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Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Business

Every business needs a business plan that maps out the process of identifying the target market, attracting interest, gaining customers and retaining them for future sales. A solid marketing plan is an integral part of the overall business plan, as it maps out objectives and the plan for achieving them.

What Does a Marketing Plan Contain?

An effective marketing plan is detailed with concise steps that will accomplish a defined goal. The plan should identify and discuss the target market with information about direct competition in the industry. It should include information about marketing activity used in the past with the effectiveness of these activities. Then, the marketing plan consists of a set of realistic goals with defined objectives along with deadlines for meeting these objectives. The plan must also include budgetary guidelines for the marketing activities as well as a plan for measuring the effectiveness of the activities. It’s important to make the marketing plan easy to maintain and update as a company evolves, too.

Marketing Planning Process

The process of making a marketing plan involves market research to assess trends, profile target customers, identify potential competition, outline products or services, find vendors, calculate costs and brainstorm all positive and negative impacts that could affect the business. The business should create a mission statement that defines the company, its vision and its priorities. Next, the plan needs to focus on specific strategies and methods that will generate sales, including product descriptions, calls to action, promotion and advertising methods and budget, product or service pricing, and a plan to monitor how effective the marketing strategies are performing for the company.

Questions to Ask Yourself

To succeed in any industry, a business needs to set itself apart to attract customers and compete successfully with similar businesses. Questions to ponder include:

Using a Marketing Plan Template

Some small business owners prefer to use a marketing plan template. Free marketing plan templates are available for download from the Internet. You can also use a marketing plan worksheet to help you brainstorm your ideas, goals and objectives. Once you have an outline of your marketing objectives, you can create an effective plan.

How Do I Write a Marketing Plan?

Make sure your marketing plan includes these points:


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5 marketing strategies for your graphic design business

Use these marketing strategies to grow your graphic design business, generate leads, and get new graphic design clients.

Renee Fleck

September 22, 2021

Art by Spencer Gabor

As a freelance designer, marketing can feel like a daunting task. There are so many options out there, and so many different approaches.

Do you need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on ads to get results? Do you need an Instagram account with 10,000 followers before you land a solid  freelance graphic design job ? What if you just don’t feel like you have any time for marketing?

But for the self-employed creative, marketing doesn’t have to be complicated, and doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Start slow: pick one or two strategies to try out and spend an hour or two each week working on them. Keep trying different things until you find a strategy that both works for you and that you don’t hate!

Art by 👑 UIGO Design

1. Build (and maintain) a strong brand identity

When much of your work revolves around creating or reinforcing brands for your clients, it can be easy to overlook your own brand. But designers and other freelance creatives who have a strong, consistent brand will find it easier to attract customers.

You might think of “brand” as purely the visual representation of a company. But there’s more to it than that. The visual representation reinforces the brand, but the brand itself is the promise that a company makes to its customers. It’s also largely dependent on people’s perception of the company and the company’s reputation.

"Everything you say, do, and post should reinforce the impression you want your clients and customers to have."

This is why everything you do has an impact on your branding, from your logo to the random images you post on Instagram at 3 am. As a creative entrepreneur, you need to make sure that everything you say, do, and post reinforces the impression you want your clients and customers to have.

Branding, at its core, creates trust between you and your potential clients. It gives them a sense of what you stand for and what you can do for them. This is incredibly valuable in attracting the right kinds of clients, the ones who have similar values and goals.

Pro Tip: Dribbble Pro Business lets you showcase your personal brand, introduce yourself to clients, and win new opportunities with  Pitch —your own personalized video that lives on your Dribbble profile.

Art by Timo Kuilder

2. Use networking to build relationships

Networking often gets a bad rap. True networking—online or in-person—is about building relationships. Don’t approach networking with the idea of finding out what you can get from someone. Instead, approach it as building a mutually beneficial relationship.

When I’m meeting new people, my first goal is to get to know them. Not to pitch myself, not to find out what they can do for me (or what I can do for them), and not to just add them to my contacts list. People can tell when you’re only talking to them to pitch them something. But if you listen to what they’re saying and ask them relevant questions, they’ll remember you more than if you just tell them what you do for a living.

"Being able to build connections between other people improves your reputation."

Keep those connections and conversations in mind going forward. You may meet someone who isn’t a good fit for your services, but maybe they’d be a perfect fit for someone you know. Being able to build connections between other people improves your reputation. And those people you connect are more likely to refer people they know to you in the future.

Art by Justina Leisyte

3. Study the competition, and do it better

Look for ways you can set your work apart from other creatives you’re in competition with. This could be in the quality of your work itself, or it could be through other things: your customer service, how fun you are to work with, or your project management skills.

Making your actual marketing better than your competition is also a strong strategy. What are your competitors doing? Are they just posting self-promotional content on social media or running boring search ads? How can you serve your customers better through your marketing?

Answer those questions and you’ll have the basis for a solid marketing plan.

Art by Julia Hanke

4. Ads, Social Media, and Other Specific Tactics

I’ve talked a lot about the basis for creating a solid marketing plan, but you’re probably interested more in the specific tactics you should use to market your freelance design services.

The most obvious place to start is with a strong portfolio. If you don’t have a solid body of work to show prospective clients, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. If your portfolio isn’t the best it can be, take some time to work on that before you start actively marketing.

