It is said that 90% of the information transmitted to a human brain is visual, which means a brand or a business needs a strong and visually appealing design to communicate with its target audience. It is where freelance designers can contribute prominently.
But is it easy to establish yourself as a freelance graphic designer? Ask any successful freelance designer how tough it was to find a steady flow of work during the initial days. So, which steps can help when a freelance graphic designer is job-hunting?
We have collated some essential tips to help you get clients and find freelance design work.
A professional and aesthetic online portfolio is an absolute must if you want to succeed as a freelance designer. Gone are the days when you emailed prospective clients links to the websites you have designed. A well-designed portfolio speaks for itself. It is the ideal method to showcase your work and attract high-value opportunities.
At the same time, avoid making your portfolio a dumping ground. It must be a selection of your best work. Also, keep updating it regularly. Mentioned above is an example of a well-prepared design portfolio.
The next step can be creating accounts on websites such as Behance, Canva, and Dribbble. Built exclusively for designers like you, you can exhibit your designs here and get valuable feedback from other graphic designers. Another advantage is that your visibility improves because your work is seen by several people, who may eventually refer clients to you.
Additionally, these websites have excellent reach, so you can use this feature to draw more traffic to your designs. So, do not wait for clients to come to you. It is better to make it convenient for them by showcasing your designs on multiple portals.
If you are a freelance website designer, designing website templates and publishing them can be an excellent way to gain experience and earn. Creative Market, Themeforest, and Webflow are brilliant platforms where you can release your design templates.
This way, you not only get publicity, but your would-be clients are seeing live examples of your work. Their next step could be contacting you to customize a pre-existing website or create a fresh one. So, use these platforms to speed up your graphic design business and monetize your work.
As a freelance graphic designer, you can add more value to your portfolio by maintaining an informative blog. Choosing topics intelligently can position you as a proficient candidate, and eventually draw the much-needed traffic to your portfolio.
If you want to stand out as a creative professional, the following content practices can prove to be beneficial:
- Select industry-relevant topics.
- Blog frequently and maintain a schedule.
- Share specialized tips and tricks about your industry.
- Pay attention to SEO and the length of your blogs.
- Give an insider’s view of a project’s conception to completion.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find clients. It is not rocket science. Simply go out, attend events that match your interest, and meet people. Interact with them and tell them that you are a freelance designer. With content marketing being in vogue today, everyone requires a website or beautifully designed visuals. A few ideal places for networking can be conferences, conventions, Twitter, and online communities.
You must build a considerable client base and lots of contacts. Stay in touch with your past clients, treat your current clients with respect and be consistent in your performance—all these are the fundamentals of networking.
It is okay to start as a budget-friendly freelance web designer. Even if you have all the skills and capabilities of an exceptional freelance designer, clients may opt for you if your charges are too high.
Another important thing is to sign a freelance design contract before you start working on a project. It protects your interests, ensures that you will get paid at the end of the project, and fortifies your image as a freelance web designer.
Your first project may bring new types of obstacles, which you may not be well-prepared for. But, such projects can be great learning experiences. So, embrace them as a learning experience.
Communicating with a client is totally different from talking with a friend or family member. If you are an entrant in this sphere, you might want to work on your communication skills and email etiquette. Employers or clients prefer candidates who can engage in polite business conversations.
Skill tests are a common practice that employers follow as a part of the hiring process. Even freelancing platforms like Upwork offer such tests for professionals, including graphic designers, which give an idea about their competence. So, browse and attempt skill tests, and include them in your portfolio. Also, if a potential client asks you to take a specific skill test, be open to it.
Always ask for testimonials from your clients. Positive client testimonials about your design services can help establish your reliability and credibility as a freelance graphic designer. You can also request recommendations. If your past clients have been happy and satisfied with your work, they will not turn your request down.
If you want to brand yourself as an ace freelance designer, you need to put yourself out there. Be it design work, marketing, or handling invoices—as a freelance designer, you are the owner of everything involved in the process.
Building a substantial volume of audience can take some time. Do not expect a cloudburst of opportunities when you start. Be patient and consistent, keep promoting your work on social media platforms, and network persistently.
A graphic designer must possess a mix of the following technical and soft skills:
– Idea generation
– Understanding of design principles
– UI and UX design
– Ability to communicate
– Time management
Today, most graphic designers use different types of design software. So, drawing skills are not mandatory in the design process.
Whether you are a full-time graphic designer or a freelance designer, you need to have knowledge of specific software to breathe life into your designs. Some of the best software include:
– After Effects
Owing to the distinctive nature of their skills, graphic designers earn well. Some of the highest paying graphic designing jobs are:
– 3D designer
– Video game designer
– Creative manager
– Art director
– Concept artist
– UX/UI designer
A graphic designer typically works on logos, business cards, brochures, flyers, letterheads, websites, catalogs, advertisements, invitation cards, postcards, and social media pages.