How To Get More Design Referrals | Melanie Greenwood | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Trailer: How To Get More Design Referrals


    • 2.

      My Story


    • 3.

      Listen To Your Clients


    • 4.

      Be Easy To Work With


    • 5.

      Treat Clients Like A Good Friend


    • 6.

      Do Great Work


    • 7.

      Complete Before The Deadline


    • 8.

      Over Deliver


    • 9.

      Promote Your Client's Project or Brand


    • 10.

      Make It Easy To Refer You


    • 11.

      Ask For Referrals


    • 12.

      Challenge and Encouragement


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About This Class

This course is for: Artists, Designers, Illustrators and Hand Letterers.

I have been running my own freelance design business for over 10 years and have not once ever paid for advertising. All of my clientele is based on referrals.

In this course, I have created an effective and simple checklist that lists the key things that will make you stand out from the crowd of other designers, illustrators or hand letterers. If you do a great job in these areas when it comes to client service, I am confident you will be on your way to wonderful client referrals.

When you get referred by a client, one design job can quickly become 2, 3, 4 and so on! Referrals are the best way to get more work.

Along with a great the end of this course you will have a strong awareness of what it takes to keep the clients you currently have and inspire them to refer you to their friends, family and colleagues.

In this class, you will discover:

- How carefully listening to your clients fears, ideas and vision will set you up to success.

- How being easy to work with will serve you well as a freelancer

- How treating your client like a good friend will benefit your design business

- What defines "great work" and how to communicate that to your client

- Why going the extra mile and over delivering is a good idea

- Why you want to complete each design job before the deadline

- How to help promote your clients project or brand

- Ways to make it easy to be referred

- Way to ask for referrals

"I believe that if more Designers and Illustrators followed these key principals of client service, they would greatly increase their referral rate." - Melanie 

I look forward to you joining my course and please feel free to ask me any questions! Also I love reviews!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Melanie Greenwood

Designer & Founder of Vision City Studio



Welcome to the my newest course: Design a Rock Band T-Shirt: From Sketch to Vector Art

In this class, we are going to create a t-shirt design for a rock band, from sketch to final vector.

You Will Learn:

