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8 Things to do when Inquiries are Low

Some months, inquiries are going to be slower than others. So before you freak out, check your stats:

Are these low inquiry months seasonally consistent from year to year, or is this an overall downward trend that needs to be addressed? 

If inquiries are slowing down every month, and not just seasonally, then it’s time to take action. Here are some ideas recommended by Abbey McGrew of Wayfarer Design and Austin Church of Freelance Cake.  

Route 1: Work on your brand strategy

brand strategy and messaging to resonate with your clients

1: Refine your Messaging

Evaluate who your dream client is and why you're not connecting with them. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Do I need to refine and clarify who my target audience is? 

  • Am Isure what their pain points and desired transformation are and am I communicating clearly that I can provide those? 

  • Am I addressing the common misgivings they might have about working with me? 

  • Am I making it easy for them to start a project with me?

2: Repackage your Services

Evaluate the services you’re currently offering and ask yourself: 

  • ​Are they aligned with what my dream client needs? 

  • Should I change my packages or add a new one at a different price point? 

For example, do your clients tend to need work at an accelerated timeline? Perhaps you can offer a Day Rate or Intensive where they pay a premium for you to knock out all of their needs over the course of just one day. 

Or perhaps they need a lower price point. Can you offer a package with fewer deliverables included or where the client does part of the work such as filling out an extensive Discovery form and providing the mood board? 

See where you can get creative to meet your ideal clients where they’re at. 

3: Update your Portfolio

Evaluate the work you’re displaying to prospects and ask yourself: 

  • Do they align with my target audience - can they see that I’ve worked with clients and industries similar to theirs and have solved problems just like theirs? 

  • Does it convey the level of quality and skills they can expect to get from me? 

If not, then it’s time to remove some old ones that aren’t aligned with your current offerings and skill set and replace them with new ones that are a better fit. 

You can also improve your current case studies by adding more background and a story structure explaining the problems your client faced, the solutions you created, and the outcomes your client experienced to sell your services more clearly. 

Route 2: Work on your marketing

1: Ask for referrals and/or work  

Review your network of existing relationships and reach out to them asking for a referral or additional work: 

  • Past clients - 

    • Ask how the project you did for them is working for their business now. Is there anything that needs tweaking or improving?

    • Are there any follow-up projects that could be helpful for them such as brand maintenance or template creation? 

    • Is there a new project on the horizon?

    • Suggest a new project or idea that could work for them such as a welcome kit or a brochure.  

  • Prospects who didn’t sign on with you - 

    • Maybe their situation has changed and they have more budget, urgency, or a new need that you can fill 

  • People who responded to your recent marketing such as by opening your email or liking your social media post. Initiate a conversation with them. 

  • Businesses you’re a customer of who have needs that align with your services such as improving their emails or website.  

  • Other designers - perhaps they could use some help with overflow or have clients they can send your way

  • Other creatives such as copywriters, illustrators, and web developers - maybe they have clients who could use your services that they can refer to you

  • Your family and friends

Some of these might sound like a long shot, but you never know until you try! 

graphic designer at an imac computer offering design services

2: Offer a new, limited service

Solve a specific need, fast, for a few people. Offer a new, focused service with just a few spots available, such as a brand or website audit, to increase the urgency and get some new customers in the door with a quick win.  

3: Create a new free product

AKA a Lead Magnet 

Prospects might not be ready to pay for your service, but they are ready to receive a small portion of your value for free. And then to spread the wealth around to their own network, thereby expanding your reach exponentially. 

Bundle some of your knowledge and offer it for free in exchange for an email address in the form of a PDF, Notion template, Canva template, Google Doc/Sheet, pre-recorded video, or even a short email series/course. 

This will establish your expertise while spreading your name associated with your area of expertise to new potential clients who might not have heard of you before.

(If you have even more time, you can create a follow-up 5-7 nurture email sequence ending in a call to action to book a free consultation or discovery call with you to get them warmed up and in the door.)

Don’t forget to always list your name, main service/transformation you create for clients, and a call to action, such as a free 15-minute audit or strategy session, so that people associate you with this knowledge and know how to reach you to learn more! 

graphic designer on a podcast

4: Utilize someone else’s audience

There are many ways you can go about reaching a new audience such as: 

  • Contribute a blog post

  • Go on a podcast 

  • Ask for a shoutout 

  • Teach a workshop 

  • Create a collaborative offer with an adjacent creative such as a web developer, illustrator, or copywriter 

5: Share content consistently 

You don’t have to be everywhere (in fact, you shouldn’t be). But it sure helps to be somewhere. 

Pick your one platform and go deep rather than broad. Create a content strategy for your goals and stick to it consistently. Take one day a week/month to plan your content, schedule them all in advance (if possible), and set aside 30-60 minutes every day for engaging on that platform. 

And you don’t have to wing it. Use your daily set-aside time to first do research into your chosen platform and learn how it works - read up on the best types of content, times to post, engagement strategies, and networking methods so that you’re using your time and efforts effectively. 


Sources and additional reading on this topic: 


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