I Tried This Viral Strategy To Find Design Clients — Part 01

Thumbnail by author (image not mine)

Is it really that viral ?

I don’t know, but I have seen hundreds of designers claim to use it and gain some form of success.

So I decided to walk in their footsteps as well, because why not — I anyway don’t have clients right now.

What is the strategy you may ask ?

Sending unsolicited re-designs of websites to the company’s CEO and hoping to convert them into a client if they like your design.

Now before I show the people I reached out to, and what design I sent them — let me walk you through some downsides of this.

– Lack of data & uninformed decisions

I, as an outsider, have 0 clue about the business decisions behind the website’s current version.

Maybe the site is purposefully made ugly, because ugly websites in certain cases do perform better.

– Not everyone is looking for a designer

Do they have the budget ?

What if the founder is too attached to the current website ?

What if, they just don’t need a re-design at the moment ?

Lots of things to consider here.

But with that being said and done.

I went ahead anyway.

I sent a total of four re-designs to businesses I had eyed over a month.

Here’s how it went…

1. DeployToday

Their website vs Re-design

Found the product from Twitter where the founder was documenting his build-in-public journey.

And I thought, yes why not — seems like my ICP.

I re-designed the first few sections with a semi-glassmorphic effect and sent it to the founder on LinkedIn.

He responded immediately, stating that he decided to go for someone else’s dark theme design.

Which is okay, we move.

Status : Didn’t convert

2. AppBrew

Their website vs Re-design

Found their founder’s profile on Twitter and saw they’re looking for a product designer to join them.

I thought this would be a nice opportunity to pitch a re-design to them and see if they’re open for a freelance negotiation.

I received a reply over email after a week and he was kind enough to let me know that he hired someone else.

Status : Didn’t convert

3. Handpicked Deals

Their website vs Re-design

I found this one on Reddit, and don’t think they had a live website at that point.

I proposed the guy a website redesign after looking at his current MVP that he posted on a niche subreddit.

And he asked for a bit more time to think and later responded with a “no”.

Status : Didn’t convert

4. Mental

Their website vs Re-design

Found them on ProductHunt and as someone who is almost clinically insane, the product resonated with me.

I proposed their founder a hero and category section re-design — where I went for a bit more sleek and minimal vibe.

He never responded either, and I’ll take it as a no.

Status : Didn’t convert

What next ?

My success rate here was 0%.

Which is horrible, not going to lie, but it’s an okay start.

I got to flex my design muscles in short sprints (I spent less than 2hrs on each designs) and got introduced to new people.

I don’t see this as a total failure because, now that the designs are rejected — I can turn them into templates to sell and add more work to my portfolio.

It’s a win for me either ways — might get a client and if not then a template for side income and increasing my email list.

Doesn’t look much horrible now, does it ?

PS — the first template will be a free one, and out soon. I’ll update about it on Twitter.

Hi there 👋🏻 I’m Sharanya — a freelance UI designer writing about design and documenting his journey.

Currently booking projects — let’s chat.

Check my design templates on my shop.

Find me on Twitter, Dribbble & LinkedIn!

Sign up for my newsletter over here!

I Tried This Viral Strategy To Find Design Clients — Part 01 was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.