1. How to use words to create ideas! (Attribute Words)

2. How to research design references.

3. The rough sketching phase - this is an important time or exploration.

4. How to refine your sketch.

5. Tracing your sketch in Adobe Illustrator.

6. Adding color and texture to your design inside Adobe Illustrator.

7. Exporting for AI vector (screen printing) and also PNG for print on demand.

8. How to create a 3D T-shirt mock up. (Bands can use this photo on soci... See full profile

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1. Trailer: How To Get More Design Referrals : My name is Melanie Greenwood, and I'm the founder and designer here at Vision City Studios. In this course, I want to talk to all of the power of referrals. I've been running my own design and illustration freelance business for over 10 years now, and I am not once taken out Paid advertising. I have depended 100% on referrals from each client. Like anyone, clients want to be treated great. And when they are, they will talk about it. To their friends, to their family and to their colleagues. I believe that one great client can turn into several more with great referrals. So for that reason, I created a checklist for this course that you and I can walk through together so that each area off designs service. An illustration service can be provided for your clients to really generate the best referrals possible. And in turn, you and I will get more and more great design jobs. So join me in this course. I look forward to walking with you through this process. 2. My Story: Hi, guys. Welcome to the course. I'm so glad you decided to join me. I know this course is going to benefit your design career, and I know this is gonna help you to generate the best referrals possible, So stick with me as you walk through this program. Now, first and foremost, I want to share a tiny bit of my story with you. Just about how I started. Generate referrals. I think that it might help to kind of get the wheels rolling when it comes to generating referrals in your own business. In my life, that actually began when I was actually in school. I went to school for a three year design program and while I was in school, I guess all the students were just so busy and they were starting to get design clients themselves. So they actually started Ask me for some help on some design jobs. And so I started to take on design literally, as I was learning, which is kind of interesting in itself. But it happens a lot, and it was actually a really good challenge for me to begin thinking as a freelancer, which is what I knew I wanted to do. I wanted that freedom to be able to work for myself, to work from anywhere in the world, to work on the beach, to work anywhere. And I knew that that's the lifestyle I wanted. And so right away I was so eager to take on any design job. But I could now, as I did one design job. What happened was just as well as we're about to share with you. Just the idea of referrals. One job became two jobs, became three jobs, became four jobs. Each client just happened to see the work that I had completed for the first person and the second person in the third. And so on and right away. It was like a pattern of referrals began to start the way that they were seeing my work is just by literally walking by and seeing my actual design work or by chatting with the original client and the client to single. Yeah, I had Melanie work on this for me, and she really helped me out with this, and I had a really great experience with her, so that's really where my referral started. After that. My referrals began to then take on a new turn when I kind of went into the real world and began working as a freelancer for riel clients, not students but actual clients. Some of my first clients were actually in the music industry. My boyfriend at the time was pursuing music as a career, and so naturally I was working on all of his CD covers and promotional materials, skateboards, posters, you name it, and so naturally, when I would be out at parties or out it shows or events, people would come up to me and say, Hey, I saw the work that you did for your boyfriend and I really like that kind of style. He told me that you were really great to work with, so obviously my boyfriend's gonna give me a referral, right? But then what happened next was kind of interesting, because the clients I took on after him, they also really liked my work. So they began to share with their colleagues, and before you know it, I was working for different people, not only in my own country, which is Canada, but in America, in the UK and even all the way in Japan. It started to really just happen really fast. And this is the power of referrals. You'd be surprised who knows each other because nowadays it's all a big global village, as we all know. So one person knows another knows another, knows another. And now that the Internet is obviously where we live, this is where everything is seen. People have quit conversations like, Hey, who did all your promotional pieces? They could be like, Oh, Melanie did it. Oh, cool it. Just send me her and your contact information. And just like that, you're getting a referral and you're expanding at your clientele. This is the way referrals work. And that's why I'm so excited for this course because I really believe that when you tap into the power of referrals, it'll change your business forever. So I'm gonna walk you through the process of actually designed a checklist for you to download that you can actually go ahead and download now. And what we're gonna do is gonna walk through several areas I really believe are powerful areas when it comes to referrals and generating referrals. And what I'm gonna have you do is every time you have a client. I want you to walk through this thes checklists and that you can really make sure I might doing all these things. These are the different ways you can really start to kind of guarantee in your own mind. Ham do my best. I'm giving my best service because it's not just about the final product. I really believe it's even more in a lot of cases about the service, about the experience, and how did People feel as they were working with you. So stick with me and let's jump on to the next section and get started. 