Doing Business as a Designer:
The Hunter and Gatherer Mentality
(Slide-u-mentary Version - made in google docs)
By Jae Xavier of KnowledgeCity.com
Short term rapid efforts – Active - Finding Opportunity
Bidding on Contracts
Long term planned efforts – Passive - Farming Opportunity
Advertorials, Blog Posts, Twitter
Social Networking, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Websites, Link Exchanges, Link Building
Business Cards, Passing out fliers
Lead Generation, Email Blasts, Mailing Campaigns
Show Casing Design Work You Did for Clients
Word-of-Mouth, Viral Videos
More on the Hunter
For startup design business owners, being the hunter will get
you clients faster. Sending emails and calling is the majority
of what you are doing to get new business. It’s cost effective
(no money involved) but time expensive (at least 8 hours a
Being the hunter in the early stage will get you results that
help you determine what works and what doesn’t work in your
sales efforts, and fast. Knowing these results will help you
communicate more effectively.
More on the Gatherer
However, being the gatherer lessens your hunter efforts by
having interested parties reaching out for your services. Your
website and business cards are some of the tactics that are
low cost and will bring you business in the long term.
“Should I balance the two
No. Each market has a set of competitors that use a unique
combination of tactics to get business.
While observing your market, you notice that your
competitors are using social networks, Twitter, and blog posts
everyday to get business and web traffic.
Here are some options for this scenario:
1. Compete directly with them and do the same thing
2. Use paid services to out stand out even more
3. Use direct response tactics such as calling businesses
4. Form advertising partnerships, lots of them
For Example (Continued)
If you choose 1, it will be an efficiency game. Do it faster and
If you choose 2, you’d better know your market very well to
get a return-on-investment. To manage your risk, you must
research. Be careful not research until your blue in the face
though. Also, if you have never used the service before,
anticipate that you will be testing a lot.
If you choose 3, there is very little competition here. You are
only limited by your abilities and time of day.
If you choose 4, make sure to have your terms well thought
out before proposing. Your company’s exposure can be
multiplied if you choose the right partners.
Be sure to schedule each day, a mix of these approaches. You
must be hunting and gathering at all times, even if you have
big design projects.
Keep your sales pipeline filled so you have opportunity coming
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