How To Become A Freelance Graphic Designer
When we are young, we are often asked that what we will become when we grow up.
How many of you remember the number of times you have been asked this question? The answer may be multiple times.
This happens with everyone. But as we age, we get to know about various fields and professions that are unknown to us when we are small.
Graphic design is one of them.
Graphic design is no rocket science, and many people have excelled in this field to a very different level.
Other than this, graphic designers are offered a very handsome amount of money that is much better than other professions. However, still many designers opt for freelancing, and that is also not a bad option.
Many freelancers earn double the amount of money as people who are working in a company.
So, this decision might not be harmful to you if you decide to become a freelancer.
Being a freelancer will let you work according to your timeline, and you will be your own boss.
You will have the leverage to work on the projects you love, and you will be free to go on vacations and live your days freely as you want.
If you are thinking of becoming a designer and haven’t taken any courses regarding designing, this process is long for you.
First, you will need to learn to design, and then you will excel in this field. You can either get yourself enrolled into a university, or you can opt for coaching sessions available in your hometown.
Other than this, many websites are available on the internet that offers design courses for people who want to learn design.
In this article, we will discuss how one can become a freelance graphic designer and earn money.
Have a look at the steps below that explain how one can become a freelance graphic designer quickly.
1 – Find worthy clients
A company gets business when it gets worthy clients who pay them money. Similarly, you will also need worthy clients who will help you make further contacts.
Finding good clientele is the first and foremost thing for your business. If you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business and are not freelancers.
People first focus on building up a portfolio and invest time and money in maintaining a website.
Rather than building your brand first, please search for your first client and work on their project.
Your first client will give you the confidence to become a freelance graphic designer.
To get good clients, you can always look upon freelance job websites to find interested candidates who pay well.
According to your interests, you will get one or more freelance graphic design projects from a pool of websites on the internet.
Furthermore, you can always count on your relatives and friends.
While working in the office, we often make new friends and build contacts that help us.
Spread the word amongst your friends, colleagues, family members and see what they have for you in return.
Connecting and working with people whom we know is the best way to start a business.
2 – Work on your company’s branding
Once you’ve gathered clients, it’s time to think about your company.
Think of an attractive and unique name for your company.
As you are a designer, you need to be creative with your company’s logo, branding, and name. This will help you in the future, and remember that this company name will stay with you forever, so invest time working upon your own company.
Many people use their personal names. This is not a bad idea if you have decided to keep your business to yourself and not keep your partner in it.
If you decide to add someone else in the future, think of a different and unique name.
Branding is an essential part of your business. It will represent your work, style, and attitude towards clients, and it will be like your identity.
The more attractive and sleek the name will be, the more people will get attracted to it.
3 – Build a portfolio
As mentioned above, you need to think about your business than anyone else. Building a portfolio should be your priority.
Many designers take so much time to build a portfolio but still cannot produce a good one.
Your portfolio doesn’t have to be outstanding, include your best works in it, and you can even create a one-pager portfolio that will work for your clients.
Highlighting your best works is essential. It will encourage people to hire you and have at least something to show to them.
4 – Take care of your first clients
The clients that have contacted you first should be prioritised more than others. Whether your first clients are your friends or family members, they will be more likely to give you more work if you keep them happy.
Clients who trusted your work before anyone else will give you more work and refer you to their contacts if you keep them on your list before everyone.
Create contacts like this and build trust with your customers.
Once your customers have your trust, they will always refer you for all kinds of projects. This will be a win-win situation for you and will bring more clients in the future.
5 – Learn to make proposals and invoices
Many graphic designers are very creative with colours and designs but are very poor with grammar and English.
Graphic designing might be easy for you, but you need to master writing proposals and invoices.
If you want to become a freelancer, then you will need to run your design business. You will need to learn how to write an invoice and make proposals for your clients.
When working on contracts, you will need to write emails to explain your timelines and other things to your clients.
Here you will need to master skills like content writing, so you don’t make any errors in your emails and proposals.
Here you can take help from many online tools that teach how to write a proposal or email clients.
