6 tips for winning new work

London-based branding studio NB’s brand strategists provide their practical insights into the tricky art of securing new clients.

The design world is a very competitive place and, while you may be a brilliant art director or have the best design portoflio in the world, you may still have the issue of how to attract new clients. Here, as part of a YouTube series for Computer Arts, NB account manager and brand strategist Tom Moloney and senior strategist Dan Radley reveal what you can do to keep the work coming in.

01. Develop good working habits

"We're a small team and everyone's getting pulled in a million different directions, so it's important to have habits you repeat every week," says Moloney. "It's easy to put [client acquisition] on the back burner whilst you're busy, so get some good systems in place."

02. Look at the clients you already have

Building relationships with people is central, Moloney adds. "You get the most work from people you're already working with, so spend time looking at businesses and trying to see where things might go. Make suggestions; help people with their jobs."

03. Work your contacts

Making good use of your contacts is vital for getting new business, adds Radley. "It’s having the discipline of a contact strategy: who do we know, who should we be reconnecting with, and who should we be talking to? Make it systematic. You literally just [need to] say hello to a lot of people and be friendly to a lot of people."

04. Dream about where you could go

Tthink big: "When starting out, [NB co-founders] Nick and Alan wrote letters to Steve Jobs and michael Wolff," says Moloney. “It's that idea of going, 'We’re passionate about this: let's have a go.' And there have been other occasions when we opened a channel of communication and something came in. You have to dream a little bit."

05. Be pragmatic

"There are so many amazing agencies out there, you need to understand what makes you different," explains Moloney. "It's really difficult to put your finger on, but if you can do that, you differentiate and stand apart a little bit. It makes the decision to choose you easier."

06. Don't get set in your ways

"We try new things all the time," says Radley. "Something we're really interested in now is how we use short-form video in a personalised way. There are often a lot of barriers between you and somebody who really wants to talk to you. It's about finding an unusual way to break down these barriers."

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 252.

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