How To Start A Freelance Graphic Design Career

How To Start A Freelance Graphic Design Career

How To Start A Freelance Graphic Design Career

Freelance graphic design is regarded as one of the most lucrative professions of the future. 

It offers endless opportunities to work with professionals, businesses, and brands around the world. 

As a student, getting paper assistance with your assignments allows you to develop your skills and kick-start your freelance graphic design life. 

Freelancing opens up endless opportunities to design the best brochures, documents, posters, and other visuals. 

It is not every freelance graphics designer who finds success in the industry. 

How do you find success as a graphic designer working as a freelancer? 

Here are a few tips that will make your journey reliable and successful.

1 – Be Passionate About Graphic Design

Graphic Design Meme

Graphic design is one of the fields that you will not survive unless you are passionate about the work. 

Freelance designers require much creativity. You must be attentive to details and think like the consumers of your graphics.

You should see errors in posters and find solutions to poorly done work. You must also have the capacity to appreciate an excellent piece of design. 

Passion helps you to avoid working as a formality and failing to meet the expectations of your client. Take an interest in the latest developments in the industry, software, how to get clients, and where the money, among other crucial elements of graphic design. 

Passion also helps you to reinvent yourself so that you can remain relevant to the industry. It will be easy to see the emotion through your work. 

In the freelancing industry, you need the desire to help you grow a reliable brand.

2 – Identify A Graphic Design College To Learn

University Of Brighton

A successful graphic design freelancer must acquire the best skills in the industry. 

The skills can be acquired from the best college and tutor. A college introduces you to the best graphic design practices around the world. 

It is also a chance to learn the theories of graphic design that make your work acceptable around the world. 

The best graphic design school is one with skilled and experienced tutors. The college should be equipped with the latest tools that will guarantee the skills you need to compete in the graphics design world. 

Choose a school with a reputation for producing the best graphic designers in the industry. Check reviews of graphic design schools to help you make a choice. 

3 – Learn The Software Necessary For Graphic Design

Beauty Of Graphic Design
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Graphic design is highly reliant on software. The features you add to your projects will depend on the finesse of the tools at your disposal. 

Designing graphics and visuals is also a matter of mastery. One designer could possess the most sophisticated software yet fail to deliver on a project because he or she has not mastered it.

The best graphic design software helps you to produce advanced images and posters as well as meet customer expectations. 

Choose software with advanced features such that you can grow your graphic design skills. 

Train with the best tutors in graphic design to acquire the necessary skills. 

Use tutorials provided by these software developers to learn the latest about the software available in the market. It is these skills that will turn you into a competitive graphic designer.  

4 – Invest In The Tools Required By Graphic Designers

Adobe Creative Cloud Tools

Buy the essential graphic design tools that will enable you to meet the needs of your target customers. 

The tools include computers or laptops, software, printers, and the internet, among others. Some projects can be completed using phones and tablets because they are not as sophisticated. 

However, some projects require the best computer for design with a fantastic monitor that will give you the advantage of viewing details. 

A freelance graphics designer needs discipline to meet customer deadlines. 

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Prepare a work station with the necessary equipment and amenities to work on the projects at hand. 

The best freelancer work station should meet the following conditions.

  • Spacious enough to accommodate all your apparatus and gadgets
  • Comfortable to allow you to work long hours
  • Well lit to avoid straining your eyes
  • Warm and aerated 
  • Quiet so that you can concentrate on your project

It takes time to buy all the equipment you need to run a successful freelance graphics design profession. 

Improve your equipment and work station gradually until you can meet the standards of the most lucrative clients in the market. 

You must also dedicate time to learn the apparatus so that they can help you to deliver to the expectations of your clients. 

5 – Take The Baby Steps Of Earning

Get A Job Intern

Take the small graphic design gigs that will introduce you to earning. Talk to friends with businesses and are looking for logo designs, posters, and merchandise, among other items that require your skills. 

Volunteer for an organisation where you are a member or give them an offer if they are ready to provide a stipend. 

Success as a freelance graphic designer takes a while. 

You have to gain the confidence of your target clients by taking the smaller gigs then graduating into more lucrative ones over time. 

Prepare for the corrections and revisions that come from clients. Do not compete with friends and peers. 

Pick a niche and specialise in the area to get the best results. You can only work hard to reduce the learning curve but have to go through the curve anyway. 

6 – Work Under A Mentor

Business Liability Insurance Designers

A freelance graphic designer comes with much learning on the job because you will not be working under any organisation or boss.

It can lead to numerous mistakes that slow down your progress. 

The best step is to identify a mentor who will guide you through the steps. A mentor ensures that you do not make obvious or costly mistakes.

