I have seen a lot of freelance designers not competing for huge projects because they think that only big firms are capable of handling big projects. As a freelance designer, if you are talented, you can definitely compete with large design firms as well so underestimating yourself just because you are a one man show is never a good idea. Honestly, being a freelancer is a very tough job because a single person is handling multiple tasks and along with that the reason that freelancers do not have huge offices, big clients do not get attracted towards freelancers and they chose to go for large design firms. Now, that freelancing is gaining popularity, freelancers should work really hard to seek attention of big clients in order to be able to compete with large design firms.
If you really want to be a successful designer, you have to let go of these typical myths that you have surrounded yourself with, you can definitely attract big clients, all you need to do is do the right things at the right time. Basically, both your small firm and any other large firms you compete with are doing almost the same job. Designing and printing of flyers, brochures, postcards, business cards, posters, booklets, rack cards and calendars. Naturally, always carrying your business cards is an easy step to compete in a tough market. If you want to compete with large design firms, you should simply put your best strengths forward. Trust me, there is a lot that you can offer to big clients as a freelancer that large design firms cannot. So read the following tips if you want to beat these large design firms
An Efficient Customer Service
When it comes to customer services, these big firms are not very good with it. I have personally suffered this issue and in most cases whenever we make a call to a huge design firm, our call is kept on hold forever. If you are lucky enough to hear a voice of a customer service representative you will realize that they have outsourced their customer services and they person you are talking to does not really understand your problem. Not reaching to a customer service representative at the time of need can be really annoying for clients and this is exactly where you can beat these large design firms.
Providing a nice and reliable customer service can be a great incentive e for you. If your client is able to reach you and talk to you within no time at the hour of need, he will definitely prefer you instead of the big companies where you do not get to see the representative at all.
This point is an extension of the previous point. At times, clients do not wish to go the previous design firm because they were unable to get the hold of the designer. If you are available and accessible all the time, they will definitely hire you for their project instead of hiring a brand name which is not even accessible.
If you have not had a chance of working with a big client, let me tell you something about them. They are very particular when it comes to meeting deadlines. For them, meeting deadlines is a very serious issue. If they will go for big agencies, the agencies will have a lot to take care about therefore at times; agencies do not end up meeting deadlines. Even if they do, they handover the project at the last moment due to which any changes are impossible. As a freelance designer, you can make this your selling point and make sure that you actually meet deadlines so that even big corporate clients are impressed by your work.
Approaching Clients Personally
Approaching big clients can be a daunting task because most of the times they are busy or unavailable. I would suggest that you should not sound desperate for work but there are many ways to approach clients personally and convince them to hire you for their projects. You might need to work over the weekends and make sure that you provide these clients with your personal number so that they can contact you whenever they want, even after working hours. You will have a very big advantage if your client knows that you are available 24/7 unlike large design firms.
Freelancers are expected to give more to the project because they work on project basis and even a single project is very important for them. This can be one of your strongest points so make sure you highlight these in front of your potential employer. Now, this does not mean that you should not have any time of your own. You deserve it as well and you can take time off from work too but then again, being available all the time can be a very strong point for you so make sure you up sell it.
Versatility and Uniqueness
At times, all designs of large firms look alike. In such cases, versatility and uniqueness in every project can be of great help for you as a freelance designer. Remember, standing out from the crowd is very important so you need to bring a sense of uniqueness in every design of yours. These days, we do notice that every design looks the same so make sure your portfolio contains a wide and good range of different, unique and versatile designs.
Large design firms do demand unreasonable prices for the projects. In comparison to large design firms, freelancers can provide better prices and even better designs. In order to get big projects, under pricing yourself is never recommended but you should always ask for what your hard work deserves. Large design firms have more costs to cover which is why they do overcharge. As a freelancer, you can only charge for your good skills and provide all your clients with good projects.
Large design firms do not allow clients to really get involved in the entire project. Yes, initial meetings are necessary but once they start working on a project, getting a hold of large design firms gets impossible for clients and they are unable to give their input from time to time. As a freelancer, you can give your client an advantage of allowing them to stay involved with the project from time to time and they can even provide you with the feedback, in case any changes are required. This will save both of you from the last minute changes and you will come up with a project which will make both you and client happy.
As a freelancer, you also have an advantage of being flexible because you do not have to deal with other team members. Working as a freelancer can be difficult and easy both at the same time. At times, working entirely on your own can be really difficult and in some cases, working all by yourself is a blessing. Since you won’t be answerable to hundreds of people for a change in project, you are providing client with more flexibility.
As a freelancer, do not think that you simply cannot compete with large design firms. You have a lot of advantages over large design firms, all you need to do is use them in a right way and no one can stop you from achieving your goals.