Do you want to know, “How to be a Freelance Graphic Designer?”.
To be honest, running your own graphic design business may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you are able to establish a good freelancing business, it will definitely give you a lot of satisfaction and accomplishment.
But how do you actually become one?
I don’t want to discourage you but I must say that it is not going to be an easy tread. Having said that, if you are determined to be successful as a graphic designer, nothing can actually stop you from being one in the not-so-distant future.
How to be a Freelance Graphic Designer
In order to begin with your freelancing business as a graphic designer, there are some steps that you need to take…
1. Begin with Personal Branding
If you are a well-trained and professional graphic designer, which I am assuming you to be, you need to keep in mind that your portfolio will grow as you get older in the field and more people come to know of your abilities as a professional.
During the initial stages, you need to work upon your Personal Branding and for this purpose, you need to set up a good website with a suitable and attractive logo along with branded merchandise.
First and foremost, you need a website that not only explains what you do in exact words but also gets a decent volume of traffic. This website will serve as a foundation for your online career, for roping in more and more clients. You need to showcase your previous projects on this site so that the viewers or prospective clients get a clear idea of your expertise.
Apart from this, you should also put your detailed resume on it along with your contact information and social media links. It is, of course, in your best interest to be active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, etc., which can also serve as a source for getting new clients.
It is also important to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly or responsive in nature because more and more people are now accessing essential services through their phones.
As a part of this personal branding, the next that you need is a logo that is going to best represent your brand. Since you are a graphic designer yourself, you should be able to design one with ease.
Furthermore, the stationary that you use including invoices and checks, must also bear your brand identity in some form or the other. Better stationery is just as important as other tools like the best mouse for graphic design to help you deliver the best possible results to your clients.
2. Relationship With Your Client
Once you have a branded presence online, you should start getting work from various clients. Now, what you need to keep in mind is that you have to develop a long-lasting relationship with each of your clients so that they keep coming back to you, whenever they need your services.
At the same time, you need to be aware of the fact that your work is valuable.
The stark reality is that your clients have a problem that needs to be fixed or a need and you are the one who has a solution for it. You are providing them a service and you deserve money for that.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind while dealing with your clients:
Your services are not free- More often than not, clients would ask for credit when working with you. While you might extend them credit for some time, it should be clear that this is your profession and you are not working for free. It is always better to collect some amount in the form of advance payment before you begin with an order.
Sign a Contract – The design orders that you take up are business transactions and it is always better to have a contract between you and your client so that all the details (including those of payment and delivery) are clearly stated. This is important to ensure there are no issues later on.
Payment Terms and Stages – At the onset, you must clarify payment terms with your client and they should be mentioned in the contract. In the case of long-term projects, you must define the stages when you get paid rather than wait for a long-term or completion of the project. Moreover, you should have a set amount (mutually agreed with your client) as a deposit before you begin with the project.
Quote the right price – One of the crucial factors in running a business is to determine the right price for your services. This is where you have to do some market research and find out what other freelancers are charging for similar services. If you happen to be better than them, then you should not hesitate to quote a higher price. Customers will return back to you with more orders and will also help you get more clients (through word of mouth) when they are satisfied and happy with the quality of your work.
3. Spreading the Word
Once you have your website and social channels ready, it’s time to spread the word and get some traffic to your website.
Even though it is not easy initially, with regular updates of your website and other channels, things should pick up very soon. Let’s delve a bit deeper into this and find out how actually you can spread the word about your freelancing business as a graphic designer…
Get More Traffic to Your Site – You should have a well SEO-optimized site. It all begins with choosing the right keywords and adding content to your website about them so that they can begin appearing in Google search results. As you increase the relevant content on your site, search traffic from Google will also increase.
Once you have some decent traffic coming in you must have a way to capture emails on your site. One of the best ways to do so is with the help of a contact form on your site wherein you offer something for free in exchange for the email addresses of prospective clients. You must then keep sending them relevant emails so that they get interested in your services.
For those that land on your website and want to place an order with you or get in touch with you for further discussion, you must have clear contact details that could include your phone number, address, Facebook ID, etc.
Role of Social Media – The traffic that you get from social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., is considered cold traffic and the main reason behind this is that it has a low conversion rate. In order to convert this traffic better, need to build a relationship with these people so that they begin trusting you. Here, also you have to follow the same strategy of getting their email IDs so that you can keep mailing them with relevant content.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that your emails don’t always have to bear a sales pitch. In fact, people do not hesitate to block or report such senders. Try to build a strong relationship with your subscribers by giving them solutions to their problems and sending a sales pitch in between.
This is a strategy that I have personally tried and I must say that it really works. It gives you an opportunity to share your in-depth knowledge with your prospective clients and they begin taking you seriously.
Communicating with the Client – When you build your clientele, you need to know how to deal with them. As a matter of fact, better communication with your client is one of the most important steps that can make you a better graphic designer.
If you are able to do so well, you will get a lot of clients through word of mouth. While dealing with a client, you must listen to him/her patiently.
Try to find out more about how your client envisions things and what exactly he wants from you through a detailed conversation.
You need to keep in mind that your work will be measured by how well you are able to solve your client’s problem. You would want to maintain a tab of all the expenses in an excel sheet and perhaps, the best mouse for excel and spreadsheet could help you maintain perfect records.
Try Online Freelancing Sites – Yet another great option is to offer your services at places such as Fiverr and Upwork. These are some great platforms and you will get a lot of clients from these places.
At Fiverr, you can offer at least 3 packages, depending upon the services that you offer. Not just this, you can also put up custom offers as per the client’s needs.
On the other hand, at Upwork, you have to check out various job offers and apply for them. People posting these offers often invite you for an interview and once you are through with it, you land up with the job.
When you begin working, it is best to accept even lower-wage jobs, so that you can build your clientele and get good reviews.
Positive user reviews can go a long way in helping you succeed as a freelancing graphic designer.
Many people find it really hard to be a freelance graphic designer. However, if you follow the steps above, you should be able to put up a successful freelancing business. I cannot over-stress the fact that in any business consistency is the key!
In other words, you have to keep trying and if you are good at what you do and put in the effort to market your services through the right channels, you will definitely be a successful graphic designer.
Talha Abid, co-founder of RoadMice is the creative genius behind the designing of this site. He is responsible for giving it a highly refreshing look. His top priority is to run this site without any glitches. He is a well-established digital marketer who loves traveling to exotic locations in his free time.