3. Listen To Your Clients: in this section. I want to talk to you about something that I think is such a huge area, and it's often overlooked, as common sense is, it may sound. It's actually not that common, and the area is listening to our clients now. It sounds again like common sense. However, I think it's something that's really overlooked. For example, say you go, Do you like your hair dresser or something? And you want to get your hair cut and then you walk out of the hairdresser in your hair is butchered. I mean, this is point happened everybody at some point in our lives, right? But this is the feeling that clients get when our designers, illustrators, hand letters, creatives, literally just go off and do whatever we want to dio and honestly, we've all been kind of guilty of it. We all have our own ideas that we think are just better than the clients, right, And you know what? Yes, we may have a trained eye and we may have an expertise in an area. However, if we're not listening to the main key pain points, the main problems that our clients want us to sell for them, then we're actually missing the entire thing. So it's not just about making something look beautiful and pretty. I mean, the difference between a designer and an artist is very, very obvious. A designer is all about serving a client. It's all about communicating. The message is that the client wants to say an artist, however, as much as I love artists and I'm on artists as well, so I kind of, um on both sides of the fence. On artist, however, is somebody who is completely uniquely expressive. They are not necessarily trying to serve a client. They are are working for their own vision, which is great, but they're not necessarily working around the concept of a client. And with the client is looking for, they're somebody who will then maybe sell their art to a gallery or to a variety of different outlets, and that people who purchase from them are going to go based on. I'm a fan of them. I'm a fan of their vision. However, when it comes to a client basis, it's not like that at all. I think that's where we need to shift gears when your designer and you're a service artists are a service illustrator or hand Lederer. You're actually serving your clients first even before your own ideas, and I know that's sort of a hard pill to swallow sometimes. But the beauty is when we actually marry the two and when we can really serve the client and what their needs are while being true to ourselves as illustrators and designers and artists. And so it's really a powerful thing when you merge those two concepts together and you actually are being true to yourself and doing great work while really meeting of the needs of our client and listening to what they need. For example, maybe you're working for a cupcake shop and you're building their branding and the illustration of same, maybe their logo illustration, and it's going to be may be incorporated within. Marketing Team wasn't like that, and the team and the client of come to you and they say, Hey, look, this is the look that we don't want. We don't want to blend into the look of every single cup cupcake bakery in our city. We actually want to stand out. We want to take it in different direction. We want to go a bit more modern with a bit more minimalistic or whatever it might be. And then you and I say, Well, I actually think that it should look like this and then we go off. We do our own thing and maybe we might have a valid opinion. However, if we're not listening to the pain points, because the real pain point in that conversation waas they don't want to blend in. So we have to listen almost to the underlying fears of our clients. I know it's kind of psychological, but honestly, as we're all communicating in the first meeting or phone meeting, or maybe it's coffee or drink meeting, Um, we need to actually be listening in for those fears. Those nerves, those kind of anxieties that all clients have when they're really passing over their business or their project to you and I as illustrators and artists and designers, they're actually putting their baby in our hands. If that makes sense and they're asking us to really identify it, to make it special, unique, something that's going to stand at the marketplace, for example, And so if we're not hearing those real fears and nerves that they might be expressing to us . It's gonna take away their confidence in us like that, And not only that, it's going to make sure that they will never refer us on to anybody else. So this is why I really believe listening to the client is everything. I never listened to my client, the first meeting without a pad of paper. Always, always, always have my pad of paper with me. Or maybe it's my phone and I'm just taking notes on my phone, and I'm just recording words that they're using. I'm recording colors that are that really reflects their brand. I'm recording things that they like they don't like. I asked them things like, You know, what kind of brands do you relate to Who? Your favorite fashion brands, Even if they are a cake, cupcake shop or bakery or ah, food company or there are hair salon or whatever they might might be, I would I ask them questions that kind of will stir up my own mind about who they really are and who is the real brand that they're trying to build. So I really take a lot of notes in my first initial talk or email or whatever it might be with my clients. I definitely believe that over the phone or maybe over Google, hang out or over Skype or in person. I believe the face to face thing or the actual audible thing is much better than email. So that would be the better way that I recommend that you hear your clients. But again, I can't stress it enough. I think this is an area that is really overlooked, and I think it's overlooked because we're all so busy and we think I'll just get done fast and get paid. However, that's not the way to please a client. And frankly, if you want to charge more spending time, listening is worth money. I believe so. It's worth of really high quality payment. If a designer is professional, um, enough to really hear me as as a client, then I really will be willing to pay them more. And that's the honest truth. This is not like a fiber thing or a online quick send this designed to client thing. Um, and I don't have anything against those things, but I'm talking about taking your and I freelance business next level. I'm talking about serving clients on a really high, hard professional level, and that's really where I feel like has made the biggest difference for me. People are actually surprised when they see me taking notes, or I say to them on the phone, Actually, can you say that again? Cause I'm taking notes and they actually like you are. I just said something so silly it didn't make any sense. I was talking about the lyrics of a song I didn't actually have any, Um, any relative. And I say, Well, actually it does, because it actually communicates to me who you really are and who is your brand. And so they go, actually, yeah, you're right, that's true. And so I'm listening to the things that they're not even saying intentionally. It's almost like they're saying them subliminally. So I want to encourage you again. Really? Listen, listen. With a pen in hand, listen with your phone and handsome, you take notes. Your iPad, whatever might be. Listen, listen. Listen. The key to starting any design job is to really listen to your client. I think 4. Be Easy To Work With: Hi, guys. Welcome back in this section I want to talk to you about another area that I think is a huge area when it comes to working with freelancers like you and I And that is being easy to work with. For goodness sakes, Please hear me when I say that there's nothing worse than the most talented artist, the most brilliant illustrator, the most amazing designer who is literally the biggest pain in the butt to work with. Okay, I am actually somebody who is not only a designer and