Now that you’ve graduated from your color consultant certification course, it’s time to find your very first client! Not sure how to do this? QC Design School tutor and industry expert, Christina Kittelstad, has 6 tips to point you in the right direction!
Christina is an accomplished color consultant, home stager, and painter. Her work has been featured on HGTV’s show, “House Hunters”. She’s also the proud owner and lead color consultant for Spiral Design Color Consulting. Christina is best known for creating beautiful, functional spaces through the use of color. Her goal? To create a sense of style and personality that’s as unique as each of her clients!
Life After Earning Your Color Consultant Certification: Getting Your Career Started!
If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you’ve worked super hard to advance your career goals as a professional designer. As such, you’ve committed the necessary time and focus to earning your color consultant certification. Now the day has finally arrived, and you’re ready to get out there and do what you do best.
Firstly, congratulations! Secondly, isn’t this feeling simply AMAZING?
As part of your training, you’ve learned how to identify your ideal client. Thus, you’ve probably created a concise marketing plan in order to target those clients. But now what? How do you actually find your first legitimate client?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Let’s take a look at my Top 6 tips to help you get started…
6 Ways to Find Your First Client After Earning Your Color Consultant Certification
Tip #1: Consider offering color consultant services for friends and family!
This is actually how I found my first clients. So, I’m speaking from personal experience when I tell you this is an EXCELLENT way to get started! For starters, it’s the perfect way to ease yourself into your new, exciting business. Furthermore, your friends and family will be thrilled to receive your color consultant expertise.
Working with friends and family you already know also gives you a great opportunity to get more hands-on experience while growing your portfolio. In addition, you have all sorts of people who can then give you testimonials, which you can add to your business website. Not to mention, you can test out your current pricing structure on them and get their feedback. That way, you can adjust work out any kinks that may exist in your business and marketing plan – before you begin working with paying clients.
Lastly, by building your in-field experience with friends and family, you’re afforded priceless opportunities to start word-of-mouth referrals. These can create the beginnings of consistent projects in your future. It’s a win-win!
Tip #2: Create a strong marketing and social media presence!
After receiving your color consultant certification, one of the most important tasks for helping you gear up to work with your first client is to make sure that all your marketing and social media is ready to go. Moreover, it all needs to have a strong online presence and SEO. This way, clients can easily find you!
Consider these marketing tasks:
- Allocate a marketing budget to get the word out!
- Create a beautiful, functional, and easy-to-navigate business website! This website should include clear contact information and the specific design services you offer (i.e. color consulting, staging, interior decorating, etc.). It should also have a high-quality portfolio or gallery that demonstrates your best work. Lastly, dedicate a section of your site to showcasing great customer reviews. When prospective clients look into your business, they’re going to want to know what others before them thought of your services!
- Set up your social media accounts based on your target client! These social media platforms can include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other relevant accounts. Once established, ensure to keep your original content current and consistent.
Tip #3: Get involved in your local community!
The best place to start is by connecting with the community around you and offering your color consultant services. Get to know your local non-profit organizations, charities, businesses, schools, and community centers. Most of these community organizations have small budgets and can’t afford color/design services. By volunteering your subject-matter expertise, you’re becoming a valuable community member. Furthermore, you’ll be meeting a real need and building important relationships.
Who knows – these relationships may very well turn into paying projects in the future. After all, you never know who will pass your name on!
Tip #4: Announce the launch of your color consultant business!
This is vital to letting your friends, family, and community know that you are open for business and now offering color consultant services. An official launch announces to everyone who you are and where you’re located. Furthermore, it invites them to support you! This can be a really fun way to start your career. So, make it as big and fancy (or as simple and unique) as you want! When done properly, a launch will perfectly reflect both your style and your professional image.
Need some launch ideas? Here you go!
- Create a fun launch, ribbon-cutting, or grand-opening event. Invite everyone you know for drinks and snacks. For extra good measure, you can offer a fun draw for a free color consultation! Maximize this opportunity to share your new business. Make sure to thank everyone in attendance for their support. And before they leave, don’t forget to gather their emails and contact information for your database.
- Send out an email campaign announcing your business launch.
- Contact all local media about your upcoming launch. Send a press release and professional photo, requesting coverage of your launch event.
Tip #5: Connect and collaborate with fellow business colleagues, designers, contractors, painters, and other important vendors to start growing your business network!
By connecting with your fellow designers and vendors, you’re letting them know who you are and what services you offer. Building this network is key to keeping a pulse on your local design community. It’ll help you make sure that you are seen, stay relevant, and keep your marketing on track.
It’s also a wonderful and fun way to share ideas, find necessary services for your clients as they come up, and support each other’s businesses. My first steady clients were acquired through a few local painters with whom I’d reached out to and offered my services at a reasonable rate.
Tip #6: Get professionally trained and earn an internationally-recognized color consultant certification!
This one may seem obvious, but it’s important to let potential clients know that you have the necessary knowledge and skill-set they need! Receiving your accredited color consultant certification through QC Design School shows your clients that you’ve taken the time to become a true subject-matter expert.
As such, they’ll be able to trust that you take your career very seriously – and that they can be confident in the top-notch services being offered to them. Trust me: putting in the time into your education upfront will ALWAYS pay off later!
Join the discussion 5 Comments
These tips are sure to set you up for success! My first clients were also friends and family as well, and creating networks through these relationships as a starting point is so helpful!!
That’s awesome, Daniella! Referrals can truly be the bread and butter of a good business, and we think that’s awesome that your friends and family helped you to establish such a strong and solid network for your design career. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! <3
All the best,
The QC Team
Getting your first client can be such a challenge! Great tips for starting out after certification 🙂 Well done!
These are essential tips to having a successful design career! I really enjoyed reading this article!
Hey Alexa, thanks so much for reading and commenting, we really appreciate it! Christina is always the BEST at providing insight industry expertise, especially when it comes to all things related to one’s color consultation certification and career. Out of curiosity, which tips was YOUR personal favorite? 🙂
All the best,
The QC Team