Flyer design can be a highly profitable freelance niche. Jobs get completed quickly and the money can be good.
Couple that with a constant flow of clients, and flyer design can be an easy way to make really good money.
But where do you get a constant flow of clients and paid work? My answer is nightclubs.
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Nightclubs are the ultimate client
Nightclubs are in my opinion the ultimate client. Further down below I’m going to explain why, but first a quick intro and short lesson in business:
Many new (and learning) designers take their first steps toward a freelance career with paid flyer design jobs from nightclubs. My first paying jobs were for nightclub flyers and I know the same is true for many of my colleagues. I’m even sure plenty of you were the same, too.
But why are club flyers such a popular job request for designers? And is flyer design the best earning service a freelancer can offer?
After almost a decade in the industry and with hundreds of clients under my belt, I believe it could be, and below I’ll explain why.
Businesses use the term “niching down” when they refer to focusing their efforts on just one feature of their product or service.
When businesses focus their efforts on just one product or feature, the quality of that product or feature will be significantly increased, whilst the time and cost of production will decrease.
When you have just one main focus in your business:
- Your time and resources become easier to manage
- Your customers (who want the one thing you offer) are easier to please
- Quality becomes much easier to control
- The number of errors/accidents/faults in your work will be reduced
- Your work can be systemized, making it quicker and more profitable
A real-world example of niching down: FlyerHeroes.com
We focus on only producing flyers. We have “niched down” from being an all-purpose graphic design website to a website that focuses on print design templates. Even more niche than that, we focus on only providing flyer design templates.
We probably could offer more, but we don’t. Instead, we focus on being really good at one thing, instead of merely OK at many.
We do this for the reasons listed above. Our customers want flyer templates and they pay for flyer templates. Should we spend time producing an array of resource types, our time and efforts will become diluted and the quality of our work will suffer.
By producing only flyers, our business is easy to manage, the quality of our work remains high and our customers are happy to receive the quality templates that they paid for.
Why is this important?
Understanding the concept of niching down will help you understand why it is important to focus your efforts on providing one freelance design service, and even more importantly: why I think it is better to focus on only providing design services for nightclubs.
15 reasons to “niche down” and focus on nightclubs
It would be naive of me to say you should only provide flyer design services.
Clients will always ask you to provide extras such as social media graphics, banners, menus, etc, and sticking to your guns and saying “I only do flyers” would be shooting yourself in the foot. You’ll lose out on money and piss off the client.
However, I do think it is smart to niche down and advertise yourself as a nightclub flyer designer. Being a Jack-of-all-trades can make clients cautious of your abilities, and nightclubs (the clients I believe we want) often look for the one important skill of flyer design.
So, why are nightclubs the clients we want? Why is nightclub flyer design the service we should be offering?
Let me answer those questions with these top 15 reasons why:
1. Nightclubs provide frequent design work for freelancers
There is a simple reason why our Club Flyer Templates category contains such a large number of items: Nightclubs require LOTS of flyer design work. Far more than most other businesses.
A single nightclub will require new flyer designs on a weekly basis – if not several times per week or more. That is a lot more than a local coffee shop, retailer, or small business would ever require.
Every week a nightclub will change its drinks offers and run new promotions. These offers need to be promoted to passers-by on nights out. Likewise, nightclubs will run weekly events that are targeted at different demographics, or events for music acts that will attract specific fans and music lovers.
All of these events and offers need promoting with new and updated graphics each week.
As a freelance graphic designer, this will result in a steady and consistent flow of paid work, which gives your business a steady and reliable flow of cash, making nightclubs very valuable clients.
2. Design work for Nightclubs is often very easy
In my experience, most of the work requested by nightclub clients is very easy and often only requires a few small changes to existing templates.
Obviously, we try to make the job of nightclub flyer design even easier with our extensive collection of templates, but I digress…
The first flyers I produce for a new nightclub client will be the base templates I use for all of their designs. Once this base template or initial design is created, weekly updates such as drink prices, performing DJs and dates only require a few lines of text to be updated.
Of course, this doesn’t get me paid the same amount I would charge for a full flyer design, but it does get me paid for simply changing some text. With 10 nightclubs on your client list, that require small changes once per week at $20 per time, that’s a very good day of work.