illustrator, but I've also are directed on several different jobs over the years that have been really long, kind of ongoing jobs. And let me tell you, I've had to actually hire in other designers illustrators and working with people who are hard to work with. Just drive me nuts. So I can only imagine how all the clients feel out there who have had this experience. And I can't even a stress enough that the second thing I would say in this process would be be easy to work with. Being easy to work with is obviously common sense, right? But why is it so hard to work with certain people that are artists and designers. These are the questions I ask myself, and that's one of the reasons that made this course. I really believe if people just make it easy to work with them, they get way more work, they get way more referrals. And so I just can't even stress this enough. Here are some examples of being really easy to work with. Number one Respond immediately when somebody sends you an email. Do not like Let it go on more than one day before responding. And if you have to say like you're so busy or your like going on a flight and you can't respond that day, respond right away and say, Hey, I've got your email Thank you so much for your email. I will respond to you within 24 hours, but don't let it go beyond 24 hours. The reason why is people are on time frames in general, Even if their timeframe is for several months, they're still in a time frame, and we have to respect that. So especially if they're working with, like, a marketing team or something, that they might have somebody else kind of breathing down their neck. And so we want to make their life and their job easier, so I can't even tell you how much. How much more important that that would be is to respond immediately. Don't make it a long, 23 day response That's way too long. Another area I think is so important is to make sure it's easy for people to receive quotes from you as well as to receive payment. So, for example, if you are requested a quote don't make it this big, long dramatic event to send them back. A quote. Your quote should go back to them in a very simple email that should be one or two lines that says, Thank you so much. I love to work with you for that type of job I charge blank. There should be a dollar amount. And then I would always followed up with a really simple line that says something like, Let me know if this works with your budget and I look forward to working with you, period. Cheers or goodbye. Thank you and your name. So honestly, I think that's so easy and simple, and I find people really have a hard time with that. I've actually made an entire course all about payments and how to generate payments for yourself and to make sure that you're giving pricing the right way and also receiving payments on time so you can look that up if you want. But I think that this is an area that's really overlooked as well. And people get really freaked out when it comes to giving a quote. It is way better for you to give a quote that's too high than to not give a quote at all. If you if you give a cool that's too high, they can actually say, You know what? I don't have that budget. I might only have 75% of that. I may only have 50% of it, but then you can at least work with the person if you choose to. If you say I don't know or I don't have answers to that quote, that's going to make you and I look ridiculous and so I want to just really encourage you make it easy for them to get a quote from you. Often times they would have sent out that request to several artists and maybe two or three of you. So if you don't respond again the email thing and you don't respond quickly, and if you don't respond with a number, they're gonna go with somebody else, and that's it. So you don't want to miss It is jobs. I don't wanna harp on this, but I really want to encourage you because I want you guys to get the jobs just like myself . I want to make sure we get the jobs. Another thing is, make it easy for people to pay you. So when you send them an invoice, make it super crystal clear where they're going to send the payment. Maybe you're accepting payments over papal. If so, say that clearly and in bold on your invoice, please send payment to my PayPal account and then write the PayPal account right there for them to send it to orbits. An e transfer. Please send your e transfer to this bank account. Or please send the check written to this name to this address and written out as clear as day so that it's impossible to miss make it so easy for people to pay you that There's no drama, no issues. If you can send people a link in an email is even the better way. I would say to do that like save your sending a PayPal and voice, which I find a lot of my clients are asking me to send them a papal invoice, even though I send them a general and voices well, they're almost asking me to send a papal envoys just for the convenience because they can actually take their phone and they can just pay me right there on their phone. So that might be a way to generate an ease when it comes to payment. There's a variety of different ways that you can take payments, but I would definitely make sure that you make it so easy that they can't miss it. So again, make it easy to receive a quote from you make it really easy for them to pay you again. Pay Pal is a great option, depending on how you were actually doing your business in your product business. So make it really super easy to receive payments online. Maybe you have the option to only have PayPal or to have PayPal online as well as MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Make sure you have the most options because not everybody has a PayPal account. So for myself, I work on etc. A lot. I have a product line by selling, etc. As well as my design service, my design service. I will invoice one way and obviously my etc sales. They go through my Etsy shop and I have made it so that people can do direct check out on my Etsy shop so that they can pay off the credit card because not everybody has PayPal. Some people are kind of freaked out with PayPal they're not sure about, especially the older generation. So you again, again, you want to make it really easy for people. You want to make them feel really comfortable when it comes to payments and quotes. So again make it really easy for people to work with you in this area. Lastly, I want to make sure you're aware off another way to make it really easy. To work with you is to be able to pick up your phone and talk to them e mails. Great text is great. Instagram messages. Great. I messages Great. All these different things air great, however, picking up a phone and actually calling people and discussing things over your phone. Or maybe it's over. Google hang out or over Skype so people can actually hear you and if they can see you even better. But I find that personal interaction with a client making sure there are 100% sure everything's OK. You're still on track. Everything is still on target of the time frame, but by communicating things audibly is much better than just over email. There's been several