Create content

One of the best ways to get work is through creating content. It can be tempting to write blog posts or record videos and just post them on your own website. But that’s not the best way to start out unless you already have a large following.

Instead, look for established websites that accept freelance content. One of the best ways to find the right websites for this kind of strategy is to search for the kinds of terms your clients might use when looking for the kind of work you do, and see which sites come up that accept articles from people outside their own staff (look for “submit” or “contributor” links, often hidden in a site’s footer).

"One of the best ways to get work is through creating content."

You don’t have to write specifically for clients, as strange as that may sound. Just establish yourself as an authority on the subject. I’ve written content for other designers that have landed me freelance design projects from people with no design background—just because they saw an article I wrote about color theory or brand design or design for nonprofits. Just make sure whatever site you’re writing for allows you to include a link to your social media profiles or website in your byline.

Ready to Grow your Freelance Design Business?

Art by Ksu Angeltseva

Social Media

Posting regularly to social media is a good way to market virtually any creative business. Because design is a visual medium, sites that prioritize image posts tend to work best when looking for clients.

Dribbble, Instagram, and Pinterest are some of the best platforms for designers to utilize in their marketing. With a  Dribbble Pro  account, your work is discoverable by millions of people every month and you get access to an exclusive Freelance Project board. With Instagram and Pinterest, make sure to set up a business profile so that you can access analytics data about your followers and activity around your content.

Share a mix of your work and more personal images. People want to know the person behind the brand. Yes, they want to see your work and know what you can do, but they also want a sense of whether you’re a person they’d actually want to work with.

Don’t overlook the importance of using hashtags and keywords in your social posts. This is the best way to expand your reach beyond the followers you already have.


Running search ads for key topics your ideal clients might search for can be an economical way to get more leads. The same goes for social media advertising. It expands your reach beyond your organic traffic.

You can start small with ads. I’ve had good results running ads with budgets of less than $50 for a week.

Create a lead magnet

Whether you’re only doing unpaid marketing or you’re running ads, creating some kind of lead magnet is a great way to start conversations with the kinds of clients you want. A lead magent for a designer could include things like a checklist for design elements your brand needs, a guide to planning a redesign, or even a quiz about whether your website needs a revamp.

Lead magnets help you pre-vet customers and collect their email addresses. From there, you can start a conversation with them to see if they might need your products or services.

Art by Morgane Sanglier

5. Don’t be afraid to experiment

The best marketing strategies come from a lot of experimentation. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and new strategies. Constantly look at how others (both your competitors and completely unrelated businesses) are marketing themselves and try similar things if they appeal to you.

Keep in mind that marketing is something that takes some time. Don’t expect instant results from your first ad or your brand new Instagram account. Look at it as a long-term investment and keep trying new things until you find a formula that works.

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The Ultimate Graphic Design Business Marketing Guide

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Whether you’re preparing to start your own graphic design firm or want to know how to increase your graphic design business sales, you need a strategic marketing plan to succeed. The ]]> graphic design industry is worth $13 billion in annual revenue ]]> , which means there are plenty of opportunities to grow your business. It also means there is plenty of competition. In fact, there are more than 126,000 businesses in the graphic design field, and nearly 90 percent of them are freelancers or companies without paid employees. Our graphic design business marketing guide includes everything you need to differentiate yourself from the competition, earn more sales, and position your business for success.

Ready to turn your business into a thriving enterprise with a strategic graphic design marketing plan? Let’s get started!

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1 Graphic design business: startup information

As a graphic designer today means viewing yourself as a partner in helping your clients brand themselves, visually communicate that brand, and market their businesses. Many graphic design businesses specialize in specific areas, which makes it easier to focus your own marketing on winning the right types of clients.

]]> Entrepreneur states graphic design business startup costs range ]]> from $2,000 to $50,000, but your investment will largely depend on what type of design work you will be doing, where you will be located, and how you will market your services.

A home-based freelance designer, for example, could start with little more than a business card, a brochure, and Adobe Creative Cloud ]]> ($50 per month for the entire suite) ]]> – altogether less than $1,000.

On the other hand, a graphic design firm with a downtown studio and employees would cost significantly more to start – as much as $50,000 or more.

To determine your startup costs, you’ll need to create a business plan. Your business plan will help you identify what type of graphic design firm you want to start, how and where you will operate, and project expenses and revenues.

How much you make depends on a variety of factors, including whether you’ll be a lone operator or hire designers to work for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the ]]> median pay for graphic designers is $22.90 per hour or $47,640 annually ]]> , with the lowest 10 percent making less than $27,950 and the highest 10 percent making more than $82,020. Graphic design business owners can expect to make around $100,000 per year.

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Median pay (employee or freelancer) $47,640

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Top 10% $82,000+

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Graphic design business owner $100,000+

Of course, you won’t make anything as a graphic designer business owner without a strategic marketing plan.

2 Graphic design business branding and design

As a graphic designer, your job is to help your clients visually communicate with their targeted audience - and of course, you need to practice what you preach. A powerful brand image is paramount, especially since it will serve as an example of what you can do for your clients.

As a graphic designer, you understand the importance of branding. Here’s one process for identifying and communicating your design brand.

What is your niche in the graphic design industry? Do you do logos and corporate ID packages? Do you prefer web-based work? Do you like illustration work? Focusing on a niche is important, especially with so much competition.

How do you benefit your customers? How are you different from your competitors? What do you do better than your competition?

