7 Secret Tips to Nail Your Career as a Freelance Graphic Designer


August 9, 2021

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For the vast majority of graphic designers, the day will come when they are tired of working for others. When the time arrives, you want to be ready to transition from employee to freelance entrepreneur as smoothly as possible.

It can be exhilarating actually to take the plunge and strike out on your own! However, how to do it, exactly?

Ready to transition into that dream freelancing career you’ve been dreaming of? Let’s find out the best tips here! For a more practical insight into the design world, check out these tools and inspiration.

The cold, hard truths

Graphic Designer

Both recent graduates and experienced salaried designers are turning to the freelance world in greater numbers than ever before. Although completing this transition may be thrilling, the reality is that many first-time freelancers struggle. A variety of factors can cause this loss. When you can schedule your work hours, you can find the motivation becomes a challenge.

It also takes tenacity to create your client list to get your name out there in the design community. You will also discover that working with real clients is much less glamorous than you expected.

Find your niche

Any specialist would be more competitive if they focus on one or two fields rather than attempting to learn them all. You can’t be an expert on everything; to make something truly exceptional, you must concentrate and dig deep.

Defining your specialty would also assist you with clarifying what you do and who your customers are.

Check your toolkit

The first step for any potential freelance graphic designer should be to ensure they are using the right programs. Outdated technologies would confuse the process and put you far behind your competitors. In addition to using the most up-to-date design tools, you must understand how to use them.

So dive into those how-to forums and learn all of the fancy keyboard shortcuts that will streamline the whole operation.

Brand yourself

Since many designers and freelancers enter the industry, you must stick out and make yourself known. On the internet, you compete with designers from all over the world, not just those in your own country.

A great personal brand is something worth investing in, whether you’re just starting out or already founded. It’s a unique way of sharing your story so that you’ll be remembered.

Build your portfolio

As previously said, new freelancers need to arrive at the table with a large portfolio highlighting their work. So, what do you do if you don’t have a lot of finished projects?

If your previous work is incomplete, create a series of mock-ups to demonstrate how sharp your design eye is. And this should not have to be a difficult job.

Create a website

You’ll need a website of your own to guide clients to, both on and off of freelancing pages. The great part of creating your website is that it allows you to demonstrate your desire to develop a cohesive aesthetic. When creating your website, keep in mind who you’re trying to cater to in style.

It’s also important to fight the temptation to go nuts with the graphics on your website. A minimal scheme would help highlight your portfolio than an unnecessarily busy palette. Allow your work to come through on your website.

Put yourself out there

Calling or emailing clients is not offensive, whatever appearances – it is sound business practice! The truth is that people put off contacting a designer for a variety of reasons. Many of these prospective clients only need a gentle push to agree to a project. Be the drive, and let them know you’re here, and you’d love to build the visuals they so desperately need.

Join the community

One disadvantage to working as a freelancer is the informational and connection void. There are no coworkers or even customers to see face to face. It may be isolating.

Aside from alleviating isolation, there are several other significant advantages to strengthening the relationships:

  • Clients thrive from good connections—the more referral you get, the better result you will get to the business.
  • Networking isn’t only for business but also to build a reputation and personal branding. 
  • A personal connection will lead you to industry leaders and mentors that are as valuable as the clients themselves. 
  • It won’t hurt to share your expertise and experience as a freelance graphic designer with others. 

The importance of relationships cannot be overstated. If you wish to advance, you must expand your network.

Those are some of our secret tips to nail your career as a freelance graphic designer. It may not be easy at first, but if you put in enough persistence and hard work, you can surely transform it into a full-time hustle!

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