Marketing for Creatives — No More Cold Calls (Emails)

When I started freelancing five years ago, I found most of my work by cold-calling (or emailing. Come on…it was 2010). I still do it from time to time now, but people are just too busy nowadays to respond to emails coming from a random person.

In order to find work and survive as a freelancer in this busy age, especially someone in the creative business, you’ve got to switch it up.

As creatives, we are so focused on marketing other brands that we forget to promote and market ourselves. More importantly, we are not clear what our target audience or our position in the market.

We spend all of our time telling our clients what to do to be successful, that we forget to do the same with ourselves.

Being able to “do everything for everyone” doesn’t work anymore because there are too many good designers and with technology, they are more accessible. It’s a scary thought, but there is hope if we take time, do some research and market ourselves like we do our clients.

There are four things we can do as creatives to get work without cold-emailing.

Picking your ideal client

This doesn’t mean that’s only the only type of client you work with, it’s just the perfect subset of who you serve. You don’t have to cut off everyone who doesn’t fit the profile exactly and turn down new business if you need it. Finding an ideal client just means that you know who is a perfect fit for what you offer and you tailor your marketing efforts to that specific profile.

Determine your spot in the market

Once you find your ideal client, decide where you fit best in the market. Reach out to current or past clients and find out what they appreciate most about working with you as well as what they need most. Try your best to fill any voids that you see in the market you’re in.


This word gets thrown around all the time, but for good reason. People like to work with those that they know. The only way to meet other people is to get out and network. Social media can be a drag, but it’s here to stay and is a great way to connect with clients. Linkedin is another great option for online networking.

Social media is awesome, but there’s nothing better than meeting people in person. There are plenty of small business meetings, conventions and parties to attend where you can meet and shake hands with potential clients.

Be consistent in your marketing

Here is where you apply the information you give your clients to your own business. Blogging about your service and sharing it on social media will let future clients know that you understand what you are talking about. If writing isn’t your thing, start a podcast and talk with other like minded individuals about your service or market. Starting a Youtube channel and providing value towards that market is a great option since Youtube is the second largest search engine. Have fun and be creative.

As creatives, we have to realize that marketing ourselves isn’t taboo. Marketing is the only way that we will be discovered and sustain a successful business. The days of cold-calling and emailing are over. Standing out amongst all the talented designers in the world is only possible if you market yourself effectively.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.