Create a perfect customer profile from your best clients. What are their values, likes, and dislikes? Study them, understand their problems and desires, then develop solutions that will help them achieve their goals.

Who do you serve, and why? What is your philosophy? Where does your company stand today, and where do you want it to be in two years, five years, and 10 years? Your mission should encompass who you are and where you're going.

Your brand is an expression of all these things. Use the answers to these questions to develop a tagline that sums up your design business and makes a powerful statement that attracts clients.

You’re a graphic designer, so you already know design is critical to branding. Your logo, brand colors, fonts, style guide, and other assets are visual symbols of your brand, and should be recognizable at a glance.

3 Graphic design business branding and design

Business cards are staple marketing tools. Print business cards that list your services and lead prospects to your online portfolio. Hand them out to everyone you meet, place them in direct-mailers, and leave stacks where your audience is likely to see them. For greater visual impact, consider printing ultra business cards – they feature a band of edge color on triple-thick paper stock.

Upload your custom business card design to our free blank business card template and see how the finished product will look before you print.

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With the right message and graphic elements, well-placed posters can attract attention and motivate tons of response.

Flyers are perfect marketing tools for placement on bulletin boards, windshields, direct mail, storefront windows, reception areas, and more.

Booklets are a unique and profitable way to give your prospects value. Print a booklet to showcase your work by presenting potential marketing campaign ideas to your customers; or, print your portfolio to hand out during sales meetings.

Postcard printing is one of the most cost-effective ways to market a graphic design business. Send postcards to a targeted mailing list comprised of business owners, nonprofit organizations, and others who need graphic design services. Command attention with edge-colored ultra postcard printing .

Ensure a perfect print job when you upload your design to our free blank postcard template. Customize it with our free online design tool.

Outline your service offering by printing brochures for your graphic design business. Showcase your work and include a link to view the rest of your portfolio online.

Showcase your designs by printing calendars that feature your best work each month.

Thank clients for their business with custom greeting card printing. Include a personalized note to foster long-term relationships with customers.

Sticker marketing lets you shatter boundaries because they can be used just about anywhere: ceilings, floors, magazines, notebooks, windows, cars - anywhere your target audience is likely to find them.

Upload your own sticker design or customize our free sticker templates with our free online design tool.

A well-written and informative newsletter that adds value helps you stay connected to your customers year-round. Create a marketing newsletter packed with marketing tips and ideas for your client base, and sprinkle your copy with pitches for your own services.

Print banners and place them in high-traffic areas to promote your graphic design business. Keep your message simple, but wow passers-by with an amazing design to show off your capabilities.

If you want to attract large corporate clients, be prepared with a formal corporate identity kit that includes sales sheets, flyers, business cards, a brochure, stickers, notepads, and your portfolio, all delivered in an attractive professional pocket folder.

You should have a website and engage in social media and email marketing. Place your portfolio on your website as well as design portfolio sites such as ]]> Behance ]]> and ]]> Coroflot ]]> . Post your best work on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social sites. Send an email newsletter to stay in front of your audience.

4 Graphic design business marketing: copywriting

Your design skills will draw prospects in, and it should work with your copy to deliver a powerful message that motivates them to take the next step in the purchasing process.

No matter what marketing medium you’re using, your headline is what draws readers in to read the rest of your copy. Make a bold statement that solves problems, alleviates fears, or fulfills desires. When possible, include your offer as part of your headline.

Amateurs write about features; professionals highlight benefits. If you offer all-in-one web development (feature), you have to tell your audience that this means they'll never have to worry about security, hidden costs, support, etc. (benefit).

Great offers make money. Consider your services from your customers' point-of-view. What would it take for you to act? Your offer should increase value for your customers. Make your offer time-limited to get the greatest response in the shortest amount of time.

Tell your audience in no uncertain terms what they must do next. Provide multiple response channels (website, phone call, visit office) so you can cater to everyone.

5 Graphic design business marketing: distribution

If you want to reach your full graphic design business potential, you need to get the right message in front of the right audience, at the right time. Here are some tips for marketing distribution:

Direct-mail marketing is a great way to reach a well-targeted audience – which is critical to success. In fact, the 40/40/20 rules of direct-marketing states that 40 percent of your success is based on the quality of your mailing list.

You can use the mailing list builder at PsPrint to create a mailing list comprised of people who share your best customer demographics.

You might need more than one list; for example, one for corporate clients and another for small business owners.

You can place posters, flyers, and banners in areas your audience is most likely to see them, as well as in high-traffic areas to brand your graphic design business en masse.

You can also consider advertising in online and offline business directories, take out ads on radio, television, and in business publications and websites. LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook advertising might be good options, and you can join business networking groups and organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce.

Long-term success means taking an analytic approach to marketing. The Three T’s represents one strategy.

Test different variations of your marketing tools on smaller customer segments

Track performance to identify which variations work the best

Tweak future campaigns based on your results

In this manner, you’ll be able to craft marketing campaigns that yield predictably positive results and continually grow your business over time.

6 Graphic design business marketing: ideas and resources

Creative marketing generates buzz, delivers value to your customers, and increases profits for you. Boost your marketing efforts for your business with the following graphic design promotion ideas:

Creative ideas

Host a print and web marketing seminar that demonstrates how the two mediums can work together to deliver great results. Ask your customers to interact with you by critiquing their websites and collateral on the spot. Host a charitable event and auction off a free design package or select marketing tool such as a set of business cards. Market your event with postcards, posters, flyers, banners, and brochures.

