Growing your freelance design business

Matt Lambert
14 min readMar 26, 2020

Once you’ve got your freelance design business off the ground you’ll want to work on growing it. The first year will be a rollercoaster while you build a client list and figure out what full-time freelancing entails. After the first year, you’ll want to focus your energy on the following activities to take your business to the next level.


I’ve never done much in the way of advertising for my business. I think traditional advertising is a waste of time and money. The best way to get more clients is through referrals. Provide excellent customer service and do good work and your clients will tell their friends. If you want to work on building your personal brand and business online, you should look into growth hacking. Growth hacking is what companies like Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin used to build their businesses with almost no marketing budgets. The two main problems growth hacking helps solve are:

  • I don’t have a marketing budget
  • I don’t have a traditional marketing background

Although growth hacking focuses on building up a user base in a product, that isn’t far off from building a freelance business. You need to build a client list (user base) and you have limited resources to do so. Instead of spending money on ads that are hard to measure, you can complete tasks online to help build your personal brand. Check out the following slide deck for an introduction: