How to get illustration clients

Starting and growing your illustration business means breaking away from things like:

  • Sending out postcards to art directors
  • Paying for ads in expensive directories
  • Applying for illustration gigs on job boards
  • Uploading your portfolio to sites like Behance, Dribbble, etc…
  • Getting more followers on social media
  • …and other passive approaches

This is the only course that shows you exactly how to find high-value clients who are happy to pay you for your creative vision and style. Without relying on getting discovered on social media.

Eight steps to start and grow your illustration business:

01: What not to do
Most illustrators play the social media game. Hoping they’ll get discovered by a high-paying client every time they post their work online. Others get caught up in paying for ads. Knowing what you don’t have to worry about as you set out to get more illustration clients can save you hours and money in the long run.

02: Creating goals that matter
It feels really draining to work on the marketing part of your work when theirs no end goal in sight. This lesson gives you the green light benchmarks you need to set for yourself so you never get flustered.

03: Defining your profitable clients
Imagine taking your work into an area where their is virtually no competition?

Figure out who’ll pay for your unique illustration style and vision. Nailing down this lesson will make the rest of your business easier to manage. Most students take their businesses into new markets and industries they never thought of before. In most cases, they’re the only illustrator, animator, or designer to have ever approached their clients.

04: Crafting your offer
Open ended services and a bunch of different visual styles lumped into a single online gallery confuse and limit how clients interact with you.

When you know exactly what your client will pay for, when you have an offer addressing their specific needs – the price of your services are a triviality. Your work have a tremendous amount of selling power and value when you know how to package it correctly for the right potential clients.

05: Generating leads
Understanding where to find your future clients are and how to reach them directly. So many creatives get caught up in “getting discovered”. You don’t need to pay for ads, have thousands of followers online, or even have a portfolio website to get your first clients.

Are these things nice to have? Yes!

Do you need them? No.

There are free and simple systems you can set in motion first in order to get your first paying clients. By just understanding your target industry and knowing who the key companies are, you’ll be miles ahead of other illustrators.

06: Qualifying leads
Your first emails with your leads are the most essential. How do you know they can afford your services? Are they interested in hiring you for your creative style and vision? Or are they hiring you because you can technically just get the job done?

07: Converting leads into clients
As a creative, you should never feel as if you’re in competition with other creatives in your field. This is where you finalize your leads and turn them into a paying a client before the project starts.

08: Double your clients with referrals
A key step that most creatives completely skip over. You can exponentially snowball and grow your client list by having your new and existing happy clients open up their professional networks to you. Your existing clients are the easiest people to get more projects and clients from. Also, if they’re happy with the work you created, they’d be happy to open up your professional network to you.

If you could connect with just one or two potential clients a week – it could change your income forever.

Get it right, and you’re instantly playing a different (and more profitable) game than everyone else out there. Get it wrong… and you’ll be running around in circles trying to get “famous” on social media.

Let other illustrators focus on sending postcards to hundreds of art directors, pay for ads in expensive illustration directories, or wait around to get discovered on social media.

READ: How to price your illustration services

Connecting with your potential clients goes much deeper. It builds a lasting relationships no one can ever take away from you.