Non-competing, complementary businesses can generate revenue and bolster your mailing list. Web developers, copywriters, social media marketers, and ad placement firms are just some of the businesses that would be a good fit for a graphic designer.

Instead of just saying you design websites, try giving your services unique and memorable names such as "Wickedly Wonderful Web Design."

Create a portfolio booklet or brochure and mail it along with a letter of introduction (printed on company letterhead, of course) to potential customers. Follow up with a postcard that delivers an exclusive offer. Send greeting cards to personalize your marketing efforts.

Here are a few links to graphic design business marketing resources you can use to bolster business:

Full-service printing, direct mailing and mailing list generation.

Information on direct marketing.

Helpful guides, forms and sample marketing plans for small business. The SBA also supports Small Business Development Centers throughout the United States.

The Service Corps of Retired Executives provides free advice in the form of online information and business counseling. Simply contact one of SCORE's volunteer members for business mentorship.

The professional association for graphic design

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Graphic Design Business Plan

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The Metolius Agency

Strategy and implementation summary.

The Metolius Agency’s marketing and sales strategy will utilize networking and referrals to develop visibility for the company.  Prospective customers will be turned into qualified sales through a professional showing that displays Kiev’s portfolio of past work.  The portfolio is key for making a positive impression regarding Kiev which illustrates his skill set and capacity as a creative designer.

5.1 Marketing Strategy

As noted previously in the target market segment strategy, The Metolius Agency will rely on three activities in their marketing efforts.  These include:

5.2 Sales Strategy

The sales strategy will be to utilize Kiev’s portfolio of past work to qualify a sales lead.  Using a portfolio is very common within the industry to show past examples of work.  Kiev’s strategy will be the development of several different portfolios, each one customized to a specific type of work.  By having different portfolios, Kiev is able to better illustrate his proficiency with that specific skill set.  In addition to the use of the portfolio, Kiev will do research on the prospective company and their industry so that he has specific knowledge of the needs the company may have and solutions that he can offer.

5.2.1 Sales Forecast

The first month of operation will be used to get the office set up and ready for business.  Some of the time will be working with the interior designers to create a modern looking office space.

Months two through four will be somewhat slow as Kiev is developing clients. He is forecasted to take on some smaller projects.  By month five Metolius will have developed larger projects and will continue to grow steadily.

Graphic design business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.3 Milestones

The Metolius Agency will have several milestones early on:

Graphic design business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.4 Competitive Edge

The Metolius Agency’s competitive edge is based on Kiev’s diverse background of business and creativity.  Typically, most creative agencies are staffed by right-brain creative types.  These people are extremely aesthetically oriented.  While this is certainly an asset in the field of graphic design, it can be limiting because while their work might be extremely creative, it might not “hit home” with non-creative types which make up a large portion in the business world.

Kiev’s background is based both in aesthetics and business.  While Kiev always had a creative streak that he would use, his education was business oriented. This competitive edge allows The Metolius Agency to offer similar creative services other firms can offer, but also provide a unique business perspective.

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Marketing Plan of a Graphic Designer

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Hi everyone! If you liked this, please check out more of my work at For my SOCS 4th year class at Emily Carr University, we were asked to create a business plan for ourselves following our graduation. This is my business marketing plan for 2019-2025. Thanks for checking it out! Table of Contents Executive Summary - 05 Summary Business Overview - 06 Introduction Products and Services Value Proposition Corporate Social Responsibility Situational Analysis - 10 Introduction & USP Target Market Situation Competitor Situation Job Qualifications S.W.O.T Analysis Marketing Strategy - 14 Mission Finances - 16 Objectives Pricing Financial Goals Marketing Goals - 19 Summary One Year Goals Five Year Action Plan Action Plan Breakdown Visual Identity Planning Gozinto Chart GANNT Budget


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A Complete Guide to Marketing Strategy For Graphic Design Company

November 2, 2020, 5:30 am

business marketing plan graphic design

This is the last installment of the marketing strategy of graphic design for small businesses series and the general business marketing plan planning guide. The success of graphic design company must not be measured with only the performance of their published or sold designs, rather on the success of their marketing strategy.

Business promotion always helps to build a complete brand personality. And, executing brand promotion tactics help to keep competitors out of the way. Creating a reasonable graphic design strategy also help brands to stand top in the league and stay ahead in the competition. Graphic designs like logo, brochure, etc. play a vital role in shaping the success of any business. It helps to put across the brand message to the target audience in a colorful way. In this post, you’ll learn what is graphic design strategy is all about and how to create a graphic design strategy for your business.

What is Graphic Design Strategy For?

This post is about business graphic design strategy. Graphic design strategy is a well-thought, researched, and planned marketing plan that extends a brand into various customer categories, mediums, markets, and channels.

A well planned graphic design strategy is an answer to all the challenges of graphic design company. Many business owners fail to consider all the aspects of market, be it a product, process, or business model that might affect the company image. This is mostly why the graphic design strategy is every business owner’s urgent need.

Graphic designs reflect the brand of the company and, in return, affects the brand perception of the business. If the creative vision of the company is poorly reflected in the graphic designs then the company might lose lots of potential customers for no reason. On the other hand, poorly thought out graphic designs could lower the overall brand image and customer satisfaction.

