There are a many creative professionals trying to become freelance designers. The field of graphic design is constantly and rapidly changing. As a specialist, you have the liberty to learn new skills and constantly improve. It is even more important to focus on your creative skills and pushing your limits.
The freelance scene is overcrowded and it can be difficult to find your niche.
Below are 10 recommendations for freelance designers who are looking for ways to become successful.
How to become a better freelance designer
If you do not have an established personalized style or logo, you will never stand out from the crowd of other designers. There are thousands of them but not all of them are successful because they are not memorable. Brand yourself!
Price your work correctly
Freelancers receive their income for the hours they spend working. You cannot charge for your hours as you will spend some time on self improvement, learning new skills, accounting and admin work for yourself.
You are free to increase your prices with every new successful project. Gaining new experience and creating different types of work will help you improve as a professional.
Know your target market
Get to know your customers better. Learn what they need and what you can do to solve their problems. Remember: never promote yourself as the top designer that’s capable of everything. Include only specific types of work you are proficient in and your self-promotion will be even more effective.
Don’t push yourself
Inspiration is something that comes naturally. If you are feeling a lack of motivation and ideas, don’t just sit and be fussy about it. Switch off from these challenges: take a walk, watch your favorite movie, cook a delicious meal and you will come back stronger!
However, don’t let yourself procrastinate all day long; you have a lot of work to do.
Attend different events
Every month or two, visit such events as:
- Graphic design exhibitions;
- Visual arts exhibitions;
Listen to other professional designers speaking and sharing their ideas and learn something new.
When trying to find inspiration, remember you have that handy tool – your camera. As a designer and an artist, you have a unique vision of this world so use it to inspire yourself and those around you.
Create sample projects if you have amazing ideas
If you have some ideas but your customers are not going to buy them right now, offer them for free or mention that you can re-brand them. Business cards, logo, websites, various mock-up models… anything! You can also use them for your portfolio. These tasks will keep you on your toes. Moreover, you can donate your works to schools or organizations, if you want to. They will appreciate it and you will get a great experience and feedback that will boost your productivity.
Get a deposit
For a freelance designer, it is important to have reliable customers. You will feel much more confident about your income if you will work with month to month clients and simultaneously with your regular customers. Don’t be afraid to ask for a 50% deposit of the project cost. You have the situation under your control, because they are the ones who need your skills!
If you want to avoid any issues with payment – don’t start your work until you have a part of the cost in your pocket. This is normal practice, so don’t be shy.
It’s okay to say ‘no’
Some freelancers take too much work because they are afraid that if someday they refuse to take a project, all of their customers will disappear forever. There are two interesting facts about the rejected customers:
- They can book you for future projects;
- They keep in touch with you and come back in a while.
Improve your SEO
Even if you are an incredible designer but your SEO is not up to standards, you will not survive in the world of freelance. Optimize your website or hire a SEO-specialist to do it for you and you will be amazed at the results.
Sketching is an effective way to keep your ideas in place and work with them in detail. Sketching with the help of a pencil and a notebook will let you do that at any time even if you have no access to your computer and other software. If you want to explore your ideas and concepts quickly, you have continue sketching. This will help you to have all of your ideas and their variations at hand. Work with your ideas on paper and then move your drafts into digital to save time.
Brian Jens is a professional writer who constantly keeps in touch with the most interesting up-to-date topics. At the moment he’s a blogger and moderator on a crowdsourcing website. He likes modern technologies, upcoming trends, graphic design, and much more bright stuff.