1. Have a Specialty
When you're known for something, people will come to you to get it. When the keywords and text on your website is what your potential clients Google, more clients will find you. When you try to appeal to everyone, it makes marketing much harder. But someone looking for New England meets Palm Beach will certainly find Meggie H Interiors. A client wanting to decorate their kids room in Massachusetts? They'll find Boo and Rook. You'll book more clients if you have exactly what they're looking for.
Read more: Make Money Specializing
2. Speak to their Wants & Desires
Your potential clients want what everyone wants, to feel understood and accepted. Your website should reflect that. You want to make potential clients feel like you understand them and are talking directly to their desires and struggles on your website. When they'll read your about page or services page and think: Yes! She gets it!
To do this, first you have to get into the mind of your ideal client and those that you want to attract. What do they want? Why are they hiring a designer? How do they want the process to go? What is their desired outcome? Who are they doing this for? Once you understand who you are trying to attract you can write as if you are speaking directly to them in your website copy.
Read more: How to Find Clients
Pretend if you must, you can figure it out as you work through it, but if you're confident in your abilities, clients will have confidence in you. Ask for help from other professionals if necessary. "Hey, can you tell me more about this product? This process? What should I know that maybe I don't? I haven't had much experience with X can you tell me about it?"
Confidence attracts all types of people to you, not just potential clients. But if you don't appear confidence to potential clients they will not feel like you can do the job and won't sign with you. When you know what you are doing they'll be more likely to give their trust and money to you.
Read more: The Secret Ingredient: Confidence
4. Have a plan
You will book more clients if you have a plan and present yourself professionally from first contact. This means being prepared when a new client calls or you get an inquiry, it is leading them through a predetermined process from first call to signed contract. You want to be consistent and make sure you are on top of the process the whole way through. Tell the potential clients what to expect. Tell them what you're going to do and what you need from them to move the process forward. It is not up to your clients to propel the onboarding and booking process - it's your job.
Read more: Designing Business Systems
5. Ask for it
Follow up. Don't be afraid to ask you clients to hire you. Don't be afraid to follow up. This is such a simple way to book more clients, by asking! At the end of the initial meeting, an email or call later, a simple, "I think we're a great fit. Are you ready to begin?" will do wonders. Or "I'd really like to work together on this project." The client can't read your mind and shouldn't be expected to, so let them know that you want the job. And if you don't hear back or get a definitive answer the first time, follow up! I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me, I will invite someone over for a bid (on paint, flooring, tile) and then after they send the quote I never hear from them again. I question if they want the work or if they're too busy to for the work. So don't be timid, ask for it! Clients are busy and have a lot going on so no response doesn't mean they don't want to work with you.