times in my own business where things may have been miscommunicated over email. Not big things, thankfully, but just like little things where they maybe didn't read it right or there were like reading it while they were, you know, going about their day and they may be read it wrong. Or maybe I typed a typo that could happen to you accidentally, to a type over text or over email. But if you're saying it to them and they're hearing you and you're hearing them over the phone, I find it's just so much better and also being available to talk in the phone. So maybe they email you and they say, Oh my goodness, there's a big panic attack happening at the printer. And can you please call the printer? Because I'm starting to freak out Number one. I would pick up the phone and call the printer, deal with it, and then I pick up the phone again. I would call my client and say, Look, I've talked to the printer personally. Everything's on track. Everything's OK. The exact color Pantone color that you wanted is being used. The metallic is being used. Everything that you want is happening. Don't worry, I've taken care of it. So it's just again a comfort thing. It's a service thing. People think, Oh, you don't to do all that. Just send them an email and those people that don't get referred. So I'm telling you the secrets that will get you refer it, so don't miss any of them. Make it really, really easy for clients to work with you 5. Treat Clients Like A Good Friend: in this section. I want to talk to you about the idea of treating your clients as though they're a good friend. Now, I know it sounds like a bit of an extra layer, but I've actually had several of my clients become really good friends. And guess what? They refer me all the time because they know me. I know them. I've been able to serve them and work with them and really provide great service for them that we've actually became friends over it. And I want to encourage you that this is really possible. And I also want encourage you that the reason why you want to do this is because when you're in a direct relationship with people of friendship, it actually makes it fun to work with people so that the client doesn't feel like they're working with this designer or this illustrator. They don't we know they wanted a few like olders this girl Melanie I work with. She's awesome, ever like working with her like that's the kind of talk you wanna have that goes around working with you. So, for example, when you are sending out an email and maybe you're requesting some information or maybe requesting logos and photographs or things that are going to become elements in the designs you're working on. It's all about being really friendly. So you might just be like, Hey, Meghan, I'm just wanted to follow up with you and send you a really friendly Ah, happy Monday reminder to police send send out those elements that I'm needing to get started on your job. I'm so excited to work with you. So the way you talk should be casual should be kind of open and friendly and airy and really make them feel like you're just actually getting to know them. Like, for example, women working together. They might literally be like, Hey, girl, this is what's going on today. I'm so excited to work with you. Awesome. See later by like, they actually talk. I'm noticing. Nowadays, like women, two women, we talk to each other like we're pals. And honestly, it helps. It really helps to kind of generate that relationship. That friendliness. Um I mean, men to man. I've heard my husband work with different illustrators and designers, and he would be like, Yo, dude, police didn't send out this thing to me. I'm really before two It awesome like that. That's the way they talk to each other. And I noticed it actually helps the dynamic of the relationship. And it actually I think in the end helps to refer more people because you feel like you're referring a friend, not referring this random person you don't know. And so if you're afraid, your friend, you feel more confident in that referral. So you're putting your own name on the line when I refer somebody, I'm putting my own name out there, right? And so I want to really encourage this kind of relaxed, really friendly conversation. Now, having said that, I want to also pull back a little bit and make sure that you're aware of this. One thing you don't want to do is divulged too much information to clients. For example, if you're meeting with a client and you're having maybe breakfast or a coffee or a drink and you're talking about a design job, you don't want to show up and then literally divulged to them all the stresses you've had in your personal life that week and maybe all your like marriage stress or your stress from your Children and all the You know, your kids were sick all week or just all that kind of personal stuff. That kind of level doesn't need to be divulged. So when I say friend, I'm talking about just friendly interaction may be talking about the weather. What are you doing this weekend? Um oh, what? Your plans for the holidays. Oh, cool. I'm doing this that kind of conversation. I'm not talking about going so far as to divulge personal information. Um, like things about, like, religion or politics or health. Um, those kind of things I would steer clear of just so that you're not over doing it, cause you don't. You also don't want to be the person that's talking too much, and that's just talking. There were often there just calling to find out about their logo, and they're just sitting on the phone like with this girl. Just stopped talking. You don't want to be that person either. So I want to encourage you, Teoh, treat them as though they're a friend. But don't overdo it. I also want to remind you that clients will always remember first how they were treated before they remember the final product. So believe it or not, they will not only think about you as Oh, this is a designer that gave me this great logo or this great pamphlet or T shirt design or whatever might be. But they're gonna have really internalize the way that they felt working with you. So if you're treating them great and you're just really treating them as though there are friend, they'll remember that And they will refer you so again I won't encourage you. You are a great designer. You are a great illustrator and you are great artists. And let me tell you show that to them. Through their service, The way you serve them, you make them feel Add the service layer to it and I guarantee you it will definitely pay off in the end. 6. Do Great Work: one of the best ways you can generate referrals is to do great work. I'm not talking about just doing an awesome logo and then whipping it off to them and just saying, There you go, there's your logo. This is why I had for you. I'm talking about doing great work, which includes explaining to them and sharing with them along the journey. Why, it's great work. The why in this case is everything really communicating and sharing with your client why you've created the work that you've created. For example, you might be sharing with your does your design clients three