Choose a mentor who has been in the industry for a while. He or she understands what it takes to succeed. 

The mentor will also introduce you to amateur gigs and show you the fastest path through freelancing. 

A mentor should have a proven track record so that the tips provided have been tested. 

A mentor will give you confidence that your work meets the standards required in the industry.

7 – Expose Your Talent

Graphic Design Portfolio

How do you want people to know that you are an excellent graphic designer? 

If people have never seen your work or do not know about your existence, they will never order services from you. 

Expose your work and skills by talking to friends, using social media, and marketing your business.  

A freelancer does not have a strong brand behind their name or work. It is, therefore, upon you to work towards exposing the skills for potential clients to notice. 

Create a design portfolio and share it with potential customers. Have a strong social media presence, and promote the page for business.

Participate in competitions and exhibitions so that people can see your work. The exposure will result in customers ordering your services.

8 – Enroll On Websites That Provide Graphic Design Gigs

Top 10 Freelance Sites

Look for websites that provide gigs to a freelance graphic designer. The sites have such jobs as designing a logo, creating posters, brochures, and such other tasks that graphic designers are known to do. 

The websites will allow you to work on commission since clients will come to the platform looking for your skills. 

Create the best profile on the website or platform such that you attract high profile clients. 

Bid for jobs and deliver high quality so that the clients can give you favourable ratings. 

Use these platforms to establish yourself as a highly-skilled and experienced freelance graphic designer. 

Such a platform forms part of your sources of gigs. You will still look for clients on other platforms.

9 – Create An Online Portfolio

Designer Portfolio Mistakes

Clients will not always look for you on freelancing websites. 

Some will do independent searches to capture graphic designers offering their services independently. 

Others are looking for designers in a particular area. An online portfolio for a graphic designer helps the clients to find you. 

Create a portfolio that captures your work, skills, and reviews from the clients you have already served.

Promote the profile on social networks. Request the clients you serve to leave positive reviews on your profile to give confidence to others who land on your page. 

The profile will increase your visibility online so that you can capitalise on traffic looking for services similar to what you offer.

10 – Request For Referrals

4 Acquire New Customers

Take advantage of the networks that your clients and friends have to get referrals. Referrals will only come when you deliver quality services to the existing clients. 

They are happy to recommend professionals if they get the best services. If you fail to deliver quality services, referrals will not be forthcoming. 

A competitive freelance graphic designer must possess the sharpest skills. 

You should own the tools and software that help you to deliver to the needs of your potential clients. 

Learn under a mentor and continuously look for opportunities to become the best graphic designer today. You will get gigs nearby and from clients around the world.

Top 10 Books on Freelance Design

Bestseller No. 1
The Psychology of Graphic Design Pricing: Price creative work with confidence. Win more bids. Make more money.
  • Janda, Michael C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 206 Pages - 02/07/2019 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, 15th Edition (15)
  • Graphic, Artists Guild (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 04/03/2018 (Publication Date) - Graphic Artists Guild (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 3
The Freelance Manifesto: A Field Guide for the Modern Motion Designer
  • Korenman, Joey (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 358 Pages - 05/31/2017 (Publication Date) - Lioncrest Publishing (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 4
Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff They Don't Teach You in Design School, But Should (Voices That Matter)
  • New Riders Publishing
  • Janda, Michael Janda (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 399 Pages - 06/04/2013 (Publication Date) - New Riders (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 5
Creative Truth: Start & Build a Profitable Design Business
  • Weaver, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 02/23/2016 (Publication Date) - Routledge (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 6
Work for Money, Design for Love: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Starting and Running a Successful Design Business (Voices That Matter)
  • Airey, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 11/22/2012 (Publication Date) - New Riders (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 7
The Freelancer's Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your Dreams―On Your Terms
  • Workman Publishing Company
  • Horowitz, Sara (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages - 10/23/2012 (Publication Date) - Workman Publishing Company (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 8
The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Freelance Web Design Business
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • iThemes, Team (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 295 Pages - 06/21/2015 (Publication Date) - iThemes (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 9
Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, 2nd Edition
  • Logo Design Love A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities 2nd Edition
  • Airey, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 08/30/2014 (Publication Date) - Peachpit Press (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 10
Graphic Design Rules: 365 Essential Dos and Don'ts
  • Adams, Sean (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 04/07/2020 (Publication Date) - Princeton Architectural Press (Publisher)

Last update on 2020-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Start A Freelance Graphic Design Career
  • Sarah says:

    Nice article! But, deciding to finally take the leap and branch out on your own can be exciting! Being a freelancer means taking control of your career by becoming your own boss. But in a highly competitive environment like graphic design, how do you make sure that your leap doesn’t turn into a nosedive?

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