Are you taking the plunge into a freelance career? But aren’t sure if a graphic designer can be a freelancer? The good news is you can, and you will find success.In fact, freelance could be an excellent working choice for graphic designers. 20 percent of the designers are self- employed.So, if you are thinking to venture into the field and at the same time wondering how to start a freelance graphic designing career, then this blog should help you in many ways.
Starting A Career As a Freelance Graphic Designer
Graphic designing is an industry that has thrived in the freelance business quite well. There are many pros and cons of starting a freelance career in this field, number one being freedom of choice and full usage of creativity.We believe any field that has some amount of creativity and art involved should be a freelance industry because only then you can explore your potential as a designer extensively.
However, whether you choose to be a part-timer or go complete freelancing, you need commitment and focus. It is time-consuming, and yes, you have to learn the trade, understand the market, enhance your skills and be the best service provider, all by yourself.
1. Learn the Skills, Thoroughly
As a freelancer, you won’t get the opportunity to work as an assistant or employee and get enough guidance before you plunge deeper. So to stay above the water and find shore earliest, you need to learn the skills that comprise graphic designing.You can either go for certification courses or a bachelor degree or choose to self-study. Whichever option you choose, it is always an add-on bonus if you take a short-term internship.An internship will help you to gauge your skills and enhance them as per corporate standards.
2. Build a Strong Portfolio
A compelling portfolio is the most important door to success for a freelance graphic designer. It is also a crucial asset. Your Graphic designing portfolio should reflect your experience, aestheticism, your skills, personality and genre.You should start by developing a dynamic website that represents your work and services that you offer. Even the parts that don’t talk about your work, such as ‘About Me’ should also be immaculately produced. The primary pages that a personal website of a Graphic Designer include-
- Portfolio of work (at least 4 – 6 samples)
- About Me
- Contact Information
- You can also add one or two case studies
3. Seek Help From Social Media
Social Media presence is another must for graphic designers. Social media also acts as a useful resource to further educate and improve your skills. If you want to cut-down your investment on a website, a social media site can be used for your online portfolio. Besides this, several platforms can be used as instruments to showcase your work, network with other designers, connect with niche clients and get positive feedbacks. You can join groups, use hashtags and keep people updated on your work on the general social media sites like Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
4. Save Before You Dive
Have a saving cushion before you start your freelance graphic design business. Save enough to cover up at least six month’s expenses before you launch. This way you will have your peace of mind intact and concentrate more on producing better quality products and services for clients.
5. Landing Your Clients – Get Your Name Out There
Your clients may not know your existence until you blow the trumpets. One of the fastest and ready-made ways to spread the news is through friends, family, relative and influential people.Now several social media sites have removed the barrier of communication. Know your customers, as in your target market. A freelance career is dependent on the number of networks you create.There are several realistic and low-cost ways to market your brand – which is ‘you’ in this scenario. However, marketing requires engaging content that excites and informs people to a high degree. Make relationships with other designers or clients who have been following you on sites. Give a brief introduction to you without being imposing. Other than social media, email newsletters, blogs and video tutorials are great cost effective marketing techniques.Apart from these, there are also dedicated websites that are specifically built to help you find clients. “Being constantly active and staying connected on social media sites and keeping your blogs flowing every day might put you on the top of priority list for a company’s next design project.”“Don’t overdo it, however. The best time for self-promotion is when you have loads of business coming in that would support you as reference samples”.
6. Try Forming A Partnership Network For Support
Expand your freelance career as a graphic designer by connecting with freelancers who have similar skills like yours as this offers several benefits like those listed below:
- You can work together on jobs
- Refer each other to clients
- Trade skills and ideas
- Plan business
- Grow client base
You can spread your wings by attending business conferences, by being a part of online forums and other social media groups to link up with similarly skilled people.
7. The Right Tools and Information
The basics such as – a powerful computer, stable broadband connection, a peaceful work environment or set up and most importantly a creative and inventive mind, are essential for the job. However, arming yourself with the best graphic design tools and technology will boost your career and expand your workspace in manifolds. Latest technology and advanced tools that include illustrations, software, hardware, and miscellaneous items can guarantee long-term success.
8. Pay Yourself a Salary
Starting a freelance graphic design career begins with setting rates for your work. For this, you need to do little research on existing markets and check your value on the skills that you offer. Remember the most significant benefit of a freelance career is enjoying profits in full share. Apart from being a sole sharer of profits, you will also be the person to burn the losses.
So what should you do? Ideally, you should start paying yourself a salary and save the rest for investment and business growth purposes.You should be able to take care of your personal needs from your salary, save a certain percentage for future and invest the rest in your business – to buy tools, software, and equipment and pay office bills.
If you ever hit rock bottom, the savings you had made would help you to survive.
9. Quality Matters
If you want to be the most sought-after freelance graphic designer, you have to produce excellent quality work. First of all, understand that you do have something of value that many businesses and corporates are desperately hunting. Therefore, your work should save not only your business but also of those who look out for you to work with you.
You can assure great quality work only when you are free for additional knowledge, open for adopting new technology and latest tools and open to challenge your skills and bring out the best.
Help a struggler and share this article that talks about how to start a freelance graphic design career. Although it sounds clichéd, remember, you will only succeed if you take those first baby steps, unflinching.