A graphic design strategy of your business is what you use to determine which type of graphic designs you should give priority to and which kind of graphic design to exclude. Graphic design strategy expounds the brand personality of your business and is never far from creative ideas that can affect the way people view your business.

Graphic design strategy must be the part of the marketing plan. At the same time, graphic design strategy is created to be a part of the creative process that effect the whole marketing strategy. Therefore, a complete and effective marketing plan requires graphic design strategy.

Types of Graphic Design Company Marketing Strategy

There are the three different types of graphic design strategy:

Market Specific Graphic Design Strategies

A market-specific graphic design strategy is created for a particular market. The market-specific strategy produces graphic designs that need to closely match the features of the specific market. As a result, your design will be accessed by the right kind of customers.

E.g. National or State specific graphic design strategy. These strategies produce graphic designs that need to be attractive and recognisable to the targeted consumers. Graphic designs like logo, brochure, business cards, etc.

Market General Graphic Design Strategies

A market general graphic design strategy makes research on the market. As a result, your graphic design must be appropriate to the needs of the market.

E.g. The graphic design strategies including Logos, brochures, business cards, etc. These strategies can be used in multiple markets.

E.g. Locally specific graphic design strategy. This strategy makes the design to specifically target a particular market in a particular area. Your graphic design must be an eye catcher.

Note – A local targeted graphic design strategy must be the ideal choice if you have a single-city location. However, if you have a multi-city one, then you’ll need a market-specific or market general graphic design strategy.

Mixed Strategy

A mixed strategy is a combination of two or more strategies. Graphic design strategies can be linked to the market.

This marketing post will guide you to create a graphic design strategy that enables a brand’s presence in various markets while maintaining the brand identity and cutting-edge design.

What is Graphic Design Strategy?

Graphic design strategy is a marketing concept that expounds the brand identity of your business. It is a well thought out and planned marketing plan that extends a brand into various customer categories, mediums, markets, and channels.

The next step after planning your graphic design strategy is creating a branding strategy for your business.

Graphic designs reflect the brand of the company and, in return, affects the brand perception of the business. If the creative vision of the company or the company’s author is poorly perceived and reflected in the graphic designs of the company then the company’s image might lower and attract less customers for no reason. On the other hand, poorly thought out graphic designs could lower the overall brand image.

Basically graphic designs are the primary product of a graphic design company. Graphic designs are perceived by customers as a form of communication. This communication uses images and shapes to tell a company’s story.

Thus, understanding the logic behind graphic design and how it can benefit your business is the first step to preparing a strategy for high-quality graphic designs. Let’s move forward and dive into what you need to consider and do in order to create the ultimate graphic design strategy.

Strategic Planning for Graphic Designing Companies

Graphic design is a service field that requires wise strategic planning to improve and optimize the whole marketing strategy. Graphic design strategy creation requires strategic thinking. Higher the marketing plan complexity, the higher the business’ risk of falling short of expectations.

A graphic design strategy is planned and created for a range of businesses. The marketing strategy endeavors to enable every business to take an advantage of all the possibilities and connections to its customers and to market itself in the most effective way possible.

A graphic design strategy has both an objective and a strategy orientation.

Objective Planning

The objective planning includes the creation of a marketing strategy. This planning includes the layers of business issues including their affect on the graphic design strategy. The main objective of this planning is the creation of graphic designs that are capable of attracting clients.

Strategic Orientation

Graphic design strategy also includes a strategic orientation. This strategic orientation includes the following dimensions of marketing planning:

Planning for the Mediums

Businesses’ target customers will vary in different marketing campaigns and in which market they based their business. The plans should prepare the graphic designs to be used in different types of markets.

Planning for Channel

Current features of graphic design market include multiple channels, social media, and the influx of digital marketing methods. The strategies should consider how to proceed with graphic designs within all these channels.

Planning for Customer Base

The graphic design strategies for businesses can target different brands. The customer base depends on the company’s branding. Therefore, the strategies have to target the specific customer base according to the business’ branding.

How to Create a Graphic Design Strategy

Businesses will hire graphic designers to create graphic designs. Graphic designs will perfectly communicate a company’s personality, brand and vision to customers. Graphic design is a service that affect your business and even affects the customers’ perception.

At the same time every business owner also expects a unique and powerful graphic design. A unique graphic design that reflects the company’s personality, brand and vision. Impressive graphic design is aesthetically pleasing to the customers and inspires trust and confidence in the business sector.

Businesses seeking an effective graphic design can find their graphic agency among the local agents of graphic designers. However, hiring a graphic designer is a tricky business. Graphic designers are all specialist in their field, however, some of them are more competent than others in a particular style. What will happen then? The quality of the graphic design created by the professional will depend on the skill of the graphic designer and the creativity of the graphic designer himself.

Therefore, graphic designers are recognized as creative artist who are capable of creating impressive graphic designs. Like artists, graphic designers too have different artistic styles and predilections. There are graphic designers who are known to create professional high-quality graphics design. A highly skilled and capable graphic designer is associated with a particular style and characteristic.

Graphic Design is an art and high-quality graphic design is a characteristic of a graphic design. A particular graphic designer is known for his or her unique style and characteristic. If you want to hire a highly skilled and proficient graphic designer to work for you, you must first determine the graphic designer’s style.

In most cases the graphic designer will have his or her own unique style and characteristic. Ask the graphic designer for the particular style and characteristic he or she utilizes to create his or her graphic design. As a result, everything will be taken care of.

