How to find follow-up work

Your project's done, but you want more work! Here's how to use the tools at 99designs to get a steady flow of work from your clients.
Design Contests are just one part of 99designs—and they’re a great place to kickstart your creative career. Use the contest strategies below to capture clients early and ensure more work later on.

1. Get an edge with contests

Build relationships early

The sooner you jump into a Design Contest, the longer you’ll have to leave a lasting impression. Engage with clients in contests so you can showcase your professionalism, effective communication and work style.

If all goes well and you build a solid relationship, the client is more likely to turn to you the next time they need design work done.

Don’t overpromise

Time and time again, we see designers offering free work during a Design Contest to sweeten the deal so they’ll win the prize. Not only is this strategy against 99designs’ site policy, but it also undervalues your work. Don’t work for free when you can get paid for it!

“Do you want fries with that?”

To build a creative career, you need to market yourself. And that means upselling your client.
After winning a contest, reach out to your client and let them know you’re available for additional work via 1-to-1 Projects.
Most of the time, clients will prefer to continue working with designers they’ve built a good relationship with. Not sure what to say? Here’s an example:

Hey ________,

I've really enjoyed working with you on this project and thought about a few ways that you could get more out of your design. Would you be interested in a business card and flyer for the special price of $_____?
99designs easily supports this kind of work via 1-to-1 invoicing. Let me know if you’re interested!


Opt into logo contest add-ons

We’ve made upselling even easier by building design add-ons directly into the 99designs platform. With one click, you can opt-in to extra deliverables (e.g. business cards) and then at handover, your clients can choose the additional design work they’d like.
After a client purchases the extra deliverables, your additional prize money will automatically be applied on top of the logo prize. Easy!

2. Make it easy to hire you

Set up your Services (Top Level only)

Ensure your design offerings are front and center by taking advantage of Services on your portfolio.

This is your chance to highlight your best talents—be it interior book design, vintage logo badges or anything else you can dream up!

Services allow you to set your own terms by listing a specific product that customers can purchase. You’re able to list pricing information, turnaround time and details on what your design service includes.
Don’t forget to sell yourself with an enticing description so clients will want to work with you ASAP.

Focus on your portfolio

First impressions matter, and your portfolio is the first place your clients will discover your work. Fill it with your best projects, a professional photo and an “about me” that sells both your passion and your experience. 
Find more tips on creating a successful portfolio here.

3. Measure your client-to-contest ratio

Applying the strategies above is great, but are they working? Measure your success with a client-to-contest ratio by dividing the number of follow-up clients by the number of contests you’ve won.

For example:
  • Number of clients met through 99designs: 2
  • Contests won: 10
  • Client to contest ratio: 2:10 (or 20%)
This will help you determine how effective you’ve been, and whether you need to switch up your strategy or stay the course.