We all know this struggle: we want to be full-time artists and make money creating art. But in order to do this, we need people who’d buy from us. This is usually the most difficult part: how to find clients as an artist. In my career, I’ve tried many, many ways. Here are the top 5 easiest and fastest ways to find clients as an artist.
It’s easier to find clients as an artist when…
The key to finding clients and selling is understanding one thing: it’s much easier to sell to people who already search for services like yours and know they need your help. Talking to a completely “cold” audience is more difficult, as you have to first: convince them they need your services, two: make a sale. If you skip the first step and talk directly to people who already want to hire somebody like you, the whole process becomes much easier.
What are the 5 easiest and fastest ways to find clients as an artist?
1. Websites that provide traffic
Even if you have your own website, the most difficult task is to get people to see it = getting traffic. Again, skipping this step makes things easier. Websites like Fiverr or Upwork list services of freelancers in various fields. For many people, it’s the first place where they search for professionals to do the work for them. You can offer both online services as well as physical products. The websites process payments and charge a small fee for each sale you make. They provide traffic, because the more you earn, the more they earn. That’s why they’ll try to get your services seen by as many people as possible.
Attention! Websites like Fiverr and Upwork are great but are also usually known to list freelancers who offer lower prices. It’s not necessarily true – there are professionals who offer services at premium prices. However, be aware that many clients will expect lower prices than the average. I recommend following this trend (even if I don’t like it), especially at the beginning, to get testimonials and credibility on the website. Also, getting more orders, you place yourself higher in their search engines. As you grow, you can raise your prices to the level suitable for you.
2. Websites where people request services
In many countries, there are apps and websites where potential clients can request services, and professionals can answer and contact them. For example, in a few European countries, there is an app called ProntoPro. You pay some money to get credits and every time a client responds to your answer (only the first one), some points are charged. In this particular case, only 5 firsts professionals can answer the client so you have to be fast. However, this limited amount of options gives you a bigger chance of being chosen. This service works great for artists offering their services in a local area, for example, as in my case, photoshoots, but I used it also to get clients for web and graphic design.
3. Pages with lists
To find clients, you have to start thinking like your clients and follow what they’d do to find you. For example, when I was organizing my wedding, I had no idea where to start searching for a photographer, florist, etc. So I just typed in google search something like this: “Wedding photographer + location”. I found singular websites of photographers, but I also found super helpful websites with lists of professionals: photographers, florists, make-up artists, etc, etc, etc. It was so unbelievably helpful and put the overwhelm away. I had lists of hundreds of photographers, I could see their portfolio and prices, check their availability, and contact those whom I liked the most. It was so simple!
Of course, what I’m talking about doesn’t apply only to wedding services (although with those it might be easier). Search for websites listing artists in your field and location and find a way to be included. I know what you are thinking: “But if there are hundreds, what is the chance that I’ll ever be contacted?”. Trust me, for sure a bigger one than if rely only on your own website. Again, the admins of such websites are trying to get as many eyeballs on their lists as possible, as they earn on ads or small fees. What is more, not in every field there are hundreds of professionals, and even if there are – it means there is a high demand for such services. Believe in yourself. Also, consider that being listed, you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
4. Local notice boards
If you offer services in a particular area, you can check the local notice boards. On many of them, there are different sections for offers and requests. Look through especially the second one – as I already said, it’s easier to sell to people who are already looking for you. You’d be surprised how many people ask for recommendations on local notice boards – for you it can be an opportunity to shine.
5. Places where your ICA hangs out
If you talk to everybody, you talk to nobody. When you know your audience well, you also know where they hang out (online and offline) and you can check how to find new clients there. If you don’t know, who your Ideal Client is, make sure to read How to find your target audience? It’s a really important issue, so do not ignore it! Knowing your audience makes finding clients so, so much easier!
From my experience, these are the easiest and fastest ways to find clients as an artist. How about you? Did you find other ways that worked for you? Share them in the comments! And make sure to share this post with your artist friends. Let’s spread the love!