How to impress design clients and get more business

Whether you are a freelance designer or work at a design agency, there are almost always two important goals at the forefront of your mind:

Impress your current clients & bring in more business.

If you’ve been working at building a business for very long, you’ll also realize that these two goals are very directly related to one another. Because a happy client is a chatty client. They tell their business partners or friends about the great work you do for them. A happy client is also a return customer. Keep them happy and they’ll keep coming back.

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First, impress your clients

Before you can worry about bringing in more business, why don’t you take a moment to really care for the current clients you have?

I don’t just mean creating great work or always returning their calls, although that’s part of it. I mean go the extra mile when they have a concern or question. Stop talking about them poorly behind their back, and always give them praise when you’re around them.

What most designers don’t realize is that a clients decides to continue working with you on the basis of more than just ‘good design’. They also make that decision based on whether they enjoy working with you, how important they feel when they are around you, and your personal character.

Think of the possibilities:

If a client loves your work, he’s bound to tell people about you. But if he loves your work and loves working with you, he’ll tell everybody. Instead of an empty recommendation like “She’s a great designer.”, he’ll be more specific: “She does great design work and she’s so easy to work with. She’s always nice to me and happy to answer my questions”.

A little cheesy, but see what I mean?

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Then, watch the clients roll in

Your current clients are your best marketing tool. In today’s world of word-of-mouth marketing both online and off, no designer can afford to neglect their clients. If you do it well, almost your entire client pool will come from referrals that other clients offer. How do I know for sure?

It works for me.

I can’t remember the last time I had to pay marketing dollars to get my name and services talked about. Yes, I kill myself working to make sure my clients have a good experience with me, but in the end, it’s worth it. And it saves me a few thousand dollars of marketing money each year.

What do you think?

But maybe, I’m alone in this. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the relation between your current clients and future business. Take a minute and leave a comment.

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About Preston D Lee

Preston is an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, and the founder of this blog. You can contact him via twitter at @prestondlee.


  1. This is one of those unassailable articles that puts forth a naive premise. If anyone dares to say so, you can say, “You must not be any good if you have to promote your business.” P.S. There are two goals, not there is.

    • @Kim Phillips,
      Thanks for the almost-constructive criticism. I think you may have misinterpreted what I was trying to say. Every designer should promote their business, obviously. But it has been my experience that the bet way to do it is through word of mouth and referrals. The best way to foster word of mouth and positive referrals is to impress your current clients.

      What do you think?

  2. Elliott the web design guy says:

    I think service speaks for it’s self, some clients will promote you if you give them a good service, most will not speak favourably if you don’t! New prospects will hear the bad news before the good!

  3. Very nice, I think the true key on how to impress clients is to truly understand where they are coming form, I should know I am a client. I have been working with some phenomenal brand developers from Sydney, Australia, DPM Creative Group and they understand what it meant to walk in the customer’s shoes, which was refreshing to see.



  4. Thanks for your tips, i love them and will utilize them 🙂

  5. Thanks for the tip. I d like you a lot of text articles.


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