Here are some tips to get your freelance graphic design business off to a great start. It might be challenging to launch a freelance career, particularly in the field of graphic design. You’ll likely have to deal with difficult competition and picky clients, or you might even be at a loss for where to start. So here are some ideas to get you started if you want to pursue your passion.
1. Avoid taking a leap of faith
You should proceed with caution while starting a job as a freelance graphic designer, especially if you’re leaving the corporate world, even if this is true for any new profession generally. This is due to the fact that working for someone else is considerably different from working for yourself.
Working a 9 to 5 job provides a steady income and benefits, but the freelancing industry does not. Instead, you’ll be compensated for the work you accomplish each month and be expected to pay for your benefits out of pocket. Before you start, make sure you have enough money in your savings. Even if things don’t go precisely how you anticipate them to, you won’t have to worry about surviving.
2. Establish a diverse portfolio
Before you ask people to pay for your services, be sure you have something to give. Furthermore, there are an unlimited amount of possible projects, therefore it’s crucial to develop a diversified portfolio that showcases all you can do. Through your portfolio, your client will be able to see the caliber, style, and expertise of your work. Building your portfolio can also boost your productivity as a graphic designer as you generate more works.
Related: Eight Pointers for Launching Your Freelance Graphic Design Career
3. Advertise Yourself on Social Media Websites
Do not forget to place your portfolio on display where it will be seen. You may post them on Facebook, Instagram, or specialized art platforms like Pixiv and Deviant Art. A well-organized portfolio of your best work is the ideal way to advertise yourself since it speaks volumes about your skills. You may post short films showcasing your creative process to Reels or TikTok.
Many individuals are interested in learning more about your process and the results you produce. You may reach more potential clients with your work if you grow your following. Furthermore, there could be others in your network that need or desire a graphic designer. If you gain a reputation in your profession, you’ll be one of the first people people think of when they need a graphic designer.
4. Discover Clients on Websites for Freelancers
When unsure of where to look, the best place to start is where the clients are. They might be freelancing markets like Upwork or Fiverr in addition to professional networking websites like LinkedIn. No matter the platform you decide to use, you must make sure your profile is set up properly. After all, clients will want to confirm the credentials and expertise of the staff they hire.
Remember that you are competing with hundreds, if not thousands, of other independent graphic designers. You should also become a member of graphic designer groups on the social networking platforms you frequent. This might put you in contact with other independent contractors. Even a single or two clients through referrals could be possible.
5. Have Good Communication Skills
You need to communicate well if you want to run your own business. This suggests that you must be able to speak to your clients in a way that avoids misconceptions. If something in your message is unclear, don’t speculate. Ask for additional details instead. You must also respond to queries and enquiries within 24 hours after a workday. After all, prospective clients are likely time-constrained and connected to other freelancers. Therefore, if you want to complete this project, be sure to move quickly.
6. Under promise and Overpromise
Nobody wants to experience disappointment when hopes are not realized. It’s crucial to set goals that you are aware are well within your limits and provide room for unforeseen events while working with customers. If, for instance, a graphic design work takes you three days to finish, let the client know it will take five days. If the client demands five adjustments, you may also inform them you can only make three of them. When you complete a project early—say let’s two days early—your clients will be thrilled.
Or, even if a consumer asks for a minor change four times, you can still provide it to them without getting in trouble. Going above and beyond might leave your customer with a positive impression and open the door for future business. They might even speak highly of you to their associates and business partners, giving you access to a wider range of customers.
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7. Keep a Controllable Workload
One error that many new freelancers make is accepting too many projects. Once you start getting clients, it’s natural to believe you can handle everything, which might result in deadlines that are too close together. When that happens, you will need to work quickly, which might lead to subpar work, missed deadlines, and dissatisfied clients. To assist you prevent problems, your timeframes should always include a safety buffer.
Furthermore, if you accept too many jobs, your pay may not be adequate for your level of competence. To decrease your load while increasing your earnings, consider slightly upping your rate. If you wanted to do more in the same amount of time, you could hire a graphic designer’s assistance.
8. The Value of Feedback
Get the customer’s opinion after completing a project with them and presenting a proposal each time. Even if you didn’t get the job, having a knowledge of the client’s viewpoint will help you generate better work. By asking for input, you may incorporate what clients want and need into your product and workflow. This will enable you to comprehend their needs and wants. As a result, you’ll continue to learn and improve as your career as a freelance graphic designer progresses.
Start a Freelance Graphic Design Career
Even though working as a freelancer differs greatly from working for an organization, it may still be a fulfilling job. One of its best advantages is total control over your finances and time, even while you could give up some of the guarantees of a 9 to 5 job, such as paid time off, bonuses, and the like.
Many people have developed successful careers through freelancing. Maybe it’s about time you succeed too. No prior experience with online freelancing is essential to get started because everyone has to start somewhere. A guide is nevertheless useful to help you take the first step.