Other than this, many online websites and tools help create professional invoices in just a few seconds which can work great for your business.
6 – Don’t be too choosy when you begin
At the beginning of your business, you might get work that is not of your interest or where the client is paying less.
In such situations, don’t let the client go. This happens with many people.
Most people are assigned tasks that least interests them but let it go if you want to build clientele.
If you’re not an expert working as a graphic designer for years, you should not allow small graphic designing jobs to let go so quickly.
These small tasks and assignments sometimes help make good contacts that cater to us in the future.
If you are new, don’t expect the market to pay you as it pays an experienced designer. It would be best if you built your identity first. Let it go with the flow.
Once you have a good clientele, then you are ready to find your type of design tasks.
7 – Utilise your network
As mentioned earlier in this article, you need to utilise your network to find your clients.
Once you have a client in hand, regardless of it being a video animation company that is nowhere related to your genre yet to grow your network ahead, you should consider them as well.
Working as a freelancer means meeting new people, making new friends, and working with them. Meet new people and engage with people as much as you can.
While we talk with people and step out of our comfort zone, we learn new things about people that mesmerises us.
Attend parties and events where you can meet new people and try conversing with different types of people. You never know when a valuable client is available to hire you for their work.
Moreover, your network will make your freelancing journey less boring, so don’t miss out on the network that you have built but try expanding it for your betterment.
8 – Always look for new clients
While you’ve started your freelancing, business doesn’t fear if you have abundant work in one month and no work at all in the next.
Many freelancers face this situation and often have busy schedules in a month and are completely free in the next month. In this way, you will not enjoy working.
Therefore, search for new clients even if you are piled up with many workloads. Your pending tasks will be completed, but having no work will keep you free next month, which will not be much entertainment for you.
Keep a time slot for reaching out to new clients and indulge yourself in activities like cold-emailing or SEO.
9 – Get paid on time
Keep one rule of working as a freelancer in your mind always. Get paid on time and avoid clients who don’t play frequently.
If you don’t collect payments on time, you won’t last very long.
If you are one of those who are shy to ask out for payments, then you need to change your habit. You need to understand that this is part of the business.
A person gets payment in every business, and the industry will always misuse one who never asks for payment. You might feel awkward in the beginning, but you will get used to it after a while.
Keep a habit of reminding your clients about payment and remind them through invoices which is a professional way of collecting payment.
Once you’ve excelled in this business, you can keep discounts for the clients who pay you early and keep penalties for those who don’t pay on time.
10 – Take feedback and get referrals
If you are working through a website or have a website of your own, always ask your clients to give their feedback. Feedback is critical in every field. It educates the person on how they can improve their skills.
Also, get referrals from your clients. Successful freelance designers have succeeded because of referrals and word of mouth.
Once you provide the best services to a client, it is more likely that they will come back to you for more work.
This type of marketing is free, and it can be challenging when you’ve just started your business. Build trust slowly and gradually and gain the trust of your customers.
As you finish a project with your client, just ask for their feedback. You can also start by asking for referrals from your existing clients.
Whenever you meet a client and have a good conversation, lookout for a chance and ask them if they know anyone who wants to hire a graphic designer.
Always be productive and provide quality work, which will bring business to you automatically.
Learning a skill might be a cup of tea for one person but excelling in that field is the real game-changer.
Once you’ve mastered graphic designing skills, you will love to work with different types of clients.
You just need to follow the steps mentioned above and indeed notice your business’s progress.
Having a freelance business will benefit you, but you will be free to live and work according to your terms. You will not have to answer any bosses, and you will work under your own rules.
You won’t become a successful freelancer overnight.
You will have to work quite hard to obtain a prominent position in your field so that people know you and appreciate your work.
Just keep the motivation alive in yourself and welcome the opportunities that come your way.
Author Bio: I have been associated with the tech world for a decade now. I, Nathan Enoch Burridge, have held numerous key positions in various reputable companies. Due to my obsession with the Tech World and E-Market Trading System, I have started writing and contributing my knowledge as a Guest Blogger.