3. Nightclubs pay very well
Note: Nightclubs are very big and very profitable businesses.
The sooner you understand that the sooner you stop feeling guilty about charging them a higher price for your service.
A nightclub that will charge you $30+ just to get in, will not think twice about paying $50-$100 for a flyer. That cost is paid off with just one person walking through the door and buying a few drinks, so stop underpricing yourself.
A small mom-and-pop flower shop or family restaurant will often not want to spend big bucks on flyer design. They don’t see the benefit of flyers as clearly as nightclubs do.
Nightclubs will pay highly for good flyer designs. They want to pay you your money and get their flyers to print quickly so they can meet their deadlines.
4. Nightclubs like to stick with one graphic designer (for a very long time)
Depending on the size of the nightclub, you’ll either deal with:
- The manager/owner
- The marketing/promotions manager
Both of these people are very busy. They do not have the time to be searching for new designers to handle their workload each week.
Likewise, they do not have the patience to find a designer who can provide the same quality work that you provide.
This means that once they have found a reliable graphic designer who will design their flyers each week, they often stay with that one designer for a very long time.
Combining points 1, 2, 3 & 4: Nightclubs provide a constant supply of easy work that pays well for a very long time.
5. Nightclubs like a consistent brand image
Once a nightclub has established its image within the local community of partygoers, like most businesses, they like to keep its image consistent.
To do this clubs like to use the same graphics and flyers week after week, and often year after year.
A personal client of mine likes to use the same Student Night flyer every week, and I simply change the colors and dates. An easy way for the client to keep a consistent brand image (and easy work for me!).
Our Traktion series is a prime example of this type of work, which you can see here.
6. Frequent seasonal promotions keep the work exciting
It is easy to get bored with small changes to existing design work. Sure it fills your pocket, but you’re better than this, right? Your skills are there to be used!
As well as providing frequent small jobs, nightclubs also provide regular in-depth work that exercises our skills as designers.
At least once per month, a popular seasonal event will take place that requires custom-made graphics designed from scratch. These larger design jobs are much more fun and pay highly, along with mixing up our workload and keeping us thrilled with our jobs.
Examples of such Seasonal Events can be found here in our Seasonal Flyer Templates category.
7. Design work from clubs is steady and predictable
My small business clients such as restaurants, dentists, and sports clubs tend to call me only when they’re running an offer or promoting a one-time event. These events and offers are infrequent, maybe once or twice per year when they need to boost their customer acquisition.
Nightclubs on the other hand are pumping out flyers each and every week. This work becomes predictable and after being with a client for several years, you can also predict their seasonal events too.
Businesses around the world search endlessly for this type of steady and predictable work, which you can get from simple nightclub clients.
8. Easily make more money by managing their printing
Nightclubs spend a lot of money printing flyers. Remember the marketing manager we spoke about in #4? Well, she’s busy. If you can manage both the design and printing of her promotional resources she is more than willing to pay you for it.
Most online printing services offer highly lucrative commissions for referring new customers, often around 50% of the total printing order price. You can take advantage of this by printing your client’s flyers for them and taking a juicy cut for yourself.
How does this work?
It’s really simple. To get their flyers printed and delivered to their door, your client simply uploads the print-ready flyers you have designed to their favorite local printing website, fills out an order form, and clicks submit.
Most of these printing websites offer “white labeling”, which means you can use their service to print items under your own brand name. Just as your client would do himself, you only need to upload the design, fill out an order and click submit. The only difference is as an authorized reseller, the cost to you is 50% less than your client would pay. You then charge your client the full list price, and not only have you made yourself an extra $50, but you’ve also made your client very happy.
Printing services such as Printing.com and VistaPrint have these reseller / white label services available.
9. Make more money from additional services
As I mentioned in the intro, nightclubs don’t JUST need a flyer design. They need lots of other marketing resources that you can provide.
Once you’ve created the flyer design they ask for, you can use the same graphics and layers to create additional graphics for their social media accounts, websites, email marketing, and more.