High-quality graphic design plays a key role in brand development. It impacts the brand image positively since it demonstrates the strengths of the business.

The evaluation of a graphic design’s quality greatly relies on the working methodology of the graphic designer. Some designers work according to rules and where others rely on their imagination. In many cases, professionals use a set of predetermined rules and principles on how to create a graphic design, while the great ones have a strong creative imagination.

Graphic design is based on an entirely different set of principles.

Graphic Designers are the ones who can help you to organise your ideas and ideas and in the end we will have a graphic design.

As a differentiator of your product, graphic designs are a significant and highly important factor. But a graphic design also arouses your mind and body.

Dual symmetry is a design principle that can effectively communicate ideas regarding balance and harmony. This principle about creating lively and playful graphic design, allows people to grasp the information instantly.

Balance with Symmetry

Graphic designs with symmetry, balance and beauty aim at achieving an effect of balance and harmony. The idea of dual symmetry is to achieve both balance and symmetry. The theme of symmetry can be found in the multiples and shapes that are curved and curved, or even in the use of color coordination or tone.

Balance with Asymmetry

Graphic designs with asymmetry aim to achieve extreme variations, either in an intentional way or an unintentional one. Elements of asymmetry are drawn or let themselves be drawn and they do not follow a predetermined symmetrical pattern.

Balance with difference

In the field of graphic design, the concept of balance is already emerging in the works of graphic designer. Asymmetry, creative use of contrast, contrast contrast, and a clever balance or balance are the most common elements of the graphic designer.

The graphic designs that are well designed can be classified as stable and permanent. Stable and permanent graphic designs represent the element of asymmetry; a graphic design that is supposed to be permanent.

Symmetry vs. Asymmetry

Logos and the other elements of the graphical communication are supposed to be readable and easy to grasp. The distinguishing feature of the symmetrical forms is a degree of predictability of their application.

Asymmetry, on the other hand, has the ability to generate an impact of lightness and freshness. The symmetrical form creates balance, while asymmetry creates the out-of-balance. Because the symmetrical design is clearer, it is easier to grasp.

Symmetry also helps to achieve harmony in visual communication. The previous positioning of the elements in the symmetrical form, as in a symmetrical grid, creates a visually harmonious structure.

Graphic designers must be aware of the differences between the two principles of visual balance. The symmetrical shapes are easier to understand and to grasp. In the symmetrical forms, the elements are located in a symmetrical grid, which can create the illusion of clarity.

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business marketing plan graphic design

Marketing plan of the graphic design industry for small-business owners in the Central Valley

California State University, Stanislaus

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How To Promote Your Graphic Design Business: Marketing Plan 101

business marketing plan graphic design

JUST Creative is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read our trusted review process & how it works here.

This article has been contributed by Chris Norton.

Every successful business needs a marketing plan – especially if you want to grow your brand. And it’s no different for a graphic design business.

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In this guide, you will find out how to create an effective marketing plan so that you can successfully promote your graphic design business. These tips will help you make decisions about where to invest your resources so you can grow your business fast.

What is a Marketing Plan?

Before we get too far into this guide, it is important to ensure that we have a shared understanding of the topic. So, let’s get our definitions in order.

A marketing plan is a report that outlines your marketing strategy over some time. Most businesses have an annual marketing plan, which is broken down into quarterly and monthly targets.

A marketing plan typically provides:

The scope of your marketing plan will depend on the size of your graphic design business. For example, a graphic design company with 100+ employees will have a marketing plan with fewer activities than a freelance designer who is just starting a business.

Regardless of the size of your business, your marketing plan needs to fit your needs.

6 Steps to Creating a Marketing Plan to Promote Your Graphic Design Business

Now we’ve got our definitions out of the way, I want to discuss how to create a practical marketing plan for your graphic design business. The strategy I’ll share is the same approach I use at Prohibition PR for the majority of our clients.

1.   Review The Health of Your Business

In my experience, creating a marketing plan is a great brainstorming exercise.

Annual plans are a chance to get the key people working for your business in the same room as each other to discuss strategies to help the business survive, grow, and prosper over the coming year.

I always start our marketing plan meetings by reviewing the targets we set ourselves the previous year. Reviewing the marketing plan for the previous year is a nice way to celebrate our successes.

A review of your old goals is a chance to see what you achieved in the last 12 months.

If your targets were too ambitious, you might have failed to achieve your goals. On the other hand, if your goals were too conservative, you might have easily achieved all of the marketing targets you set.

Marketing plan targets review

Based on my experience, we usually find that:

A review of the previous years’ marketing plan is an opportunity to discuss your business’s success and failures with colleagues. These discussions are a good starting point for considering your goals for the upcoming year.

If this is the first year you are creating a marketing plan, you will skip this step.

2. Review Your Customer Persona

If you’ve spent any time researching company cultures, you’ll have probably come across some anecdotes about well-known companies.

For example, there is always an empty chair supposed to represent the customer at every Amazon meeting . I like this anecdote.

Every business relies on customers for revenue.

As you start preparing your marketing plan, it’s worth setting aside time to consider your customers. You should be able to define the characteristics of your ideal customer easily. Most businesses do this by creating one or more customer personas .

A customer persona is an archetype of your ideal customer. The type of customer persona you create will depend on who you serve.

