Building a robust circle of influence is a foundational element of your creative design firm’s success. Yet, very few designers actually know how to cultivate this circle or are neglecting the circle they already have. If you are a designer that hasn’t put much thought into your potential client connections, you’ve got a wobbly inside your business! Following these tips will help lead your business to firmer ground.
Connecting with Potential Clients
To build a successful creative business, it is crucial to develop a comprehensive list of contacts that go beyond friends, family, and current clients. Your list should also include profitable partners such as local realtors, architects, contractors, builders, and landscapers, as well as fellow upscale providers like estheticians, chiropractors, or personal trainers. Additionally, don’t forget about brand partners, especially if you are looking to establish collaborations or licensing deals in the future. You might even consider populating a list through LinkedIn, especially if you are a commercial designer looking for corporate connections.
Expanding your list of contacts is essential for establishing a powerful circle of influence, but you also need to maintain engagement with these connections. Leverage personal touchstones with your clients such as birthdays, graduations, or anniversaries to reach out with a personalized message. You can even make up your own hallmark event with which to commemorate your business and send out a specially designed mailer for your clients to celebrate the news. By staying connected and nurturing these relationships, you will be able to unlock new opportunities with surprising connections that can elevate your creative business to new heights.
Don’t Snooze on the Snail Mail
While it can be easy to forget in our digital age, snail mail remains a powerful tool for building your circle of influence and income. Design is a very kinesthetic and tactile business: it is the business of the five senses. When we limit ourselves to digital mailings, we really hinder our own potential impact in our own creative arena. By sending out elegant cards, personalized notes, and well-crafted announcements, you can effectively raise your brand awareness and stay top-of-mind with your ideal, target audience.
Snail mail is an excellent way to keep your relationships with clients, both past and present, current and flourishing. By sending out quarterly snail mail cards, not only do you reinforce your brand presence, but you also create touchpoints that help foster long-lasting relationships with your clients and partners. Just imagine: these cards can end up on a client’s refrigerator, desk, or bulletin board, serving as a constant reminder of your work and the value you bring to their lives.
When you’re ready to take your design practice to the next level, explore your expert coaching and training options with Melissa Galt. To catch the entire podcast episode LISTEN HERE.