An often underrated and missed opportunity by both clubs and freelancers is creating graphics for a nightclub’s in-house TV network. Do you know the TVs that are usually used for psychedelic DVD visuals or crappy Powerpoint graphics showing the latest drink deals? You can easily create eye-catching ads for these TVs and clubs will happily pay you for the privilege!
Remember, the manager/owner/marketing manager are often very busy people. Sometimes you have to suggest ideas for them.
10. Clubs connect you with other clubs & promoters
Unlike small mom-and-pop shops, nightclubs are well connected, and even better, they’re connected to many other nightlife businesses that need a flyer design service.
A popular trick for graphic designers whose work is being printed and distributed is to place their web address in the footer of the flyer. This gets you noticed by local businesses and other clubs.
When one nightclub starts pumping out super slick graphics, the other clubs want a piece of it too, and they will often reach out to you.
If they don’t, being the main designer for a competitor club in town will give you enough credibility to cold call other clubs and pick up new clients. If you’re good enough for one big club, you gotta be big enough for another, right?
However, I’ve also found that club owners (whilst competitors on a business level) will share resources with other clubs and I’ve been put in touch with other big clubs via my own club clients before. Likewise, clients will send my details along to promoters running events at their venues too.
The added benefit of being introduced to many new clients like this is it will quickly put you in a position to raise your rates. Demand = higher prices.
11. Nightclubs don’t require award-winning graphics
…Ok, now how do I say this without insulting my own craft, passion, skill, and business?
If you’ve ever taken on product advertising work or worked with ad agencies, you’ll know that the devil is in the details. Your work will be meticulously created with precision and attention to detail – as all your work should be.
Nightclubs, on the other hand, are not as fussy. In fact, in my experience, I am usually a lot fussier than the client. When he says it is ready to go, I usually have to spend a little longer tidying up the edges.
The point here is club flyer design is often not very stressful. The clients are easy to please and the chance of work being rejected is very low.
12. Clubs will pay highly for rush jobs
Ah, back to the busy owner and marketing manager.
If you’ve ever worked inside a club or alongside an event promoter, you’ll know it is fast-paced work and deadlines loom everywhere.
Likewise, as a graphic designer, you know what it’s like to feel the pressure of a rush job.
Nightclubs, being the big businesses they are, will pay generously for you the designer to interrupt your day and produce a flyer design STAT!
I’ve pushed my luck with these and tried getting $300 for a single side design, but I found that annoys the client (as it is basically blackmail) and loses favor with the client too.
However, you can easily get $150-$200 for a single side rush job if your client:
- is desperate enough
- values your work
- understands the inconvenience that it causes you
- (most importantly) you explain these reasons clearly enough to your client
13. Nightclubs will pay your higher rates to keep you on board
We’ve already discussed how a nightclub’s management is too busy to spend their time looking for new design talent and how they have lots of money to spend. They also enjoy keeping their marketing materials consistent and they like that they can rely on you to provide consistent quality work in a timely manner.
They don’t want to lose you.
But you’re a business, man. When more clients start knocking on your door, filling up your schedule, and offering you more money, it’s time to raise your rates.
It can make you feel a little guilty inside to raise your rates on a client who has paid you well for a long period of time, but if you don’t, you’ll be stuck on the same pay grade (or with no time for yourself) if you don’t take the plunge and start upping your prices.
When you increase your rates a few things will happen:
- You’ll lose clients who don’t value your work (or can’t afford the new higher rates)
- The clients who can afford your rates will make up for the clients you lost
- You’ll now have to work less for the same amount of money, and have room for higher-paying customers
The practice of raising your rates without pissing off clients is for another blog post entirely, however, in my experience, long-time nightclub clients rarely complain about 20% or so increases in my quotes.
14. Free entry to the club!
Ok, so this one is more of a joke, but who doesn’t love getting free entry to the club with a few free drinks for you and your friends?
The only problem with my international client list is I never get to take advantage of this benefit, but it used to work great when I designed for the local clubs in my home city!
15. Add your own in the comments!
Can you think of any benefits I have missed?
Maybe you can think of some of the downsides of working for nightclub clients.
Whatever your thoughts, post in the comments below so we can discuss them together (and hopefully learn a thing or two from one another!)