If you’re managing a business-to-consumer (B2C) graphic design company, you might describe the type of person who purchases your designs. You might try to define their interests, what they do in their spare time, and the publications they read, for example.

How to promote your graphic design business - Marketing Plan Customer Persona

Image source:

If you are managing a business-to-business (B2B) graphic design firm, the type of business is just as important as the person. In this case, you want to define things like the sector the business operates in, its size, and other relevant factors.

You then need to consider who in the company makes the purchasing decisions. That person might be the Head of Marketing, for example.

A customer persona can provide useful insights for your marketing plan. If you know what types of publications your ideal customer reads, you can pay for advertising in these magazines.

If you have detailed demographic information about your customers, you can use this information for paid advertising campaigns.

Defining your customer persona should be straightforward. If you struggle to do this, spend time with your customers. Interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups are all effective ways to learn more about your customers.

If you want your marketing to be effective, you must spend time learning about your customers.

3. Conduct Competitor Research

After considering your ideal customer, you need to consider your competitive landscape.

Graphic design is a competitive industry. There are a lot of really talented artists around. Unfortunately, many of these talented people will be competing with you for customers.

I recommend you start your competitor research by drawing up a list of five direct competitors. These should be companies that are operating in your sector targeting the same type of customers.

You should individually review the marketing strategies of each of these companies. At Prohibition PR, I have a decent understanding of my sector, and I like to keep track of what other companies operating in the area are doing.

I imagine you are probably familiar with your biggest competitors as well.

There are a lot of different frameworks you can use for competitor analysis. The most well-known is the SWOT analysis.

How to promote your graphic design business - Marketing Plan SWOT

Image source:

Fundamentally, these frameworks are just a way to help organize your thoughts.

If you are just starting out and haven’t conducted competitor analysis before and want to keep things simple, I suggest you do the following:

Your goal through doing this research is to find commonalities between competitors.

For example, if all of your competitors are active on LinkedIn and you haven’t bothered to create an account, you should probably sign up to LinkedIn and connect with potential clients.

In addition to identifying commonalities, you should also look out for things a competitor is doing that you find impressive. For example, one of your competitors might be running an unusual marketing campaign on Facebook .

Business is competitive. There are many talented people in this world. Competitor analysis is a chance for you to learn from your peers.

The goal is not to steal their ideas. Your goal is to find inspiration from the people who are operating in your sector. That inspiration can help you come up with innovative marketing ideas and campaigns .

4. Consider & Set Your Marketing Goals

You should always start any business plan with a clear sense of what you want to achieve. The marketing plan for your graphic design business is no exception.

You want to set clear, quantifiable goals that, preferably, align with revenue targets.

In my case, I always start any marketing plan by considering my sales goals. For example, I might set the goal of “increasing company profits by 30% this financial year.”

Having a company goal forces you to consider how to achieve that target. You then break down how to achieve the sales targets by setting sub-goals.

Hypothetically, the best way for you to increase your revenue by 30% could be to:

You then consider how to achieve these sub-goals.

Breaking down your business goals using a logical framework will help you define what you want to achieve and consider how you will achieve your targets.

A good marketing plan will have clearly defined quantifiable goals.

For example, “sign a contract with six new clients in this financial year.” Avoid a vague goal like “sign some clients.” You want goals that you can measure.

How to promote your graphic design business - Marketing Plan SMART goals

Image source:

To achieve your goals, you will need to conduct a mixture of marketing and sales activities.

For example, to sign a new client, you might need to pitch my services to 30 companies a year and run paid advertising.

If you’re a freelancer, you’ll need to do these activities yourself. However, at larger agencies, these activities are sometimes split between the sales and marketing departments.

The framework I shared above will work fine for a small company with a combined sales and marketing team.

If you’re working in the marketing department for a graphic design agency that has a separate sales team, I recommend you either:

Sales and marketing activities complement each other. After all, the goal of effective marketing is to generate new sales for your company.

5. Set Your Annual, Quarterly & Monthly Goals

I enjoy working closely with my colleagues and setting our goals for the year. These discussions are great brainstorming sessions that help us strategize and plan.

It’s a constructive way to exchange ideas and ensure everyone on the team understands what we want to achieve.

The quantifiable goals that you set out in your marketing plan are your key performance indicators (KPIs). Your KPIs are a way to track if you’re on course to achieve your target.

Start by defining your annual goals. Once you have your annual goals, break down your marketing plan into quarterly and monthly goals.

Plan Your Year - Marketing Plan

Let me give you an example:

Breaking down your goals into bite-sized chunks helps you understand what you need to do every month to achieve your annual marketing goals.

You can use this information to do practical things, like make sure someone is responsible for each of these tasks.

6. Create Your Executive Summary

The final thing you might want to do once you’ve finished your marketing plan is to create an Executive Summary.

The Executive Summary is a one-page summary of your plan. It is useful if you plan to present your plan to a board of directors or investors. I recommend you create your Executive Summary when you’ve finished composing your marketing plan.

Concluding Comments

I hope you found this guide on creating a marketing plan to promote your graphic design business useful.

As I’ve shared with you, our marketing plan at Prohibition PR provides a framework for defining the business’s goals and the quantifiable targets we need to hit those goals.

The marketing plan you create must be fit for purpose. By this, I mean it’s relevant to the needs of your business.

If you’re an entrepreneur running an agency by yourself, your marketing plan doesn’t need to be complicated. You can create a plan in less than a day and carry on with your work providing a great service to customers.

