September 18, 2020
We’re all looking for opportunities for expanding our businesses, whether it be to grow larger, or to grow into other areas of interest and activity. The great news is, you already have access to one of the most powerful tools for creating targeted marketing and promotions there is. Yay! It’s your Mailing List.
In this episode we chat about the strategic use of opt-in opportunities as a way of building your mailing list—and your client base. Along the way, we’ve got some tips for using these tools as a way to put your design business in the direction you want it to take.
So, what is an opt-in? It can also be called a lead magnet, or sometimes just a freebie— it’s something that you give away for free in order to and encourage people to sign up to your mailing list.
It is really important to build your marketing foundations on something that you own, and not rely on borrowed space from Instagram, etc., where algorithms change regularly and you risk losing everything you have built overnight.
And remember—content that is sent to dedicated mailing lists can have higher engagement from your target audience than other marketing strategies.
Gone are the days of having a simple sign-up form saying ‘Hey, will you sign up to my mailing list for news and updates, pretty please’. People just tend not to engage without a little extra carrot to encourage them to give out their precious email addresses. Our inboxes are overloaded, so it has to be very worthwhile to invite someone in.
Amazingly, it seems that a majority of design studios are still not using opt-ins, and we see this as a crucial missed opportunity.
Opt-ins are a juicy-good approach to graphic design business-building that break the mould of traditional graphic designers and allow you to create your own opportunities, as you please in the way you please.
They can be used to share with your audiences the things that make you ah-mazing while building your email list and, ultimately, converting your strategic lead-generating magnets into sales.
On top of that, you can use them to really explore who you are and create special targeted offerings that are in your unique style. When you use opt-ins in a strategic way, you can allow yourself to live and breathe your special creative niche, or, create new leads for new target markets you are after.
When considering what you would like to offer as an ‘opt-in’, it’s crucial to present ideas that identify you as a design leader.
Every offer you make should lead directly back to you and how you can help—you are the real value behind the opt-in offer, and it’s what you will bring to the table that will ultimately help your clients reach their goals.
What your audience will be opting into, is you.
Or are you working on projects that are not lighting you up? You might be working for clients in an industry that is not allowing you to showcase your insane illustration skills. Perhaps you’re stuck working with dry corporates instead of with a vibrant fashion house? Or you are doing a heap of print media work but you’d love to break into digital design?
Maybe you just don’t have the key clients you are dreaming of yet.
Whatever the case, creating strategic opt-in opportunities for your ideal graphic design clients allows you to create your own opportunities… a little bit like choose your own adventure!
With our many years of professional and educative design experience, we’ve collected a bunch of great ideas for creating opt-in opportunities for your target client-base, sales funnels that will allow you to introduce passive income into your revenue stream over time.
Plus, a well-conceived and well-targeted opt-in campaign can potentially lead to bigger, more meaningful relationships with your clients, creating opportunities to do the kind of bespoke design work you’ve always dreamed of doing.
Okay there are so many. But here’s 5 great ones you can start working on today:
1. Social media icons
A must-have in any brand collateral suite. These little babies can become the catalyst for a brand overhaul or even a completely new brand.
2. Canva templates
Perfect for time-poor clients and they are easy to create. Insta stories are the flavour of the month and having a template ready to go allows your clients to engage easily and efficiently. Bonus points for a how-to video which explains to clients how to use Canva. You can easily record your screen using Quicktime on a Mac or www.Loom.com (Loom is great for shooting off quick instructional videos to clients too).
3. A quiz!
Everyone loves a quiz, right? Just ask Buzzfeed. They can seem a little silly, but don’t underestimate the time and strategy that goes into developing a quiz—or the potential results. Quizzes are definitely a top player in the land of opt-ins, quite simply because it’s human nature. We love to identify with things, any and all things, and quizzes have the ability to validate us in that way. If you can get your target clients to say “Aha— that’s me,” you are well on the way to forging a winning business relationship. Research tells us that entrepreneurial leaders often rate the quiz as the best-performing element of their website.
4. Create an educational PDF.
Sometimes people just need a little nudge in the right direction… which might be just the thing to convert interest into a sale. Positioning yourself as the go-to expert is often the “way to go”. You could offer tips on how to present brand consistency. Maybe you’re a web-design whizz with a self-auditing plan for websites to share (your clients self-audit and you help fill in the gaps). Alternatively, you could present the 5 Signs its Time to Rebrand, or the 5 Things your Home Page is Missing. Whatever you like! The beauty of it is that you get to keep to your own lane—and you can target those brands you’d especially love to get your hands on. These tools, can generate more work with existing clients and help attract your ideal ones. Helping to educate your clients can potentially encourage them to let go of a brand that isn’t serving them, and to build a new one with you. (You’re the expert, after all…)
5. Create a printable.
Most graphic designers are multi-passionate and lean towards fine art or illustration, and we’re betting you’ve got a unique way of doing things. So why not unfurl your creative talents with your self-exploration, while adding value to your potential clients’ lives with something beautiful? It’s a win-win! You could consider fine art prints of illustrations or beautifully typeset quotes…or perhaps a daily or weekly organiser is more your thing? Always make sure your creations are aligned with your brand and with the kind of work you want to do—and ultimately attract.
The list quite literally goes on and on, so ask yourself: where can I add value or educate? What do I enjoy doing? What can I do in my sleep? It’s time for you to take the reins and created the opportunities you deserve.
Don’t have a website yet? Don’t worry! You can still direct people to your opt-in opportunities from social media pages and deliver them via a newsletter provider like Flodesk. Why not? Your potential clients will be directed to a beautiful landing page, follow the prompts, and download their freebie. We use Flodesk and we love it. It’s perfect for designers. Trust us.
Click here to get 50% off the price of Flodesk… for life! As at the date of this post it’s only USD$19 per month…with unlimited subscribers.
Before you go…
The key is to focus on:
1. What you want to do—set your goals
2. Your target audience, and
3. What will help them expand in some way
If you nail those three things, you’ll have ’em clamouring to download your opt-in offer, and you’ll be well on the way to getting the type of clients, and the type of work you want!
In our future podcasts, we’ll be taking a deep dive into Sales Funnels, what to send out to your mailing lists, and all that goodness— and—how you can use them to grow your Graphic Design business.
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