My 5 tactics to easily get UX/UI design freelance clients

In Nov 2022 I launched Product Alchemy, my one-man design agency. Within 3 months I took it from 0 to 15k MRR. Here is what I've learned about getting clients.

Diego Menchaca
March 1, 2024
 min read


I currently run two productised services: Product Alchemy a UX/UI design subscription and Motion Gurus bundled-based custom animations service.

It is a no-brainer that being a freelance designer gives you all of the freedom of the world you can desire. Yet, many freelance designers fail to survive the death valley and have no option but to return to their full-time jobs. 

In this blog post, I'm excited to share insights into how I've managed to keep my pipeline brimming with new projects through 5 simple tactics.

This is not advice. It's what has worked for me. Yet, these tactics helped me in 2023 generate €77k in revenue, and there may be things you may find helpful here.

I don't want to simplify the process. Getting your first clients is tough, and every freelancer faces the grind and struggle. If you are struggling to grow your freelance career, you got this: it takes time. Just-don't-stop.

With that said, join me as I unveil my process of getting new clients whenever I want.

Here are my five tactics – in order of effectiveness.

Offering free work

As crazy as it sounds, the crux of my process of making money and growing Product Alchemy is doing free work.

This marketing hook does 3 things for me: standing out, getting my foot in the door and getting compelling testimonials.

The trick to this marketing hook is to keep it lean. My max limit of free work is 1-2 hours. In that time, I'll help a founder redesign a section of their website, a screen of their app, or help them interview a user to uncover unmet needs.

Offering free work helps me standout. The number of agencies and solo freelancers who would do free work is minimal. So what do I do? I exploit this and turn it into a differentiator. The more people that dogmatically buy into the advice "Never do free work" — the better for me.

Whatever you do, make sure to stand out.

Offering free work helps me get my foot in the door and quickly start building a relationship with that possible future client. Since they have tested my design and communication skills, they know precisely what they will get if they subscribe to my design service.

Lastly, the beauty of free work is kick-ass testimonials. Social proof is extremely important for any business. I always ask the clients I do free work for to give me a testimonial I can use on my site. These testimonials have now compounded and increased trust when someone is about to use their credit card and subscribe to my services.

This is why I offer free work, it helps me standout, get my foot in the door and get more testimonials.

Connecting on LinkedIn

LinkedIn remains a powerhouse for professional networking and sales. I've found success by proactively connecting with prospects. I'll search for "founder," "co-founder," or "chief product officer," and I'll add people until LinkedIn asks me to take it easy.

Because I hate getting spammed, I don't use any automated tool on Linkedin for messaging leads.

Sometimes, I'll send them a manual message, or often, I won't send any message at all.

But, because my marketing offer, "Free UX/UI design help", is front and centered on my LinkedIn profile, startups currently looking for a UX/UI will message me.

Whenever I need new clients, I'll add a few hundred people on Linkedin. A new client at this point is virtually guaranteed.

Marketing in Slack Channels

Slack channels have proven to be a goldmine for networking and finding potential clients. Joining relevant Slack communities related to design and startups can expose you to a pool of individuals seeking design services. 

I always put the URL of Product Alchemy on my Slack handle, thus increasing the chance of someone entering my site and my sales funnel.

Usually, the #random channel on Slack is generally silent, and a post there will still be visible for a while.

I'll ask someone I know to post a blurb promoting my content on Slack groups I'm not part of.

Generating Free Resources

Creating free resources can be great lead magnets and an effective way to position yourself as a thought leader.

My most popular free resource is a free template of the Opportunity Solution Tree — a powerful tool for product designers and startup founders.

That template ranked top on Google when you search for "Opportunity Solution Tree," it gets me free traffic to my site every week.

Companies want to work with people who are thought leaders and industry experts.

As a freelancer, you are a full-fledged business. Every business has a marketing department that is continuously positioning the brand. Ensure you find ways to keep traffic coming and growing to your website.

Adding an embedded Loom video to my Site

I have a video presenting myself and my business on both Product Alchemy and Motion Gurus. This video appears at the bottom of the screen and is an embedded loom video.

Welcome video on Product Alchemy

The video does two things for me:

1. It surprises the visitor

These founder videos are significantly under-exploited and powerful for connecting with the visitor. Humans are wired by millions of years of evolution to remember faces and voices. This video taps into that innate human capability.

2. It helps me identify who has visited my site.

If you are a loom user and see that video, your name, and avatar appear on the video analytics.

Since loom is widely used among my target market, I often get that data, which allows me to identify leads. I'll then add them on Linkedin and, you guessed it, offer them free work.


Growing your freelance or agency business takes time. Anyone trying to make their company look like an overnight success is not being honest.

I launched Product Alchemy in November 2022, and the first paying client came after a month and a half of grinding and a handful of startups I worked for free in exchange for a testimonial I could use on my site.

If I had to choose one of these five tactics, my main is doing free work. It helps me stand out from other freelancers and agencies who would never dare to do it. And it helps me do something crucial for every business: get my foot in the door.

If you know a freelancer struggling to build their business, please help them by sharing this article.

As always, if you need free UX/UI design help, I'm available! 

Diego Menchaca
Product Designer
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