Larger businesses need more complex marketing plans. They have more staff to manage and more tasks to consider.

However, that end goal is still the same. Your marketing plan is your strategy to help your business grow over the next 12 months — best of luck.

About the author: By Chris Norton, Founder of insight-led PR agency Prohibition , former University lecturer, author of “Share This Too” and listed in the UK’s top 10 PR and social media bloggers.

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Graphic Design Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Graphic Design Business Plan

Graphic Design Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their graphic design businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a graphic design business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes research to support your business plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a graphic design business, or grow your existing graphic design business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your graphic design business in order to improve your chances of success. Your business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Graphic Design Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a graphic design business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a graphic design business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a graphic design business. They might consider funding a graphic design business with a national presence, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could never achieve such results.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Graphic Design Company

If you want to start a new graphic design business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your graphic design business plan template:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of graphic design business you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of graphic design businesses.

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the graphic design industry. Discuss the type of graphic design business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of graphic design businesses:

In addition to explaining the type of graphic design business you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the graphic design business.

industry growth outlook

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the graphic design industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your graphic design business plan:

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your graphic design business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: business owners and entrepreneurs, bloggers, marketing professionals. 

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of graphic design business you operate. Clearly, entrepreneurs would want different service options and would respond to different marketing promotions than bloggers, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. You can find demographic information for various locations on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

Finish Your Graphic Design Business Plan in 1 Day!

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With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other graphic design businesses. 

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes low-cost freelance platforms and design tools like Canva. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who needs graphic design will utilize a graphic design company.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other graphic design businesses with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be graphic design businesses in the same niche.

business marketing plan graphic design

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a graphic design business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of graphic design business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to graphic design, will you provide unlimited revisions, a dedicated project manager, or free mock-ups?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your graphic design company. Most likely, your graphic design business can be operated remotely, and you can serve several geographic locations at once. Mention how your remote graphic design business offers ample opportunities. 

Promotions : The final part of your graphic design marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s) or website. The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your graphic design business, including project management, sales and outreach, and design work.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to work with your 100th client, or when you hope to reach $100,000 in revenue. It could also be when you expect to partner with a major brand or complete your first graphic design case study.

Management Team

To demonstrate your graphic design business’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company. 

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing graphic design businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing graphic design companies or successfully running small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you work with 60 clients per year or 120? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your graphic design business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let’s say an advertising agency approached you with a $75,000 contract to provide graphic design services for their clients on an annual basis. Let’s further assume the contract would cost you $75,000 to fulfill in terms of increased staffing costs. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $75,000 now for employee salaries, software, image licensing, etc. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During that 180-day period, you could run out of money.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a graphic design business:

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your trademark or copyright information.

Putting together your own business plan for a graphic design business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the graphic design industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing strategy and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow your own graphic design business.

Graphic Design Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my graphic design business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Graphic Design Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of graphic design business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a graphic design business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of graphic design businesses?

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Graphic Design business plan?

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Click here to see how Growthink’s professional business plan consulting services can create your business plan for you.

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The bright colors of orange, red, and blue of this template are guaranteed to spark glee in your audience. Structured as a marketing plan, we’ve paired the positive colors with a textured background and flat illustrations for a cool, creative, and inspiring feel. It also comes prepared with specially designed slides you will need for your marketing presentation—buyer’s journey, sales funnel, competitor analysis, strategy, and more.

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Why Graphics are Essential for Today’s Marketing Strategies

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Use graphics to highlight products & services, make your graphics memorable, need a fresh look.

Graphics are essential for your company’s marketing strategy plan. Why? Because people need reminders, and visual graphics seem to be one of the best kinds.

Graphics can remind people that they need to check out your product or service line. If you have a great tag line or company motto, putting it on a photo or graphic design, then sharing it via social media on several occasions reminds your clients and customers they need to check out what you offer.

People are more inclined to see images and remember them over even the simplest call-to-action words. And if you make that graphic clickable – let it take them right to your website – then you are on top of the game.

Here are a few ways you can use graphics to engage with your customers:

branded graphic design examples

Share it multiple times.

You don’t want to share it on all of your social media channels twice a day or even every day for a week, but sharing it occasionally in case people miss it the first time helps keep them informed.

Also, sharing something multiple times allows followers the opportunity to share it with their friends. There, you met two goals in one!

Another option for your image and graphic use is to showcase a specific product or service. And if a graphic contains a little helpful information about that specific product or service, it will entice them to want to learn even more.

Graphic Design Strategy Jenkinsinfo

You can tell your clients and customers two things by doing this. First, you show them the great product or service you offer right within that email, tweet, or post. Second, you give them information about it right on the graphic that makes them want to click. Be sure to make that image link to the product so the client knows you are ready for their business.

Consider using infographics in your blog posts and website.

An infographic is a chart or diagram used to represent information or data. They are most often used to show a large amount of information in a quick way like this example:

Make your logo memorable and easy to use in multiple mediums. Does it accurately represent what you can do for your clients and customers? Can it be used on other sites like blogs, social media sites, news sites, and affiliate sites? Never forget your brand is the way your customer perceives you, and your logo is usually the first thing they see.

People will remember your company simply by the impact of the design. It’s a “visual jingle.” As long as your images are high-quality and support your brand, you can’t go wrong using graphics.

Strategy designs the graphics you need to stay ahead of the competition

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