• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Getting new projects


Senior Member
Hi all, not been on here for a long time due to starting other ventures away from design (kind of) and need to get involved more.

I've found it really hard lately to get new work and projects. I've tried emailing people, calling people, using sites like people her hour and social media but I dont seem to be getting through to anyone.

What do people do when work starts to dry up? Do you contact agencies, create personal work to keep busy??

I've re-designed my site to a point where I'm happy to put work on it, but due to the lack of work, the stuff I gave on there is getting a little old now.

Any advice would be welcome. Thanks all.
Never tried this (not a great start, eh) but walking around town, popping into local businesses with a busines card just saying 'Hey, i'm a graphic designer. Is it ok if I leave my business card with you just in case you need some design work sorted?' If they are actually interested they will ask questions. If they are not interested they will most likely (out of politeness) say sure, leave it on the side. Win-win eh?


Staff member
I tend to get personal work done to improve my folio and then get it out there.

That and walk the dogs, do the housework, fix stuff, school run and so on............and on..........and on.
Play a lot of golf.

But as I'm getting to desperation point now for work I've decided to go around the local businesses and introduce myself. Will let you know how that goes next week.


Staff member
I stand at the end of our lane with a sandwich board, spinning a huge arrow and gesturing towards my house.

Only been arrested twice up to now.


Senior Member
I think if you've got the time and the confidence then going around face to face and just introducing yourself to businesses is a good shout. I've never actually done this myself but last year I sent 450 letters out to new businesses and received one response that led nowhere so I certainly wouldn't recommend that. I think in terms of approaching people, the effectiveness goes email>post>phone>face to face.

Sean Lee-Amies

If there is a lack of interest in your services, it could mean that you are not getting enough exposure. If you are, then the problem could lie with your marketing materials, in that they are not converting enough people that view them into clients. Can we take a look at your website?

One of the best ways to get new work in is from previous clients and current contacts that might be able to put work your way. What efforts have you made to leverage these people in order to encourage them to pass your name on to others that could use your services?

Most people I know are usually quite interested in learning about the work I do and the services I provide. I always take the opportunity to ask if they might know anyone who might be interested in working with me, and that paid off recently as I now have a meeting with a potential new client today. How can I capitalise on this? I have told the person who referred this work to me that if it all goes through, I'm going to give him a bit of commission, as a thank you. I think it's important to reward people when they go out of their way to help you. If you can utilise this method well, you could effectively create your own sales agents.

Just out of curiosity, how many of your previous clients do you speak with on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, either by email, phone or face to face?

I think most, if not all of the suggestions you have gotten so far, or even will get, all focus on one thing; getting the word out about your services to people who might need them. The problem is that no one likes cold calling, and in reality even if you do get some initial success, it only takes one recommendation from a business partner, contact, friend, or even a friend of a friend to have that work given to someone else. I think that when you cold call, it initiates the relationship with zero trust - all the other person knows is that you want to sell them something... and no one likes that sort of relationship.

I like eating out at restaurants and trying as many new ones as I can. A while ago, I visited one in Brighton and absolutely loved it and even had a brief chat with the owner who was on the floor that day. A few days later I went to check out their website and it turned out that they had a huge Google malware alert that blocked me from accessing it....! Not only had I just been presented with a rare opportunity to get some new work in, when I did contact them it no longer felt like cold calling because I had already established a relationship with the owner previously - that involved me giving him money. I'm currently about three quarters of the way through, but this led to them wanting me to build a new website, printed menus, social media development services, and a great opportunity to start selling some of my artwork in the restaurant.

I may have gotten that project simply by calling them up without having eaten at the restaurant first, but the fact that I wasn't a complete stranger makes me believe that it gave us both more confidence in dealing with each other. Find ways to meet people who need your services and build up some sort of relationship with them first.

Wac, I'm inclined to believe you. I think face to face is definitely the way forwards, but are you saying that you think email is the most effective, or did you mean to reverse that list with the greater than symbols to show face to face as being the most effective?