logo designs as your initial samples. Now, as you're presenting those three logo designs, whether it's over email or in person, you want to with each logo, share the idea behind it. How it is solving their challenge is how it is solving the pain points that they might be communicating to you earlier on. In the process, you might say something like, I went with these color tones because I really know that your brand wants to communicate a sense that there eagle friendly and that they're environmentally friendly. So I really went with more of a natural tone of earth Penis and earthy textures to really communicate that. So that's why I actually went in that direction. So there you go. It's like I'm selling the idea to the client by sharing the why it'll give the client a lot more confidence in why you're making certain decisions. You are because you're really holding in your hands as a designer, the power to really shape their brand. And so they want to know that you get them. And so, by not communicating any of that just by throwing logo's at them, they may not fully see it at first. Not all clients are as visually kind of communicative as we are, and so they want you to kind of help them along the way. They might say something to you like, Well, you're the designer. You tell me like, Is this the right thing for me? Like I'm really depending on you right now. Can you please show me? What do you think? Like they want our opinion so and they want us to tell them why this will work for their brand. Show them why this is going to really help them. So by providing not only great illustration with, like the best of the best as faras techniques. And obviously things have to be sharp pipe quality if it's going to be photography if needs be high quality shot with professional lenses and cameras. Obviously, I guess I'm more talking about the service related to making sure that each piece is great . So it's not just about Oh, I'm gonna throw some work at somebody. It's very much about how can I communicate with this client that I am serving them? I'm providing the answers to the problems that they were having the, um, I'm really comforting those pain points that I heard as I was listening to them earlier on , and I am really delivering the solution that they really need for their brand, which will in turn help their business. It will help their brand to build with their audience that they're trying to reach. So these are all the things united to be thinking about and communicating to our clients. Now I know artist sometimes contend to be a little bit more quiet. Sometimes, depending on your personality type. I find a lot of artists tend to be more internal and not really like to communicate audibly are verbally. However, I want to challenge you. If that is your personality type, I want to pull you out of your shell a little bit to communicate on. And if you're very verbal on your very outgoing awesome, this is something that might come easier for you. But if it's not, I want to challenge you. To do this, to really communicate with your clients. This will be a huge thing to generate way more referrals, way more business. And it will really bring confidence to your client that you are doing not only a great job but a great job for them that will work for their brand. So again, making sure that you're doing great work and proving why it's great work is key. 7. Complete Before The Deadline: Alright, guys, we're getting through the process now, and at this point, I want to share with you all about the idea of time management and not just meeting a deadline, but making sure you meet that deadline early. So, for example, so you have a logo design project and the deadline is on Friday. Now, you've just are the job on maybe on Monday. What you want to do is what I call work backwards. So if you're deadline's Friday for you and me, because we're awesome, our deadlines, actually Thursday. So we wanna work backwards from Thursday. So Thursday is when we're gonna be sending the final product. So we're gonna work our way all the way back and say, Well, then, if I'm submitting the final on Friday, the 90 to actually submit the ideas by no later than Monday, late afternoon or Tuesday, The reason why is because, say, submit three design ideas for Monday afternoon. You want to then give the client 24 hours at least to go over those ideas. Now, I'm talking about a hypothetical situation. Some clients need more time, so you're going to ask them those kind of questions. But if they're on a tight timeline for, like five days for a logo, for example, which is actually quite common. You want to know that you're sending them the local ideas with at least 24 hour window for them to think about it, feel it out, show to their family and friends, show to their colleagues and kind of get a bit of a gauge on what they want to do. They might come back to you on, say, Tuesday afternoon and say, I've had a chance to look it over. Maybe if you said it on either Tuesday or Monday night or Tuesday morning, give them that little window of time. Maybe it's on Wednesday morning and they say, Hey, we want to go with option number two. We want a slight adjustment to the color. Can you send us back the new sample? And what you're gonna do is you're gonna respond right away with a new sample within an hour because you're obviously on a really tight timeline and you're going to send them back the final for them to approve. And then they would hopefully approve that by Wednesday, and then you send in the final on Thursday. Now some people might say, Wow, it's like so much. I know extra work as far as making sure you meet the deadline. But it's really not because you want to meet the deadlines early because you want them to remember the feeling of being done early. You want them to save themselves. Wow, that was actually really easy. It's a lot easier than I thought it was gonna be those kind of thoughts you and I want our clients to be having go through their minds because the way they feel as they're working with us is everything. So you want them to save themselves on Friday? Wow, this is already done already. Got it done by Thursday, out of the stress today. Now my Friday could be more chill. I don't to worry about it. It's already done. How awesome. Mel was awesome to work with. You know, you want people saying things like that, so getting done a little bit early is crucial, and I really encourage you. Maybe it's a longer process job. Maybe it's more like a month. You want to get it done a few days early on a month job Or maybe it's a few months job. Get down a week early. Just give them that extra window of time so that they can have that relaxation feeling that's done that you got the job done. You got John early. This will make a big, big difference when it comes to whether they want to refer you or not. They'll say things to people like this girl got the job done and she didn't just get it done. She got it done ahead of schedule. So these kind of conversations, we want to be kind of buzzing around the kind of people we work with, and I guarantee you this, well, really set you apart among other designers. 