How to Make a Living as a Freelance Graphic Designer
These days, graphic designers are in demand a lot. If you have been looking to switch careers, then why not become a graphic designer?
Besides how much money you can make, you also have the benefit of working as a digital nomad. Having a computer and an internet connection is pretty much all you need to work. After all, remote work has become quite common recently because of the pandemic.
So what else is it that you need to make a career as a freelance graphic designer? The answer to this question is below.
Find a Niche You Are Interested in
If you are thinking about becoming a graphic designer, there must be something that caught your eye. Sure, the money one can make is an advantage, but working a job that you do not enjoy is not the best approach. You may lose motivation and end up looking for other work opportunities.
Some graphic designers keep it simple and stick to logos and social media content. Others join ecommerce stores that sell custom all-over print shirts and other custom merchandise.
Designing book covers is also a popular method to make money as a graphic designer, especially now when authors can self-publish books on Amazon.
You do not have to limit yourself to just a single idea either. As a freelancer, you are free to try different methods and find one that suits you the most.
Build Your Online Presence
Roughly 2.05 billion people have made at least one purchase online in 2020. The number indicates ecommerce’s growth. More and more people are using the internet to purchase goods and services. And it just so happens that graphic designers also offer services.
Building your online presence should be one of the priorities if you want to find clients. Social media is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Platforms like LinkedIn are a good example of a place where you can find clients.
Upwork and Fiverr are worth a shout as well, though you may find yourself struggling to land jobs there because of the nature of such platforms. Freelancers who do not have enough positive feedback on their profile are unlikely to get hired. It may take a while before you can get a decent number of positive reviews.
Developing a website is also worth considering. If you are looking to expand and build as much online presence as you can, then even a simple site with some SEO can attract potential clients.
Practice Your Craft Regularly
There are plenty of graphic designers who are constantly working on improving their repertoire. If you want to be among the best, prepare to practice regularly. Sure, real work experience is enough to keep your skills sharp for the most part. However, there may come a time when you do not have that much work.
Instead of wasting that time doing unproductive things, you could spend it thinking up new projects for yourself or trying new software.
Keeping up with the latest industry news and trends is an excellent piece of advice. For example, there may be a new tablet or software coming out soon, and if you were one of the first to get and master that, it would give you an advantage over other graphic designers.
Another thing to keep in mind is that even if you do not receive money for a project you decided to take on yourself, it is still something you can add to your portfolio. Showing previous work is one of the first things that a client will ask when they are looking to hire a graphic designer.
Network and Maintain Relationships
Speaking of clients, you will need to do your best to network and maintain great relationships. Like previously mentioned, social media is a good way to find new connections, though you should also seek other opportunities.
Forums, conferences, podcasts, and other live events could provide some leads. You do not have to rely on the internet to find clients.
As for maintaining relationships, it should not be that much of an issue at first because you are unlikely to have many clients in the beginning, so there should be time to keep in touch with them.
Manage Your Time
Since you will be working as a freelancer, you will have the option to manage your time. Be it working late or early; it doesn’t really matter so long as you can deliver the work before the deadline.
The important thing is to schedule your work in a way that your quality does not suffer. If you notice that you are struggling, rethink what you can cut from your day. Perhaps you have been sleeping too much? Or maybe you have been indulging in video games and other hobbies when you should be working?
Managing time comes with experience, but you should still strive to establish good habits early so that you do not have to pay for it later.