Why You’re Struggling to Attract More Design Projects (5 Reasons)

Are you a freelance designer finding it tough to secure gigs, or high-quality opportunities that can boost your career? Or perhaps you’re in search of a stable, full-time position but can’t seem to find the ideal job.

If you’ve been facing this dilemma for some time, you might start to wonder if something is amiss. Indeed, there could be several factors at play preventing you from landing the design jobs you desire. Let’s explore some common mistakes you might be making and discuss how to fix them.

To learn more about identifying the right job opportunities, check this post on how to create your ideal client profiles.

How to Become A High-Demand Designer

How to Become A High-Demand Designer

Discover the high demand for designers in today's job market. Learn which skills are most sought after and... Read more

1. Your Work Isn’t Good Enough

It might be tough to hear, but sometimes the quality of work just doesn’t cut it. Many designers believe they are producing professional-quality work when, in fact, they are not. I can personally relate – early in my career, fresh from college and overly confident in my limited skills, I faced a harsh reality. Clients were not shy about laughing at my high prices given my inflated self-esteem. It was a wake-up call that I had much to learn.

arrogant designer

Even seasoned designers can fall into this trap, becoming overconfident and blind to their shortcomings. Some may even try to dominate client interactions, pushing inappropriate designs that don’t suit the client’s needs. This arrogance can alienate clients, costing you valuable work opportunities. Being more receptive to feedback and realistic about your abilities can prevent this.

How to Work Better with Clients

How to Work Better with Clients

Working with clients all day long may sometimes lead to stress in a freelance schedule. Long working hours,... Read more

2. You’re Not Sharing Your Thoughts on Design

Or more precisely, you’re not voicing your opinions or writing about design for the wider community that’s eager to listen. Blogs and social media are prime platforms for broadcasting your insights and establishing your authority in the design field.

The more you engage with and inspire others, the more they’ll respect you as a designer, opening up opportunities for connections and invitations to events or groups that were previously off your radar.

sharing design ideas

In today’s market, simply being a skilled technician isn’t enough if you aim for the top design positions. Being part of the ongoing dialogue about design is expected, in whichever form feels right for you.

Increasingly, businesses, especially innovative startups, are on the lookout for a designer who not only understands their vision but is also enthusiastic about making a significant impact on society. You can’t be that designer without contributing to the conversation.

How to Keep Your Design Skills Fresh

How to Keep Your Design Skills Fresh

A designer's skill set can very quickly become obsolete in this day and age. Designers need to know... Read more

3. Building Insufficient Connections

Most job opportunities arise through networking. Knowing someone who knows someone in need of a designer can quickly lead to new projects. Therefore, it’s crucial to expand your network both within and beyond the design community. Surprisingly, the most effective strategy for finding design work often involves interacting with non-designers who might connect you with potential clients.

This approach also benefits others: if you can introduce a designer friend to a potential client, both might greatly appreciate it. This not only helps them meet their needs but also enhances your reputation as a well-connected professional.

4. Not Supporting Other Designers

Providing value to both clients and peers is essential, especially in terms of technical skills crucial for thriving in today’s competitive design industry. The adage that the best way to learn is to teach holds true here – assisting others not only enhances your skills but also cements your status as a competent designer.

helping other designers

Creating tutorials or writing articles can significantly boost your visibility within the community. By sharing useful resources and how-tos, you establish yourself as a go-to expert, which can attract both peers and potential clients. If you contribute to external websites, make sure to promote your contributions to direct more traffic to your work.

5. Ineffective Self-Promotion

This topic warrants its own discussion (which I’ve already explored). However, the crux is that you need to actively market yourself – if you want people to recognize your capabilities, you must showcase them boldly and broadly. The approach to marketing will vary widely among designers, and there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.

3 Marketing Mistakes That Could Be Costing You Customers

3 Marketing Mistakes That Could Be Costing You Customers

Here are three key areas where freelance designers often falter when trying to attract new clients. Read more


Assess your strengths and how you prefer to communicate your ideas. Utilize this understanding to amplify your message and extend your reach within the industry. All strategies discussed today can double as effective marketing techniques.


The design community is more interconnected than you might expect, and word gets around quickly. By building a reputation as a helpful and skilled designer, you’re likely to secure more job offers than you can manage.