8. Over Deliver: Hi guys in this section I want to talk to you about something that I think is a riel extra goody that will really set you apart from your colleagues and from those that are competing . I guess you could say for the clients that you want. I believe that over delivering is one of the number one areas to do this by going a little extra, going the extra mile and doing something extra special for your clients. I believe this is something that will set you apart because they will remember the treatment and the feeling they had. When you surprise them with an extra surprise or extra goody or when you over delivered for them. For example, say you're working with a rock band and you're designing all their packaging for their new album. Not only do you want to provide wonderful design illustration ah, layout. You wanna have it done and have a great service experience with you. You heard them. You worked with them. You created this awesome whole thing. What you don't want to do is then drop it off to them and say, See you later. Have a nice time with that. You want to take it all the way to the printing process and make sure that that was printing needs are looked after 100%. For example, you're not gonna just give them the file. You'll also do that. But you're going to go ahead and say, Hey, look, I personally know the lingo to talk to these printers and maybe the special manufacturers. Maybe they're getting special products made like skateboards or backpacks or just something unusual and extra. You want to make sure that you are following that product all the way to the very final to make sure is being printed beautifully. So you're going to say, Hey, I'm gonna take care of all the printing conversation. I'm gonna sim it the files to the printer for you. I'm gonna do the approvals at the print process for you. So when I get approved back from the printer, I personally will help you, and I will give you my okay and then the clank and then send their okay as well. But you want to be the eyes and ears all the way through to the printing process. Now, if you work in more of the area of products. Like, for example, myself, I sell paper products that recycled goods. They are art prints and greeting hearts. So sometimes when I get an order, actually all the time, every single time I get an order, I will always add one extra thing and save the order, something that's like over $100 worth of product or more. I will add several pieces, maybe two or three or four pieces, depending on how much they spend, because I really believe that creating surprise moments when people received things in the mail for me has been a really great turning point. People will always comment on it on the reviews on my Etsy page. So save your Etsy seller Amazon seller or you sell on like Big Cartel or any of the main selling Shopify. Any of the main selling platforms for products I want encourage you maybe add a little extra goody. Maybe you had a sticker are maybe you add a greeting card. Maybe you make fashion pieces. Maybe you add like a little extra detail that they're not expecting. Maybe you double the order. I mean, if you really want to go crazy with this and just surprised people knock their socks off. Then you can do that. And this is called like sowing seeds. People say, like, you know, sewing sees into the future. I think it really is true. And I saw a major shift when I began doing this. You can also do things like write a simple hand written note that is personal from you. Maybe has something special to do with their order that could really kind of just make them feel like allow This designer took extra time to write me a letter that's so nice or like a little thank you note that goes really far when it comes to over delivery. So I can't even stress enough how important it is to really take the time to over deliver. 9. Promote Your Client's Project or Brand: another great way to get referrals is to make sure you're also helping to promote the new product that you've helped design. For example, say, if you're working on a project for a say, a product that's coming out and it's coming out on a certain day and there's gonna be a really great launch for it. And the marketing team is all working up to this one day when this is all coming out. So say it's like a movie and you're doing the movie poster for it or or it's like somebody be announced that's going to be announced on a very special day. Or maybe it's a photography campaign that's dropping and it's gonna be in a fashion magazine. You know, different things. You want to obviously be really sensitive to the promotional schedule or to the drop schedule. You don't want to talk about something until they talk about it, but when they do talk about it, or maybe it's an album coming out and you've done the album cover or a logo design, and there's a new shop opening when they're dropping it, and when they are announcing it launching, you want to join your voice to it as well. And you wanna share this new piece that you've designed at the same time as also announcing the product that they are trying to push So you might go on your blog's or on your INSTAGRAM account, your Twitter account on your Facebook or whatever it might be. And you might say something like, Hey, guys, I'm so excited to share this new thing. I've just designed for this brand. They're dropping X product, like whatever that product might be. You actually announce it and say It's a really great product and I'm really honored to be able to have partnered with this brand to develop this product or to develop the artwork for this band or whatever it might be. So as you can see you get the idea, it really depends on what the product is. Well, the Project ISS, but joining in on the promotion and saying I'm gonna also share this with my group. So maybe you've got a bunch of artists that follow you. You've got a bunch of of your own kind of art fans, so you might have yourself. You might have you know, 30,000 instagram followers, and this is just a great way to I kind of feel like you're on their team. You're not just a designer, you know, just their illustrator. But you're kind of on their in their marketing team in a way, because you are saying I'm gonna also join my voice on DSHEA with my people, my followers that this new product is coming out so again, joining in on the promotion and promoting as you are announcing your newest design is a great way to generate referrals because it makes your clients feel like you're part of their team. 10. Make It Easy To Refer You: Another thing you want to be really aware of is that you want to make it easy for people. True actually refer you, for example, on your website. It would be great to actually have a refer me here, button or share kind of button so people can share your website with their colleagues with their friends with their kind of work friends. That's really important. To be able to offer another way is actually just give your clients may be incentives and say, You know, if you refer, I would offer this as well. So you might tack on a special service or special product