chris !

  40. This was one of the only lectures ive ever sat all the way through……. i have completed three years of college.

  41. OMG! I'm sold. I've been practicing architecture for over 10 years and would love to expand into brand strategy and identity design. Your comment was funny about the first years of architecture! Thanks

  42. Ooooh shit I feel like this is a game changer – I've never thought about alternative compensation until now…

  43. "google says;: ads are dead, its just info and entertainment" looks like you took that literally , cuz thats all ur channel s for 😀

  44. Email marketing is THEE most effective marketing tool. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you get $44.25 back

  45. I like what you said about content marketing and your 5 hacks for social media are spot on and how you need to control the content on your channel to just what the brand is focusing on. When I mix my web design and music posts on Instagram, it backfired on me. Since I have been concentrating on just web design.

  46. Chris these video's are so good, it makes me feel like I am there in a classroom. Plus the value is insane, and that for free. Much love from The Netherlands!

  47. This is phenomenal content. I'm actually going to be watching this with my partner, because you've literally covered 90% of what I couldn't figure out how to bottle into something digestible that he could understand! It's incredible, thanks for this. And: you even covered a "roleplaying" jedi-mind trick I was going to use on him, though yours is a little different (re: the google thing.) Thanks again.

  48. my problem is at the moment im not really a designer , i know how to use the whole cc suit and how to create and print stuff but basically i just recreate and print old bike decals because these are the only clients i have i know i could do ALOOOOOT more! im not sure how and in in wich design direction i should go to get things going to get real clients for real created digital products NOT printed products… i already did all kind of stuff for clients vectorizing, finalizing for print, webdesign (uiux), logo design and alot more… i cant really tell where my specialitys are thats why i dont kno where to start.. its like i cant see the wood because of the tree…

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