I can't count how many times designers have uttered that their clients don't appreciate their work and restrict their creativity. But this is not always the client's fault, (in all fairness, there can be some annoying clients out there) but how are they supposed to know your expertise if you haven't made it clear. Right clients can only find you when they know where you're standing.
Zoom in on Your Specific Field
Many designers feel that they want to please every client they get, but then when the client opens his/her mouth, the designer will soon discover that this project will almost be impossible because of your differences. However, many designers can't literally afford to say no. So how do you get the right clients. You niche yourself with one type of design which you're willing to make. The answer is simple, but are you willing to make that decision.
Having an average knowledge on every field in the design industry will help you a lot as you'll learn more about the different market places and peoples' needs in them. However, this is not how you win! Being good at everything is okay, but to be great you need to chose one field and cut out the rest. Sharpen your focus on a particular field that interests you the most, lets say it's wooden bamboo chairs or floral patterns. No matter what your field is, when you've made that decision it's up to you to make that field into your own. This makes it easier to concentrate and you'' gain experience faster. Now you have the chance to become the best: anytime a potential client needs help with that particular field, they'll turn to you.
Now You Know Your Focus, what to do with all other knowledge?
When you know what to focus on, it would be rather boring to only search for information that has that field as title. The world don't need to be that dull. When you have your focus, you can learn anything and adapt it to your field to make it more exclusive. May it be physics, poetry or fiction. The possibilities here are endless. You have to make your expertise into a complex system: so when your competitors want to compete with you, they'll get lost in your system because of the long hours you've put into it.
The best process is through constant research. You can make it a daily task to view three or four different sites daily. And as you visit these, don't get too caught up in the information like any reader, but set yourself as a curious detective, in search for ideas.
Final Step: What's Your Story
To attract clients, you need to make it very clear on who you are and what your story is. In the end no one really cares about your degrees, but they want to know more about you as a person and what you can do for them: what are your values, where are you from and what's your perception of design. And also, most importantly what you don't stand for! Make it clear for your potential clients that you're willing to listen to them and that you do understand their problems. We people are emotion driven, and if you can't understand who you're talking to (one person is your main client), then how should people communicate with you.
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