and just say, I want to thank anyone for all of your referrals, And I'm offering a really special extra set of, you know, whatever it might be. Maybe it's greeting cards if you're in a product business. Or maybe it's this, you know, type of extra design thing. I'll also not only offer you your, um, your logo design, but also lay out your business card. You might want to offer a little extra and just say I offer this to those that might refer me, and I really appreciate your referrals and just kind of make it easy for people to refer you that way. Giving incentives are always great and again on your website. Making a nuptial option refer me here would be a great way to generate referrals as well. 11. Ask For Referrals: last but not least, I want to talk about a way of getting referrals. That is also pretty obvious, but a lot of us might be a bit nervous to do, which is just to come on out and ask. The power of just asking is amazing. And you'd be surprised how many people would be like, Oh, of course, left to refer you. I love your work. I love working with you. It an honor to refer you, but often times us as artists. We don't want to be self promoting or, you know, asking for things like that because we don't wanna be aggressive. And we think, Oh, I don't want to be that girl or that guy, So we just don't we just keep it really quiet. We just hope and pray that they will refer us to get more clients. But I want to encourage you that sometimes you just can if I don't ask. And it's also not just about asking, but it's about the way you ask. So, for example, maybe ask on your invoices or maybe over email, you can follow up with them maybe a week or two after the job is completed and just say something like, You know, Hey, Susan, I just wanted to follow up with you. Make sure everything went okay with you with that jaw we're working on. And make sure that you're fully happy with it. Number one. And if you are, I also wanted to just ask if you wouldn't mind thinking of me in the future to refer to your friends and family and colleagues. And I would love to work with you again in the future. Something like that. Just a really warm, friendly email as a follow up is a great, really classy way of doing business. It makes people feel as though they matter to you that your they are appreciated by you. And you can't go over over thanking people enough. You can't think over thank them, so I would encourage you. That's another great way of asking. Another thing you can do is over the phone, maybe just having a conversation with them, give them a call Monday and just say, Hey, I just want to follow up and see how well that went. See how the, um, how did the product arrive or just just follow up and ask how everything is going. Say they've just launched their business and you've done their their signage. I just want to follow up and see how are people responding to the signage? Is it going well? Are your customers really liking the atmosphere that we created as as Faras? Like the interiors? Maybe you do murals or something. How are people responding to the murals in the coffee shop or whatever it might be? Whatever designer art and creative expression that you use is your art and is your business to really follow up is a really, really good thing. So you want to do that? And you also want to say, Hey, if you really happy with it, feel for you think of me in the future. I'm always working with new people. So if you wouldn't mind thinking about me, to refer me would be awesome. And just say it just casually like that and a lot of time to like, Absolutely, I'd love to Thanks again for a great job, and this is the kind of conversation you want to close out a job with, and often times one job with them will turn into more so This is also general way to kind of encourage them to keep working with you as well. So it's not just about referring away from them, but it's referring themselves almost in a way to come back to you. So by generally just and keeping the conversation going with follow ups or even letting them know what you're working on, you might say something like, Hey, Susan, I know we work together. Last month I also wanted to show you other project I just worked on that might just kind of relate to what we worked on. And I just wanted to kind of show you the next stage that I actually did for this other client. That might actually be something that I thought would be really cool for yourself. Um, that might be a really great way to kind of bridge. Um, the idea of working with one person into more than one job just saying things like, Yeah, I think this this could actually be something you may or may not want to actually apply to your own business. And I've seen it work really well for, you know, Tony's job over here, and I really want to just present that to you as an idea. Always thinking of ideas for you, Susan. And, you know, just keep that kind of conversation going. So again, following up asking is so powerful. I know. Takes a bit of guts, but I want encourage you to not be nervous to do it. And even if you are nervous, just do it nervous. Don't do it. Afraid as they say, Because what's the worst gonna happen? They're gonna what I'm gonna say? No. If they say no, that's okay. You At least you've asked and you've given it a shot. And this is part of really, um, developing your own business and taking the steps to really, uh, bring that work on an ongoing basis into your studio. So I encourage you to go ahead and ask 12. Challenge and Encouragement: Hi, guys. Congratulations. You have now come to the end of the course. I'm really excited for you because I do believe that this referrals course is going to be what is one of the things that really launches you into more work and then two more clients and into great referrals from those clients which will generate even more income. I really believe that now is the time for artists to generate a great income and a great client base working with the clients that you and I want to work with. And now is the time because there has never been more freedom for artists. We can now work from anywhere we want to work as freelancers. We can work on any timeframe we want to work on. There's so much freedom now available to us. And I really believe that this area is solidified. It'll only serve you to generate the lifestyle of creativity that you want to live. I encourage you to go ahead and print out your checklist. And for every single client, I'm going to challenge you to go ahead and write the name of the client, the top of your checklist, and go through every area off that checklist and make sure they're all checked offs that you know you're giving the best quality service. Not only the design, obviously, but the best service to really generate the best clients. Referrals for the future. Remember, one client can turn into two can could turn 3 to 5 10 20 Trust me, I've seen it happen before it's happened to me, and it will definitely happen with you. If you continue down this road to generate great referrals, I would you much success and encourage you to continue the generate referrals for your clients.